Monday, January 11, 2010

Alfresco Spring Surf using Roo

Well, I saw Alfresco's SpringSurf webinar last week and I was inspired by the presentation to give it a go. SpringSurf combines the SpringSource Spring framework with Alfresco's Surf  to create a rapid webapp development environment that focuses on scripting.

After some false starts, SpringSurf Milestone 2 was released over the weekend.  I downloaded it and gave it a try by going through a fairly nice SpringSurf tutorial.  But near the end of the first chapter I hit a roadblock.  The version of the SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) that I downloaded bundled roo version 1.0.0.RC4.  The tutorial shows roo 1.0.0.RC4 -- so it seemed right.  But -- it didn't work for me.

Using the RC4 version of roo, my maven deployment went into an endless loop trying and failing to download dependencies.  I ultimately downloaded roo version 1.0.0.RELEASE and, after that, things went a lot more smoothly.  I got past the deployment and I saw my first roo-generated surf app!  It was pretty cool when things went smoothly.

Overall the tutorial is good.  Andrew Miller points out a couple of typos in the sample code in Chapter 2 that can cause some problems, and his solution saved me some time.  After the tutorial's second chapter, a lot of the material is stubbed out, still to be written.

Overall, my impression is that SpringSurf can be used for setting up new sites and the building out of new web pages fairly easily.  But it is still a bit rough around the edges -- definitely in an 'early adopter' phase right now.

It will also be interesting to see how Alfresco WCM capabilities will also be woven into the picture.  Hopefully this will be one item that Alfresco addresses in the upcoming presentation of the Alfresco 3.3 and 4.0 WCM roadmaps.

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