Release: 3.2 Channing

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Java: Release of Speedment 3.2 - Now Enabling Lightweight Database Microservices

Several traditional ORMs do not fully honor Java module encapsulation (JPMS). This often means a lot of unnecessary files and classes are used when deploying microservices. The latest major release 3.2 of Speedment solves this problem by introducing module system support across the entire product suite, allowing efficient deployment of cloud applications and providing a more stringent API.

Support for Java Platform Module System (JPMS)

The biggest feature in Speedment 3.2 is undoubtedly native support for JPMS. Every module in Speedment now contains its own file and honors strict encapsulation.

As a developer, it is completely optional to use the module system and thanks to its multi-release JARs, Speedment can still be run under Java 8. Users can select to migrate to JPMS now, later or never.

Other ORMs, such as Hibernate, might support parts of JPMS but does not honor strict encapsulation (e.g. requires --add-opens to be added manually, thereby bypassing protection from accessing internal/protected classes).

Optional Modules Allows Smaller Microservices

The Speedment modules have been internally restructured to reduce inter-module coupling. As a result, some of the modules are now optional, allowing even smaller microservices to be deployed. For example, the various database connectors are now individually pickable and the JoinComponent is also optional.

Size Reduction

The need for several internal modules (such as “lazy” and “mutable-stream”) has been eliminated and some of the others have been optimized and reduced in size.

Strong Encapsulation

Thanks to the module system, internal classes are now fully hidden and are even protected from deep-reflection. This strengthens the API (because only intentionally visible classes and methods are accessible) and therefore allows for future migration of internal classes without affecting the public API.

Cloud Deployment Example

It is possible to create a custom JRE + application + Speedment libraries that is 10 times smaller and that is using 25% less memory compared to running the application under a standard JDK. For companies running a large number of microservices in the cloud, this adds up to a significant difference.

The following example is further described in the article “Java: How to Create Lightweight Database Microservices”. The database application connects to a public MySQL cloud instance of the “Sakila” database with films, actors, etc. It retrieves the ten longest films and prints them on the console in length order.

The custom JRE still has all the bells and whistles of a real JVM like garbage collect, JIT-compiler, etc. It is just the unused modules and tools that have been removed.

final Speedment app = new SakilaApplicationBuilder()

final FilmManager films = app.getOrThrow(FilmManager.class);

System.out.println("These are the ten longest films rated as PG-13:");
    .map(film -> String.format(
        "%-18s %d min",


The application will produce the following output:

These are the ten longest films rated as PG-13:

GANGS PRIDE        185 min
CHICAGO NORTH      185 min
POND SEATTLE       185 min
THEORY MERMAID     184 min
FRONTIER CABIN     183 min
REDS POCUS         182 min
JACKET FRISCO      181 min
MIXED DOORS        180 min

Storage requirement for the standard open JDK 11 is 300 MB compared to the custom JRE which only occupies 30 MB (even including the application and the Speedment runtime). Thus, it is possible to reduce the storage requirements by about 90%. When examining heap usage with jmap, it was concluded that the RAM usage was also reduced by about 25%.

How to Get Speedment 3.2

New users can download Speedment 3.2  using the Initializer. Users of Java 11 can select or deselect JPMS depending on their preference. Selecting JPMS will include the proper requirements in a file.

Existing users can just update the Speedment version in their pom.xml file and re-generate the domain model by issuing the following command:

mvn speedment:generate

For users interested in using the module system, the following file needs to be added to the Java 8+ application’s root:

module {
    requires com.speedment.runtime.application;
    requires com.speedment.runtime.connector.mysql; // (*)