Grails

(18)
3.7 out of 5 stars

A powerful Groovy-based web application framework for the JVM

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Grails review by <span>Liangliang Z.</span>
Liangliang Z.
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Grails is easy to start, hard to deep in.

What do you like best?

0. Can use any existed java library.

1. Groovy 's advantage (than java):

(0) Metaprogramming

(1) more efficient operators ( Elvis operator, Safe navigation operator etc. )

(2) more useful method to JDK classes ( such as Collection#find()), more

(3) can use much DSL ( can do same things with less code)

2. GORM is the bettern than using mybatis/hibernate in java app development.

3. easy to conver between map,list and json,xml.

4. Gsp is better than jsp——but I more intend not to use both at all. Instead, Grails app should response json data only. Html page can be developed by another app (using sass, angularJs, gulpjs etc), using ajax or jsonp to access json data.

What do you dislike?

0. Most grails's plugin not better enough, less actived, lack document, obsoleted. e.g. :

(1) I prefer to use RestTemplate,UriComponentsBuilder provided by SpringFramework —— which is simple enough, solid, can be used in both java and groovy, rather than Grails REST Plugin

(2) I don't think using spring security plugin is better than using Spring Security framework directly in resources.groovy —— Because , beside to learn Spring Security framework , I had to lean the plugin too (for debuging problems). Maybe, it should focus on Spring Security's extension, not the configuration?

1. Easy to start, hard to deep in.

Grails's wrapped much known Java libray, framework —— such as Spring framework, Spring security, etc。Without much knowledge about Spring Security, I don't think a java/grails beginner can well config the plugin. Only those who had famillar JVM, the libraries Grails used, can play around Grails.

2. Grails 2's build mechanism (Gant, but Grails 3 is using gradle)

3. Grails 2's plugin mechanism (Still studying Grails 3)

PS: I also quested what about using Spring Boot + Groovy + GORM (without Grails) —— since most grails module has announced it can be used outside Grails. I'am more familiar SpringFramework.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Electronic Commerce.

Make a java/Grails beginner who focus business logic can start development quickly.

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Grails review by <span>Mathias F.</span>
Mathias F.
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Huge addition to the JVM world

What do you like best?

I've used Grails for various projects. From full web oriented architectures, to RESTful APIs, even for console applications. Its Convention over Configuration nature makes it extremely quickly to get started with any project and just modify what you need from the initial sensible defaults. Personally, coming from JEE, where you have to edit thousands of XMLs and properties files, it was awesome.

Groovy is a very powerful and comfortable language. If you come from Java, you'll find yourself loving it right away. Before choosing Grails, I considered Ruby on Rails, but didn't like having to learn a completely new and wheel-reinventing language. Grails has everything RoR and many other frameworks has, using a familiar language and industry proven backing technologies.

What do you dislike?

As the community is not as big as others, the documentation is sometimes a bit scarce. Many times I had to fix things by myself, even checking Grails source code and making pull requests to the core team. The plugin ecosystem has the same problem, there are not so many plugins as other frameworks have.

I, however, see those disadvantages as some kind of challenge. I love contributing to the community and here there is plenty of room for collaboration. Sometimes having too much is also bad, like Node.js, where you have a hundred ways of doing anything and none of those ways are completely correct.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Use version 2.x, because version 3.x is still very unstable.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

My company used to have a .NET solution that became obsolete and impossible to refactor. I was hired to conduct a migration of the whole system to Grails framework. The learning curve of the developers was very low as they soon starting to see advantages (in the language and in the framework). Things that used to take hundreds of lines of code, were soon replaced with a couple of lines with Groovy's dynamic nature.

As per the architecture, it's really easy to design a solution on top of Grails' MVC pattern. The design, frontend and core team work with very little conflict in the same project.

What Java Web Frameworks solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Grails review by <span>Tuomas V.</span>
Tuomas V.
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Grails is very good for web-application development

What do you like best?

Groovy: It is easy to process web data with groovy since its allow dynamic typing. Strong typing is good for making control structure more realiable

Gorm makes it very easy to manipulate and fetch data from database and its intuitive to use

Running environments (test,prod,dev, custom) makes it very easy to apply different behaviour for the system when its on test, production or development or in continunous integration.

Plugin system and dependency management is very powerful way to control the dependencies of your project.

Java-nature: Environment is the same in all the servers no matter if you deploy in windows or linux (different distros)

Java-nature: Application is alive even if there is no page load, like in php. Threading makes it easy to manage background tasks without cronjob.

What do you dislike?

Testing literally sucks in my grails 1.3.9. I have tryd upgrading it few times but it is a lot of work. IntelliJ suns the tests smoothly inside the IDE but free iDEs like netbeans just displays grails console output and i have to read the reports to see what actually failed and why.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Intranet applications for health care companies.

Creating new features as MVC is very easy to solve with grails.

Grails review by <span>Rubén S.</span>
Rubén S.
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Develop powerful web applications fast and easy

What do you like best?

If you come from Java/Spring the learning curve is quite flat. Grails is based on the concept of "convention over configuration" so if you follow the conventions you get rid of a lot of messy XML files.

Apart from this, you have all the power of the Groovy programming language, a much more modern language than Java, that allow the developer to build the business logic in a much more intuitive way.

As a summary, when you start to develop with Grails and you see that you have your environment and a running application in 15 minutes you won't leave this framework.

What do you dislike?

One of the strengths of Grails is as well one of it's weaknesses. Grails can be extended via plugins, that are very useful to add integration with new functionalities, for example Spring-security, LDAP, etc. but sometimes there are so many plugins for one task that you have to choose carefully because some of them only work for specific versions, others are unmaintained, and this can be a problem.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you come from Java/Spring/Hibernate world and you want to start a new project give Grails a try, you will be surprised of how fast the things can be built.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I work as software developer in a big travel agency, developing the call center tools / middle office tools. Using Grails we have been able to short the development time, being able to replace an old set of tools with a new tools with all the functionalities integrated in less than a year.

As a note some of the developers didn't have experience using Grails but they have become very productive in a very short amount of time.

Grails review by <span>Lee B.</span>
Lee B.
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My go-to Java web framework

What do you like best?

Working in groovy is great, so much less code! Grails has come a long way since I was a committer on it several years ago. The MVC structure is very easy to understand and the wide range of plugins make its quick to get projects going.

What do you dislike?

Keeping up to date with the best practice/best plugins can be challenging as the framework has changed a lot in the last few major versions. I also find it hard to stay disciplined in keeping my GSP DRY and not repeating a lot of common code.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make sure you read the up to date documentation for your version and check that any online guids/tutorials/plugins are applicable to the latest version. Try to reduce duplication in your GSP by using the forms/bean-fields plugins. Also take a good like at resources pipeline stuff for managing/minifying JS and CSS.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use it for internal administration application for our public facing system. It's foundation in Spring and Hibernate meant we could re-use a lot of our application data model code to quickly build administration screens.

Grails review by <span>Ejaz A.</span>
Ejaz A.
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Working with grails for my own startup without any experience on web development was a charm.

What do you like best?

The best part of Grails is GORM. GORM uses easy to learn and readable DSL to for interaction with Data Bases. Writing queries in GORM DSL and implementing relations from ER diagram is as simple as 1 2 3. Certainly GORM is not the only thing I like most. There are many more such as URL mappings, convention over configuration, extensive plugins, grails services and out of the box support for implementing RESTFul web-services. Although we did not use view layer (jsp/gsp) of grails for our web application, we use it extensively for internal applications used to manage our business process. Grails is so easy to use that we ended up creating few internal applications to manage our business process in Grails.

Apart from Framework, people behind its development are cooperative and its overall community is quite friendly. At many occasions, my reported issues were fixed within a day or two. Grails release cycle is quite fast, so you don't have to wait for the fixed issues to arrive in next stable release.

What do you dislike?

Even though grails is feature rich full stack framework there are always room for development. One such example is its support for REST. Grails provide API versioning, response nesting and a lot of cool stuff but does not provide pagination or API meta-data out of the box. Grails response requires alot of customization for a production ready application

Recommendations to others considering the product

I would highly recommend grails to startups and entrepreneurs where resources and time are limited. Grails is the right choice for such people. Apart from rapid development, grails deployment and maintenance is also easy. It provides DB migration and schema export features which make it easy to migrate your DB whenever you change an application. One of the best things in Grails is that it provides support for SQL, NoSQL (mongo) and graph based DBs such as neo4j. Grails built in ORM known as GORM make it easy to migrate from SQL to NoSQL and neo4j whenever you need to. Your underlying code does not need any modifications and your queries also remain the same.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are building a supply chain solution using grails REST web-services. Grails provides out of the box support for unit and integration tests based on SPOCK framework. It provides functional test support using Geb. We have automated tests for all of our use cases and we are 4 developers right now. These tests make it easy for us to figure out the side effects of any of code changes.

Grails uses gradle build system now and is compatible with almost all of CI/CD tools. Grails app can easily be dockerized using either gradle docker plugin or runnable jars making it suitable for deployment as containers. We use docker containers for our development, testing and production deployment need and all of our stuff is fully automated.

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