I am a big fan of Spring Roo and it's potential, but am a bit concerned with Roo and where it can go. I recently had a discussion on a Javaranch Forum with one of the authors of the Spring Roo In Action book, Ken Rimple, here's what I wrote him:
I like Roo as well and I do see potential for it, but there are some aspects of it that makes me think that it's not quite ready for prime time (i.e. can I take a project in Spring Roo beyond creating prototypes). The rigidity on the web tier is a tough sell. I am a server-side developer for the most part, but what drew me to Spring Roo was the possibility of putting up JEE/Spring based applications quickly. Part of the reason I enjoy server side development vs. web development is the web just adds more stuff to configure and deal with. A tool like Spring Roo has the potential to eliminate a lot of the config nightmare that goes along with JEE development. However Roo seems kind of rigid on the web tier. Spring based tools are renowned for their flexibility/adaptability. The Spring Roo project needs to make that web tier more flexible to really have a fighting chance against Grails and Rails.
I have played around with Roo and I think it's pretty cool, but my concern is building something with Roo and having to integrate it into a current Spring project. There seems to be a fair amount fo code removal you have to do. It's as if all of the work that Roo saved gets wasted because you have to go back and retro fit Roo into what you have already built. It seems to me that if Roo wants to really make an impact they have to make the web tier as flexible as possible. This is where a majority of potential Roo developers will come from, and the web tier needs the most flexibility. Furthermore, developers should need to remove only a minimal amount of code to make Roo generated code fit a current Spring project. Right now Spring Roo seems fine if you are starting from scratch, but if you have a current Spring project, integrating Roo may be more work than a developer may want. And most development is maintenance/upgrading a current system versus start from scratch development.
Ken suggested I make my comments known on this forum, which I am doing now. Again, I am a Spring Roo advocate and love the possibilities. I think there are somethings to be worked out, but nothing that's a deal killer. I am willing to put my money where my mouth if need be and contribute, time and effort to this project. I just want to see Roo get the kind of exposure and juice that Rails and Grails gets. With some changes, I believe Roo can become the go to tool for building Spring projects quickly and easily.