Over the past 4 years, Spring took a step back and JEE got much of the spotlight in the world of Java. Something that I embraced for several reasons, but Spring wasn't actually gone, it just got slightly misplaced.

About 3 years ago, JEE really took off everywhere I worked, this was mostly due to Oracle attempting to do what Sun couldn't, (also doing a lot of things they shouldn't have done). So my world shifted to standardization and JEE is a fairly major way. This meant that Spring (mostly deployed with version 2.5) was dumped. Mostly though because Spring 3.0 didn't offer a lot of news people were looking for and 2.5 was becoming a real dead-end. The large XML based configuration files were a bit of a turn-off and annotation based configurations were getting severely hip, didn't really understand that.

So in my world, Spring was effectively forgotten. Recently, Spring Boot has been getting a lot of attention, putting it back in the spotlight. Though what Spring Boot has been doing is mashing up what it had all along, the only thing Spring Boot is doing (and at that, very effectively), is putting what Spring had to offer all along and providing a simple way to quickly put that together easily and effectively. From what I can tell, much of this has to do as much with Spring IO as Spring Boot.

Though thinking about this, what went wrong 4 years ago. I personally tried to keep up with Spring and not forget it. But that didn't go entirely as I expected, I completely missed Spring Boot, until a colleague of mine alerted me to it's existence and I started getting back into it.

What I found out in the meantime is that Spring is popular as ever and never really went anywhere. The speed in which you can build applications with Spring is amazing, Spring has remained quite popular in most parts of the Java world. JEE has become immensely popular in the enterprise world where standards are important. With the acceleration of deployment (DevOps) and thus the increasing pressure on development, I suspect that in the enterprise world, Spring might be getting really for a bit of a revival.