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Spring in practical use

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I'm trying to find out some information about practical use of the Spring framework. I'm interested about the pros and cons about using the Spring framework in "every day use". Which part of the Spring make him usefull tool in making software, and which part makes him useless? Why do developers like this framework so much, and why do the Spring is so often use in different projects? Are there any frameworks which are better of Spring and can be used insted of him. Which part of the Spring should be changed and in which way? Maybe someone can answer these questions or maybe can write his opinions about the Spring. I will be very gratefull for every answer about using Spring, about problems with this framework, and of course about advantages of using Spring.

Thanks Michal.
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Those are pretty broad questions.

I use a few parts of Spring *quite* heavily, others only occasionally, and some not at all. Which parts those are depend a lot on the project, but some things I almost always use: the DI/IoC part is incredibly helpful no matter what I'm doing--I use it all the time. The transaction management is another part that gets used almost all the time. The AOP *can* be very useful, but unless you're well-versed in the best ways to use AOP it's easy to abuse it.

There are several other DI/IoC frameworks, some of which are arguably better for some uses (Guice stands out in my mind, although because of my heavy Spring usage it's not something I can use all the time). Spring has the benefit of being wildly popular.

Downsides? I can't think of too many, although as with anything, there's a learning curve (which is worth it, in my opinion). If you're not adept at reading stack traces some errors can be a little mysterious. I'm wary of heavy use of name-based autowiring (although I do it all the time), as on occasion it can lead to puzzling errors.
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