Learning Groovy

I have dabbled a bit with scripting languages before but for some reason never really used one long term. I think that might change with Groovy. A colleague of mine got me interested in it and I have been picking up all the cool things Groovy can do by reading Dustin’s “Inspired by Actual Events” blog. Come to think of it Groovy could have saved me a ton of time I spent in writing small tools to help me in development.

I like the how concise and simple writing groovy scripts are. Here is a snippet of code to print rows retrieved from a database.

[cc lang='groovy' ]

// Get instance of Groovy’s Sql class
// See http://marxsoftware.blogspot.com/2009/05/groovysql-groovy-jdbc.html
import groovy.sql.Sql

def sql = Sql.newInstance(“jdbc:oracle:thin:@localhost:1521:orcl”, “hr”, “hr”, “oracle.jdbc.pool.OracleDataSource”)

// iterate over query’s result set and “process” each row by printing two names
sql.eachRow(“SELECT employee_id, last_name, first_name FROM employees”)
println “Employee ${it.first_name} ${it.last_name} has ID of ${it.employee_id}.”


At work I needed to retrieve about 100 XMLs stored in a database, strip out some tags from it and write it to a file. It took about 15 lines of Groovy code to do it. Probably could have done it in less but I am just learning Groovy.

Here is another way to use Groovy that I wish I knew before. Embedding Groovy in Ant:

[cc lang='xml' ]

     project.references.found.each {
         println it.name


Though the above snippet is simple, it shows how the Groovy script is aware of the Ant references. Pretty powerful.

I will showcase just another snippet before I am off to learn more Groovy. Invoking a web service:

[cc lang='groovy' ]
@Grab(group=’org.codehaus.groovy.modules’, module=’groovyws’, version=’0.5.2′)
import groovyx.net.ws.WSClient

proxy = new WSClient(“http://www.w3schools.com/webservices/tempconvert.asmx?WSDL”, this.class.classLoader)

result = proxy.CelsiusToFahrenheit(0)
println “You are probably freezing at ${result} degrees Farhenheit”

Vasanth Dharmaraj is a Java Architect currently working for Western Union living in the Bay Area. He is interested in programming, gadgets, formula one... You can follow him on Twitter.

Posted in Groovy, Java, Software

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