(Quick Reference)

3 Upgrading from Grails 2.x - Reference Documentation

Authors: Graeme Rocher, Peter Ledbrook, Marc Palmer, Jeff Brown, Luke Daley, Burt Beckwith, Lari Hotari

Version: 3.0.0

3 Upgrading from Grails 2.x

Grails 3.0 is a complete ground up rewrite of Grails and introduces new concepts and components for many parts of the framework.

When upgrading an application or plugin from Grails 3.0 there are many areas to consider including:

  • Project structure differences
  • File location differences
  • Configuration differences
  • Package name differences
  • Legacy Gant Scripts
  • Gradle Build System
  • Changes to Plugins
  • Source vs Binary Plugins

The best approach to take when upgrading a plugin or application (and if your application is using several plugins the plugins will need upgrading first) is to create a new Grails 3.0 application of the same name and copy the source files into the correct locations in the new application.

Project Structure Changes

File Location Differences

The location of certain files have changed or been replaced with other files in Grails 3.0. The following table lists old default locations and their respective new locations:

Old LocationNew LocationDescription
grails-app/conf/BuildConfig.groovybuild.gradleBuild time configuration is now defined in a Gradle build file
grails-app/conf/Config.groovygrails-app/conf/application.groovyRenamed for consistency with Spring Boot
grails-app/conf/UrlMappings.groovygrails-app/controllers/UrlMappings.groovyMoved since grails-app/conf is not a source directory anymore
grails-app/conf/BootStrap.groovygrails-app/init/BootStrap.groovyMoved since grails-app/conf is not a source directory anymore
scriptssrc/main/scriptsMoved for consistency with Gradle
src/groovysrc/main/groovyMoved for consistency with Gradle
src/javasrc/main/groovyMoved for consistency with Gradle
test/unitsrc/test/groovyMoved for consistency with Gradle
test/integrationsrc/integration-test/groovyMoved for consistency with Gradle
web-appsrc/main/webappMoved for consistency with Gradle
*GrailsPlugin.groovysrc/main/groovyThe plugin descriptor moved to a source directory

For plugins the plugin descriptor (a Groovy file ending with "GrailsPlugin") which was previously located in the root of the plugin directory should be moved to the src/main/groovy directory under an appropriate package.

New Files Not Present in Grails 2.x

The reason it is best to create a new application and copy your original sources to it is because there are a number of new files that are not present in Grails 2.x by default. These include:

FileDescription
build.gradleThe Gradle build descriptor located in the root of the project
gradle.propertiesProperties file defining the Grails and Gradle versions
grails-app/conf/logback.groovyLogging previously defined in Config.groovy is now defined using Logback
grails-app/conf/application.ymlConfiguration can now also be defined using YAML
grails-app/init/PACKAGE_PATH/Application.groovyThe Application class used By Spring Boot to start the application

Files Not Present in Grails 3.x

Some files that were previously created by Grails 2.x are no longer created. These have either been removed or an appropriate replacement added. The following table lists files no longer in use:

FileDescription
application.propertiesThe application name and version is now defined in build.gradle
grails-app/conf/DataSource.groovyMerged together into application.yml
libDependency resolution should be used to resolve JAR files
web-app/WEB-INF/applicationContext.xmlRemoved, beans can be defined in grails-app/conf/spring/resources.groovy
src/templates/war/web.xmlGrails 3.0 no longer requires web.xml. Customizations can be done via Spring
web-app/WEB-INF/sitemesh.xmlRemoved, sitemesh filter no longer present.
web-app/WEB-INF/tldRemoved, can be restored in src/main/webapp

3.1 Upgrading Plugins

To upgrade a Grails 2.x plugin to Grails 3.x you need to make a number of different changes. This documentation will outline the steps that were taken to upgrade the Quartz plugin to Grails 3, each individual plugin may differ.

Step 1 - Create a new Grails 3 plugin

The first step is to create a new Grails 3 plugin using the command line:

$ grails create-plugin quartz

This will create a Grails 3 plugin in the quartz directory.

Step 2 - Copy sources from the original Grails 2 plugin

The next step is to copy the sources from the original Grails 2 plugin to the Grails 3 plugin:

# first the sources
cp -rf ../quartz-2.x/src/groovy src/main/groovy
cp -rf ../quartz-2.x/src/java src/main/groovy
cp -rf ../quartz-2.x/grails-app grails-app
cp -rf ../quartz-2.x/QuartzGrailsPlugin.groovy src/main/groovy/grails/plugins/quartz

# then the tests cp -rf ../quartz-2.x/test/unit src/test/groovy mkdir -p src/integration-test/groovy cp -rf ../quartz-2.x/test/integration src/integration-test/groovy

# then templates / other resources cp -rf ../quartz-2.x/src/templates src/main/templates

Step 3 - Alter the plugin descriptor

You will need to add a package declaration to the plugin descriptor. In this case QuartzGrailsPlugin is modified as follows:

// add package declaration
package grails.plugins.quartz
…
class QuartzGrailsPlugin {
 …
}

In addition you should remove the version property from the descriptor as this is now defined in build.gradle.

Step 4 - Update the Gradle build with required dependencies

The repositories and dependencies defined in grails-app/conf/BuildConfig.groovy of the original Grails 2.x plugin will need to be defined in build.gradle of the new Grails 3.x plugin:

compile("org.quartz-scheduler:quartz:2.2.1") {
    exclude group: 'slf4j-api', module: 'c3p0'
  }

Step 5 - Modify Package Imports

In Grails 3.x all internal APIs can be found in the org.grails package and public facing APIs in the grails package. The org.codehaus.groovy.grails package no longer exists.

All package declaration in sources should be modified for the new location of the respective classes. Example org.codehaus.groovy.grails.commons.GrailsApplication is now grails.core.GrailsApplication.

Step 5 - Migrate Plugin Specific Config to application.yml

Some plugins define a default configuration file. For example the Quartz plugin defines a file called grails-app/conf/DefaultQuartzConfig.groovy. In Grails 3.x this default configuration can be migrated to grails-app/conf/application.yml and it will automatically be loaded by Grails without requiring manual configuration merging.

Step 6 - Register ArtefactHandler Definitions

In Grails 3.x ArtefactHandler definitions written in Java need to be declared in a file called src/main/resources/META-INF/grails.factories since these need to be known at compile time.

If the ArtefactHandler is written in Groovy this step can be skipped as Grails will automatically create the grails.factories file during compilation.

The Quartz plugin requires the following definition to register the ArtrefactHandler:

grails.core.ArtefactHandler=grails.plugins.quartz.JobArtefactHandler

Step 7 - Migrate Code Generation Scripts

Many plugins previously defined command line scripts in Gant. In Grails 3.x command line scripts have been replaced by two new features: Code generation scripts and Gradle tasks.

If your script is doing simple code generation then for many cases a code generation script can replace an old Gant script.

The create-job script provided by the Quartz plugin in Grails 2.x was defined in scripts/CreateJob.groovy as:

includeTargets << grailsScript("_GrailsCreateArtifacts")

target(createJob: "Creates a new Quartz scheduled job") { depends(checkVersion, parseArguments)

def type = "Job" promptForName(type: type)

for (name in argsMap.params) { name = purgeRedundantArtifactSuffix(name, type) createArtifact(name: name, suffix: type, type: type, path: "grails-app/jobs") createUnitTest(name: name, suffix: type) } }

setDefaultTarget 'createJob'

A replacement Grails 3.x compatible script can be created using the create-script command:

$ grails create-script create-job

Which creates a new script called src/main/scripts/create-job.groovy. Using the new code generation API it is simple to implement:

description("Creates a new Quartz scheduled job") {
    usage "grails create-job [JOB NAME]"
    argument name:'Job Name', description:"The name of the job"
}

model = model( args[0] ) render template:"Job.groovy", destination: file( "grails-app/jobs/$model.packagePath/${model.simpleName}Job.groovy"), model: model

Please refer to the documentation on Creating Custom Scripts for more information.

Migrating More Complex Scripts Using Gradle Tasks

Using the old Grails 2.x build system it was relatively common to spin up Grails inside the command line. In Grails 3.x it is not possible to load a Grails application within a code generation script created by the create-script command.

Instead a new mechanism specific to plugins exists via the create-command command. The create-command command will create a new ApplicationCommand, for example the following command will execute a query:

import grails.dev.commands.*
import javax.sql.*
import groovy.sql.*
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.*

class RunQueryCommand implements ApplicationCommand {

@Autowired DataSource dataSource

boolean handle(ExecutionContext ctx) { def sql = new Sql(dataSource) println sql.executeQuery("select * from foo") return true } }

With this command in place once the plugin is installed into your local Maven cache you can add the plugin to both the build classpath and the runtime classpath of the application's build.gradle file:

buildscript {
  …
  dependencies {
    classpath "org.grails.plugins:myplugin:0.1-SNAPSHOT"
  }
}
…
dependencies {
  runtime "org.grails.plugins:myplugin:0.1-SNAPSHOT"
}

Grails will automatically create a Gradle task called runQuery and a command named run-query so both the following examples will execute the command:

$ grails run-query
$ gradle runQuery

Step 8 - Delete Files that were migrated or no longer used

You should now delete and cleanup the project of any files no longer required by Grails 3.x (BuildConfig.groovy, Config.groovy, DataSource.groovy etc.)

3.2 Upgrading Applications

Upgrading applications to Grails 3.x will require that you upgrade all plugins the application uses first, hence you should follow the steps in the previous section to first upgrade your plugins.

Step 1 - Create a New Application

Once the plugins are Grails 3.x compatible you can upgrade the application. To upgrade an application it is again best to create a new Grails 3 application using the "web" profile:

$ grails create-app myapp
$ cd myapp

Step 2 - Migrate Sources

The next step is to copy the sources from the original Grails 2 application to the Grails 3 application:

# first the sources
cp -rf ../old_app/src/groovy src/main/groovy
cp -rf ../old_app/src/java src/main/groovy
cp -rf ../old_app/grails-app grails-app

# then the tests cp -rf ../old_app/test/unit src/test/groovy mkdir -p src/integration-test/groovy cp -rf ../old_app/test/integration src/integration-test/groovy

Step 3 - Update the Gradle build with required dependencies

The repositories and dependencies defined in grails-app/conf/BuildConfig.groovy of the original Grails 2.x application will need to be defined in build.gradle of the new Grails 3.x application.

Step 4 - Modify Package Imports

In Grails 3.x all internal APIs can be found in the org.grails package and public facing APIs in the grails package. The org.codehaus.groovy.grails package no longer exists.

All package declaration in sources should be modified for the new location of the respective classes. Example org.codehaus.groovy.grails.commons.GrailsApplication is now grails.core.GrailsApplication.

Step 5 - Migrate Configuration

The configuration of the application will need to be migrated, this can normally be done by simply renaming grails-app/conf/Config.groovy to grails-app/conf/application.groovy and merging the content of grails-app/conf/DataSource.groovy into grails-app/conf/application.groovy.

Note however that Log4j has been replaced by grails-app/conf/logback.groovy for logging, so any logging configuration in grails-app/conf/Config.groovy should be migrated to logback format.

Step 6 - Migrate web.xml Modifications to Spring

If you have a modified web.xml template then you will need to migrate this to Spring as Grails 3.x does not use a web.xml (although it is still possible to have on in src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml).

New servlets and filters can be registered as Spring beans or with ServletRegistrationBean and FilterRegistrationBean respectively.

Migrate Static Assets not handled by Asset Pipeline

If you have static assets in your web-app directory of your Grails 2.x application such as HTML files, TLDs etc. these need to be moved. For public assets such as static HTML pages and so on these should go in src/main/resources/public.

TLD descriptors and not public assets should go in src/main/resources/WEB-INF .

Step 8 - Migrate Tests

Once the package names are corrected unit tests will continue to run, however any tests that extend the deprecated and removed JUnit 3 hierarchy will need to be migrated to Spock or JUnit 4.

Integration tests will need to be annotated with the Integration annotation and should not extend GroovyTestCase or any JUnit 3 super class.