The Spring Framework is an open source application framework for the Java platform
The first version was written by Rod Johnson, who released the framework with the publication of his book Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development in October 2002.
The framework was first released under the Apache 2.0 license in June 2003.
The first milestone release, 1.0, was released in March 2004, with further milestone releases in September 2004 and March 2005.
The Spring 1.2.6 framework won a Jolt productivity award and a JAX Innovation Award in 2006.
Spring 2.0 was released in October 2006, and Spring 2.5 in November 2007.
In December 2009 version 3.0 GA was released.
Spring 3.1 in December 2011, and Spring 3.2.5 in November 2013.
The current version is Spring Framework 4.0, which was released in December 2013. Notable improvements in Spring 4.0 include support for Java SE 8.
The core features of the Spring Framework can be used by any Java application, but there are extensions for building web applications on top of the Java EE platform.
Although the Spring Framework does not impose any specific programming model, it has become popular in the Java community as an alternative to, replacement for, or even addition to the Enterprise JavaBean (EJB) model.