- With the new @autowired annotation (+ @qualifier) , auto wiring is now finally usable in real systems. This can help reducing the configuration-overhead to a minimum while keeping maximal control over your code. Looks really great - if you can use Java 5.
- JSR-250 support: Rod is less enthusiastic about the @Resource, but the @PostConstruct and @Predestroy annotations are highly recommended --> no need to explicitly set the init-method in your spring configs anymore.
- favor JUnit 4.4 or TestNG --> simple annotations; no need for the abstract testing hierarchies.
Spring WebMVC & WebFlow
- less configuration, more sensible defaults.
- annotations instead of extending MultiActionController --> controllers are less tied to Spring MVC
- better integration with JSF (Spring Faces)
- support for 'fragments' in a view state: with Apache Tiles all fragments are rendered as a whole (=classic refresh) or individually, triggered by Ajax events
- introduction of a new ViewScope in WebFlow: objects in view-scope survive as long as you remain in the same state, surviving multiple Ajax requests.
- the SpringSource platform builds on OSGI to provide a highly modular framework. Very interesting ideas, but maybe a bit too revolutionary?
- SpringIDE is now bundled in the Spring Tool Suite. This is an Eclipse distribution that comes with all plugins needed for Spring development embedded. One of the plugins is Mylin for 'task-based' development. The idea is to deliver a development environment that just works out of the box.