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Spring is an in-memory component repository where developers can isolate common functionality for use in multiple areas of an application. The core paradigm behind Spring is the Inversion of Control (IoC) pattern where references to the common component are injected into other components (Java beans for example) that have a need of the functionality implemented. The consumer is only ever aware that it needs an implementation of a particular API, it doesn't care how that is implemented (an example of the Strategy Pattern). Sakai uses Spring extensively to factor out functionality common to the various Sakai services.

Rob Allan 2005-05-09