What comes first- Chicken or the Egg? Something on a similar note Spring vs Spring Boot. Though the framework came earlier, Spring Boot has taken over with no configuration mess. In this blog, we will help you clear out the basic concepts, spring and spring boot differences, and the unique features of both these frameworks so that you can analyze what is right for your project plans.
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Table of Contents
Looking back at last few years, the Spring framework has become quite complex due to added functionalities. As a result, it takes enormous time and lengthy processes to start a new Spring project. However, to cut down the extra time and effort, Spring Boot was introduced. Using Spring framework as a foundation, Spring Boot is becoming the most preferred framework lately. The question: Spring Boot vs Spring, which is better, still hovers on the mind of many developers.
That said, you might be intrigued by questions like what Spring Boot is and their goals? How is Spring Framework vs Spring Boot different, and how can we compare them? This guide states the basics and Java Spring Boot vs Spring Framework difference, along with their features and advantages. The guide also states how spring Boot has solved the problems faced with spring. By the end of this guide, you will get precise knowledge about choosing Spring Boot over the spring framework. Straightaway, let’s get started with the Spring vs Spring Boot discussion in detail!
Java Spring Framework Overview
Spring is a lightweight open-source framework that enables Java EE7 developers to develop reliable, scalable, and simple enterprise applications. It is one of the widely used Java Frameworks to build applications. When it comes to the Java platform, Spring offers an exclusive programming and configuration model.
This framework aims to offer multiple ways to assist you in handling your business objects by simplifying the Java EE development and helping developers be more productive. Spring considers the current business needs and works on fulfilling them.
With Spring, the development of web applications has become quite easy as compared to the classic Application Programming Interfaces(APIs) and Java frameworks like JavaServer Pages(JSP), Java Database Connectivity(JDBC), and Java Servlets. Spring framework adopts new techniques like Plain Old Java Object(POJO), Aspect-Oriented Programming(AOP), and Dependency Injection(DI) to build enterprise applications.
In other terms, the Java Spring Framework can also be referred to as a set of sub-frameworks or layers like Spring AOP, Spring Web Flow, Spring ORM(object-relational mapping), and Spring Web MVC. These modules collectively can offer better functionalities for a web application.
Benefits Of Spring Framework
- Quite a lightweight framework considering the POJO model
- Supports Declarative programming
- Supports both annotation and XML configurations
- Offers middleware services
- Enables easy testability and loose coupling
- Eliminates the formation of factory classes and singleton.
Best Features Of Spring Framework
The Spring Framework has several features that are disintegrated into 20 modules to solve several problems. A few more popular Spring Modules include,
- Spring JDBC
- Spring MVC
- Spring ORM
- Spring Test
- Spring AOP
- Spring JMS
- Spring Expression Language(SpEL)
Dissimilar to other frameworks, Spring works on specific areas of any application. One chief feature of Spring is the dependency injection. The dependency injection helps to make things simpler by enabling developers to build loosely coupled applications.
Having said that, despite having multiple benefits to offer, why should you choose Spring Boot? To be more precise, what led to the introduction of Spring Boot?
How Spring Boot Emerged?
With the help of Spring Boot, you can simplify and use the Spring framework easily. While Spring offers loosely coupled applications, it becomes a tedious and difficult task to keep track of the loosely coupled blocks. This is exactly where Spring Boot comes to play.
With the Spring architecture becoming complicated day by day, introducing Spring Boot was necessary. To begin a new project in Spring involves varied processes. When you want to build a Spring framework app, multiple similar configurations need to apply manually. Consequently, it needs to specify frameworks that are to be used and select compatible versions as well. Hence, Spring developers introduced a new framework known as the Spring Boot.
Spring Boot Overview
Spring Boot is built over the Spring framework. Hence, it offers all the features of spring. Spring Boot is a microservice-based framework that enables you to build your app in a shorter time. Each element in Spring Boot is auto-configured. Developers simply need to use accurate configuration to use certain functionality. In case you wish to develop REST API, Spring Boot is highly recommended!
Besides offering utmost flexibility, Spring Boot focuses on shortening the code length, providing you with the easiest method to build a Web application. Featuring default codes and annotation configuration, this framework reduces the time taken to develop an application. In other words, Spring Boot helps to build a stand-alone application with almost zero configuration.
Benefits Of Spring Boot
- It does not need XML configuration
- It builds stand-alone applications
- Compared to Spring, Spring Boot is easier to launch
- Spring Boot does not ask you to deploy WAR files
- It focuses on reducing the LOC
- It helps to embed Jetty, Undertow, or Tomcat directly
- Offers easy management and customization
- Provides production-ready features.
Spring Boot is typically an extension of Spring Framework that removes the boilerplate configurations needed to set up a fast and efficient Spring application.
Best Features Of Spring Boot
A few features of Spring Boot include,
- Embedded server to eliminate complexities in application development
- Opinionated starter dependencies to ease the build and app configuration
- Auto-configuration for Spring functionality: A chief feature that configures the class based on a specific requirement automatically. It saves you from noting lengthy codes and avoid unnecessary configuration
- Health check, metrics, and externalized configuration.
Spring Boot Starter Dependencies
Spring Boot offers a range of starter dependencies for distinct spring modules. Some of the common starter dependencies that allow easy integration include,
Spring vs Spring Boot: Which is Popular?
Spring boot wins the popularity luck when comparing it with the fame of java spring framework. The first point to be noted is that Spring Boot is based on Java. Java being the most popular programming language globally, there is no doubt why Spring Boot is gaining popularity. Besides this, Spring Boot popularity helps you build an application quickly without worrying about the accuracy and safety of the configuration.
Spring Boot has a vast user community. This further denotes that you can easily find learning courses and materials. Spring Boot is further useful while performing repetitive or long operations.
Why Choose Spring Boot Over Spring Framework?
A chief aspect of Spring Framework is Dependency Injection(DI) or Inversion Of Control(IoC). Being cornerstones of every Spring module, these patterns help developers develop loosely coupled applications that are easy to test and maintain.
The configuration environment level enables components to stay loosely coupled, thereby transferring the responsibility for handling components to the container.
Let us look at why Dependency Injections are vital.
Example Without Dependency Injection
Now, let’s look into how we can solve this issue using Dependency Injection.
Example Using The Dependency Injection
The Spring Framework offers us two primary annotations that allow dependency injection.
- @Component: We need to manage a bean that is labeled down by the annotation
- @Autowired: Notes and injects the variables. It supports both annotation and XML configurations.
Spring Boot Advantages Over Spring MVC Framework
We already saw the case of Dependency Injection and how with and without DI, your web applciation can drastically vary. Here are some more benefits of Spring boot framework over Spring.
- Assists in autoconfiguration of all components for a production-grade Spring application
- Increases the efficiency of the developmental team
- Eliminates manual work that includes annotations, complicated XML configurations, and boilerplate code
- Creates and tests Java-based apps by offering a default setup for integration and unit tests
- Features embedded HTTP serves such as Tomcat and Jetty to test applications
- Offers great admin support. You can handle and monitor through remote access to the application.
- Enables easy connecting with queue services and databases such as Redis, Oracle, MySQL, ElasticSearch, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, ActiveMQ, Solr, Rabbit MQ, etc
- Integration of Spring Boot with spring ecosystem is easy
- Provides flexibility in configuring Database Transaction, Java Beans, and XML configurations
- Simplifies the dependency
- Tags an embedded Servlet Container along with it
- Default configurations allow faster application bootstrapping
- Spring Boot does not require a deployment descriptor like the Spring framework.
How Spring Boot Solves Spring Framework’s Problem
Although Spring aims to give you versatility, Spring Boot focuses on reducing the length of the code, thereby providing you with the easiest and simplest method to build a web app. Spring Boot enhances the Spring dependencies and runs applications directly from the command line. Not only does it need a container like Spring, but Spring Boot also helps in monitoring and configuring the multiple external parts. The Auto-configuration in Spring Boot builds the primary configuration essential to implement these frameworks in the application automatically. In addition, it reduces the time invested in building the application. This is why we use spring boot instead of spring framework.
Spring vs Spring Boot: Comparison Table
Find out the difference between Spring and Spring Boot before choosing the right framework for your upcoming project.
||It is a Java EE framework that developers use to build web apps.
||It is an advanced layer added to Spring framework; developers use to build REST APIs.
||The most essential feature is Dependency Injection (DI) which enables ease of coding, testing, and maintaining the application by removing dependencies.
||The prime feature of Spring Boot is Autoconfiguration, which helps with speedy and easy development. It eliminates the necessity to pre-define beans for autoconfiguration.
|Why to use
||To develop Java Enterprise Edition applications with ease, simplicity, and enhance productivity.
||It uplifts the Spring framework by adding the RAD (rapid application development) functionality.
||Lousely coupled applications
||Explicit configuration of servers.
||Pre-install or embed servers like Tomcat and Jetty.
||No support for in-memory database.
||Support for in-memory databases like H2.
||Many lines of boilerplate code for simple task.
||Eliminates Boilerplate code.
||Manual configuration building.
||Default configurations for faster bootsratping.
|HTTP authentication for Security
||Requires the standard spring-security-web and spring-security-config dependencies
||Only needs to define the dependency spring-boot-starter-security.
||No plugins for Maven, Gradle, and other build tools.
||Avails & includes plugins for Gradle, Maven, and many more features
Spring and Spring Boot: When to Use Which one?
Some classic use cases of the spring framework can be the following: serverless applications, secure server-side of an application, scalable microservices, building event-driven architecture, developing asynchronous applications, and automated processes using batches.
To put it straight, let me say opt for the Spring framework when you prefer to manually modify and update all the configurations that you are going to use in your application. Whereas, you should use the Spring Boot framework when you want to build standalone applications, complex and multi-functional features in your application like using combinations of configurations as Spring boot will provide you with nil or limited configurations.
To conclude, Spring Boot is a project Initializer that is based on Spring. When eliminating the excess configuration, the Spring framework used with Spring Bootoot is an excellent option and highly advantageous for developers. It is as simple as that. Spring Framework requires manual changes in every configuration, whereas Spring Boot readily offers limited or zero stand-alone applications.
Ideally, the Spring Boot Framework was introduced to assist the developers in reducing the time invested in development, thereby improving performance by offering integration tests and unit setup. To sum up, Spring Boot is typically an extension of Spring that makes testing, developing, and deploying more convenient. On that note, there is no doubt why you should prefer to hire spring boot developer over Spring Framework these days.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No, you can not learn Spring Boot straightaway. Knowing Java will help you understand the concepts of Spring Framework.
With Spring Boot, your microservices can be built super fast and will execute and iterate briskly.
Spring Boot was never meant to replace Spring framework. It eases and speeds development.
It is advisable to avoid using Sprong Boot when creating a monolithic application, or when working with microservices.
Spring Boot is best suited for speedily developing spring-based stand-alone applications.