Monday, April 30, 2012

Grails Adoption In Malaysia

In my opinion, Grails Framework is great, matured and the most productive technology stack for web application development in Java platform.

I still remembered that I conducted a demo session for Grails in a training room to my fellow developers in 2007, the framework was version 0.6, but I saw it great potential to make web development in Java platform so much simple compares to other alternatives available at that time. It is a big leap forward, not a small improvement. I agreed with the tagline of Grails, "the search is over". Now, my thought remain the same.

What is the reality out there? The reality of Java technology adoption in Malaysia was slow and dominated and lead by big technology companies like IBM and Oracle. I find out that the current status of Grails adoption in Malaysia is like SpringFramework in 2003. It is cool technology that adopted by minority. As per today, SpringFramework is mainstream technology stack that adopted by many Java shops after I spoken to few software managers.

As my base was in Malaysia and I have no plan for relocation or to work oversea, I being forced to stick with SpringFramework and pick up Spring Roo recently even I think Grails is a superior framework for web application development in Java platform in term of simplicity and productivity. I'd love hear your comments if you have different opinions.

The challenge is "How do we, as lead developer, project manager or team lead improve the adoption of new technology stack like Grails in Malaysia?". What do you think?

Lastly, thanks for taking your time to read this post and if you have plan to launch a web application project and free of choice for technology stack [you know my preference ;-)], I'm ready to listen to your plan and happy to work with you. Kindly contact me at

Note: A discussion topic related to this post at Mailing List.
Disclaimer: I am not working for SpringSource and have no association with SpringSource.

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suhaizal said...

I started with Grails in 2007, and yes, I agree with you that it is a strong, solid, mature and agile framework.
Very few project managers dare not take it up (in comparison to Java) because some are not exposed to the capability of mixing Grails-Groovy with Java library when they're looking for 'Java' based solutions.
The simplicity of Grails can sometimes beat the sense out of these groups as well, because they can't believe it can be that easy. :)
As for me, the simplicity reduces my error (and silly mistakes) as the code are more terse compared to pure Java. In addition, the challenge of getting new Java talent in Malaysia is very high. I found that I can train new candidates using Grails in about 15 - 30 days (together with git)for them to actually start with the actual project.
YMMV. :)

Lim Chee Kin said...

Hi Suhaizal,

Thanks for quick response.

I am glad to find out that still have some companies adopted Grails in Malaysia.

Do you mind to share more about projects that adopted Grails? and you are from...?

Tai Siew Joon said...

Hi Chee Kin,

My company implemented a portal for an insurance company last year on grails 1.3.x. We are building a loans origination system for a local bank on grails 2.x. In between we have built numerous POC projects with grails too.

We are integrating with RMI, EJB 3 session beans, JMS, web services.

Seymour Cakes said...

Grails is "washing machine" for the Java serverside world. It lets you focus on the stuff that matters.

Lim Chee Kin said...

Hi Siew Joon,

Thanks for your kindness of sharing. Great to find out Grails was adopted by local bank for banking system like Loans Origination System in Malaysia.

Hi Seymour,
"Washing machine" is great metaphor to describe Grails which made web development so much cleaner in Java world.

Mark Lee said...

I have been prototyping small projects on Grails for the past few years (since Grails 1.1). For me I find that it is fast, easy to knock up stuff, no need to wait for a code->build->deploy->test cycle. You can code the script and test it straight away (like JSP or Python). But I find that to train developers someone will need to "guide" them as most junior developers seem to lack depth in the understanding of web technologies and the layers/protocols/etc. So, the key selling point is really doing small projects (not too many people) in the fastest time and putting aside Aesthetics.

BTW, I actually deployed Grails app using ICEFACES plugin to a call centre which I ported from Oracle ADF 10g. Did this in less than 5 days.

Lim Chee Kin said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for sharing of real world Grails adoption.

Mark Lee said...

Would anyone like to meet up to talk about Grails, to share your experiences, to see if we can do something to "promote" Grails in Malaysia ? I don't mind paying for the coffee ...


BTW, Mark is my son's name. I am Lee Chee Keong (also CK).