Groovy with Grails – Java’s fight back to Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is undoubtedly the fastest developing framework for agile web development which one can witness in various discussion groups and blogs these days. Being a developer from the Java community what you can do most is to sit and watch the power being unleashed by Ruby and do nothing about it. It seems as if you are being washed away by some tidal wave and you have no savior at all!

But life in IT is not as shrewd as told, as competitors will always capture on the current reigning stuff and quickly incorporate themselves to get matured to the instant market needs and demands. Ruby developed about a decade ago lied dormant during the time when bigwigs like J2EE, .NET, PHP almost had taken over the web development world by storm and nothing seemed to change the course until AJAX came into picture.

Ruby on Rails was the quickest framework to integrate AJAX into their programming model and this is what eventually all the web developers had craved for rather than pulling their hair off venturing off in the wild JavaScript world of falling prey to the thousands of open source frameworks for AJAX. This made the web development world turn to Ruby on Rails as if it was the time of role reversal and the fate of Ruby going for a big, big boost in the upfront.

Microsoft in the wake of the time started to move ahead with the proceedings of its ATLAS project which made the .NET developers heave a big sigh of relief. Within a year of its commencement it gave way to the AJAX 1.0 Beta framework for integration of AJAX in .NET developmental works.

The Java community is still facing a lackluster of having a strong robust developmental framework which can blend to the needs of AJAX. Open source projects did make as impact into the Java community. DWR made it possible to remote the Java functionality to the web. GWT came in as a server side framework to help the java developer from the headaches of learning JavaScript but still it requires the developer to have some amount of knowledge of working in Swings. Something better was still required the integration a smooth blend when Groovy with Grails made its presence.

Groovy a new language sitting on top of the wide variety of Java libraries tries to emulate the Ruby language by giving in a model to allow dynamic typing which relaxes the rigid strong typed ness of Java to become more flexible. The most fantastic part in acceptability of Groovy is it follows the MOP semantics that Ruby has and provides usage of all Java classes in the usual manner. The project at codehaus states Groovy as:

An agile dynamic language for the Java Platform with many features that are inspired by languages like Python, Ruby and Smalltalk, making them available to Java developers using a Java-like syntax.

Grails is the frameworks which works on Groovy language muck alike Rails framework on Ruby which promises to make the development of an enterprise application a matter of fun by cutting of the time of making classes and loads of deployment descriptors every time you need something as simple as printing out “Hello World”. Moreover Grails provides the same flexibility for AJAX integration as Rails does. In the words of Grails initiator Guillaume Laforge as said on indicthreads,

“Groovy somehow bridges two worlds: the scripting world and the enterprise Java world…”

Surely the throughput by working with Grails would definitely be higher than working the current methodologies of J2EE in my opinion. This would be the biggest and probably the best thing to ever happen to the Java community in the current web world of AJAX. The promising a nature of Grails comes as more trustworthy with the heavy weights like SUN, BEA, Oracle and IBM giving their support to its developmental activities. Seems like the time has arrived where the Java community including me can find time to party at last! A test of time, can Groovy be the Holy Grail for Java world?

5 thoughts on “Groovy with Grails – Java’s fight back to Ruby on Rails

  1. I agree with the author because Groovy and Grails is developing the characteristics of a full fledged software development and deployment platform by which developers can develop systems within an agile, less boiler-plate code centric environment. Grails has some rough edges right now, but I see the the attention it’s getting as only growing from here as developers realize that they have the innate ability to develop their back-end functionality in Java, and use it within the Groovy and Grails environment flawlessly.

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