What is Spring Boot? 

Spring Boot is an open-source, Java-based framework that is used to quickly start to develop new Spring projects by providing pre-build code defaults.

Digital Delivery
8 min
Digital Delivery
What is Spring Boot? 

Easy to learn, is the reason why the community loves Java Spring Boot. It makes it easier to develop web applications and microservices as well.

Spring Boot explained

Java Spring Boot is a tool through which spring-based microservices are easier to set up. The same ease and practicality are seen in creating and developing web applications that run on their own.

The Spring Framework requires a steep learning curve. It also has a complicated toolset, making it a difficult framework for relatively inexperienced development teams.

Users can access lots of documentation and tutorials on the Spring Framework website and elsewhere on the internet. However, the framework can still take many months to master. 

This is where Spring Boot proves valuable. It's a tool that lets teams develop apps without learning the Spring Framework. As a result, Spring Boot users can create standalone Spring applications with minimum configuration. 

Spring Boot is an open-source tool maintained by the organization called Pivotal. Since its launch, there have been multiple versions of the platform.

At the moment, the most recent version is Spring Boot 2.7, which came out in May 2022. Spring Boot 3.0, based on Spring Framework 6.0, will be released in November. 

Creating Spring applications with Spring Boot

Spring Boot removes the pain points of the Spring Framework by following its three core capabilities.

1. Spring Boot Auto-configures the Spring Framework

Spring Boot has built-in autoconfiguration features. That means developers can create Spring-based applications with predetermined dependencies, removing the need to configure apps manually.

Spring Boot automatically configures the Spring Framework according to the user's settings and Spring best practices.

As a result, developers can save time and reduce human error when configuring Spring applications.

2. Spring Boot lets developers create apps that run on their own

Unlike the Spring Framework, Spring Boot lets users set up Spring apps that run on their own using starter dependencies.

For example, you can create a standalone Java application based on the Spring Framework with little code. 

The same application can go live on any platform without relying on any external web server. This is done only by embedding into your app a web server for example Tomcat during the initial process.

3. Spring Boot Takes an Opinionated Approach to Starter Dependencies

Spring Boot uses something called an opinionated approach—a software design pattern that guides users when creating Spring apps.

That helps developers add and customize starter dependencies. Spring Boot's opinionated approach chooses the right values and packages to install, saving developers time.

On the other hand, the Spring Framework requires users to add and customize starter dependencies manually. Spring Boot refers to starter dependencies as Spring Starters, and over 50 of these plugins are available in the tool.

Many Spring Starters require no code, making it simple to manage starter dependencies. Here are some of the most popular ones: 

  • spring-boot-starter-artemis: Simplifies JMS messaging when using Apache Artemis
  • spring-boot-starter-mail: Supports Java Mail and email sending on the Spring Framework
  • spring-boot-starter-web: Helps build web applications such as RESTful applications via Spring MVC
  • spring-boot-starter-activemq: Supports JMS messaging when using Apache ActiveMQ

Benefits of using Spring Boot

We believe Spring Boot is a valuable tool that simplifies the Spring Framework. Here are some of its benefits:

Creating Spring apps without mastering the Spring Framework

By using the Spring Boot tool, developers don't have to learn the Spring Framework. Users can start creating Spring applications that run independently without understanding the Spring Framework's concepts. 

Even the most experienced developers can make mistakes when using the Spring Framework, such as not correctly implementing dependency injections.

Spring Boot prevents these errors from happening and enables developers to create Spring apps without the hard work.

Spring Framework's feature accessibility

There's a misconception that Spring Boot prevents developers from benefiting from all of the features in the Spring Framework ecosystem, but this isn't the case.

Spring Boot users can still access validation, data binding, event handling, and other capabilities when creating Spring applications.

Users also access the Spring Framework's testing and Spring security features. 

Reduce Development Time

The Spring Boot application tool reduces the time it takes to create and develop Spring apps using the Spring Framework.

Users don't need to write lots of boilerplate code, manage XML configurations, or waste time handling annotations. This reduced development time can increase productivity and allow users to focus on other application development projects. 

Java usage

Like the Spring Framework, Spring Boot relies on Java—one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Java is easy to learn, and many developers find it more comfortable to implement than other languages like Python. 

Other core capabilities of Java include multithreading support, automatic garbage collection, and platform independence. 

Spring Boot as an Open Source

Spring Boot is an open-source tool, meaning it's free to use. Users don't have to spend extra money creating Java-based applications and can reduce development costs.

Despite being open source, users can still access Spring Boot tutorials in various places on the internet and learn how to use this tool's many features. 

Downsides of Spring Boot

Spring Boot requires knowledge of Java and a basic understanding of Spring applications. It's not a tool that anyone can use.

However, Spring Boot has a much easier learning curve than the Spring Framework, making it an excellent option for many development teams. 

Perhaps the biggest drawback of using Spring Boot over the Spring Framework is its lack of flexibility.

For example, Spring Boot's auto-configuration capabilities remove some of the freedom developers get when creating Spring applications from scratch.

That's because it automatically configures the Spring Framework based on a user's settings and Spring best practices. However, this issue won't affect most Java developers unless they want to create highly customized and complex apps. 

Spring Boot use case

A small development team at a financial services company wants to create a Java application that customers can access via their web browsers.

The development team doesn't have the knowledge or resources to set up this app using the Spring Framework.

Spring Boot simplifies the creation of Spring-based enterprise applications with its autoconfiguration capabilities, opinionated approach to starter dependencies, and ability to create apps that run on their own.

Because Spring Boot is open source, the team saves money on development costs. The team also reduces development time and launches its new app in a speedy timeframe. 

Quick reminder of Spring Framework

Application developers use this open-source Java platform for infrastructure support when creating Java applications.

The Spring Framework allows users to build applications from plain old Java objects (POJOs) and apply enterprise services to these objectives in a non-invasive way.

Some use cases for the Spring Framework include:

  • Using Java methods in database transactions without managing transaction APIs.
  • Using local Java methods as remote procedures without managing remote APIs. 
  • Using local Java methods as management operations without managing JMX APIs.
  • Using local Java methods as message handlers without managing JMS APIs.

The Spring Framework is one of the world's most popular Java frameworks because it makes it easier and quicker to program Java web services and applications. 

Final word

Java Spring Boot helps development teams set up Spring-based microservices and web applications without learning the Spring framework.

This open-source tool still requires knowledge of Java but can speed up development times and allow users to focus on other projects. More developers use Spring Boot to create applications without the hassle. 

Adservio specializes in a wide range of development services that help you achieve your digital transformation goals. Let us help you create Spring-based applications that grow your business. Contact us to learn more. 

Published on
October 27, 2022

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