What Is Spring Boot and Why Should It Be Chosen Over Spring?


Do you wish to speed up your web development? Are your projects unable to meet the deadlines set by the clients? Do you want to fast track your applications?

Why was Spring Boot Needed?

Before understanding Spring Boot, you will have to understand why it is needed? For Java developers who choose Spring over the older and more complex Java EE, Spring provides speed and scalability along with various components in its ecosystem that eliminate redundancy from coding.

Spring introduced concepts like dependency injection, REST, Batch, AOP, and others, etc. Spring was also easily integrated with other frameworks like Struts and Hibernate. However, there were still qualms related to the configuration complexities of the Spring projects. Since Spring is mainly used for the development of enterprise and large-scale projects, these projects require external Java files and need to be configured heavily.

For developers who work on small projects, the difference in the configuration of enterprise projects is noticeable. As a developer, it is undesirable to spend a lot of time on the configuration when that time can be utilized in the coding of business logic.

Hence, with the arrival of Spring Boot, developers have received a much-need boost that eases up their development complexities. The important thing to note with Spring Boot is that it is not a web framework and, therefore,  cannot be viewed as a complete replacement for Spring framework. Rather, it is a solution or an approach for web development in Java that minimizes the heavier configurations and dependencies. This means that as soon as you start a Spring Boot project, you can run it instantly without many configurations. Because of this, it has become one of the most popular tools in the development of Spring projects.

What is Spring Boot?

With the emergence of Spring Boot, Java developers are able to center their attention on the application logic. This means developers are saved from the complexities and difficulties associated with the configuration of web projects. The important thing to note with Spring Boot is that it is not a web framework. Rather, it a solution or an approach for web development in Java.

Why Spring Boot Over Spring?

The questions that come into mind with the mention of Spring Boot are, “Why should I use it when there is Spring? Is it an extension of Spring?”

Starters

Are you tired of searching Google for the source codes of different dependency descriptors? Spring Boot has a certain feature called ‘starter’. These starters are available for a number of use cases, which is handy for quick configurations. With a starter dependency for the most used Java technologies, these starters are highly productive for the POM management and help in the development of production-ready applications. Some of these are the following.

Web

Suppose you are building a REST service. You may need to use Spring MVC, Jetty, and Jersey for your web project. All of these technologies require their own set of dependencies. So will you add all of them?

Fortunately, with the Spring Boot starter, you will only be required to type a single dependency known as ‘spring-boot-starter-web’. Now, you can proceed to write your REST service without adding any further dependency.

Test

Whether you use JUnit or Spring Test for your testing, you will have to add all of them one-by-one in your project. However, with the help of ‘spring-boot-starter-test’, all your testing dependencies can automatically be managed. If the need for the upgrade of the Boot library arises in the future, then you will just have to make a single change for the Boot version.

JPA

Persistence is a common feature of Java’s web projects. Mostly, it is Java Persistent API (JPA) that requires its own set of dependencies. However, with a single line addition of spring-boot-starter-data-jpa, all of the required dependencies are automatically managed.

Opinionated Default Configuration

Whether you are working with Groovy or Java, Spring Boot provides convenience with the help of the coding conventions of the opinionated default configuration. This means that developers do not have to spend time in the writing of boilerplate code. Likewise, the XML annotations and configuration complexities can also be reduced significantly. As a result, the productivity of a project increases considerably.

Integration

Spring’s projects need to be configured so a developer can get its ecosystem’s necessary features. The use of Spring Boot does not mean leaving the Spring’s ecosystem. In fact, Spring Boot helps with the integration of Spring technologies like Spring JDBC, Spring Security, and others to your development toolbox.

Scripting

Spring Boot comes with a command line module that can be used for Spring scripts. These scripts are written in the JVM language, Groovy. Groovy adopts various features from Java, and thus it provides convenience for Java developers to use without meddling with the boilerplate coding conundrums. The tool can also be used with Spring’s Batch, Integration, and Web.

Type-Safe Configuration

Spring Boot also comes with the support for type-safe configuration. This helps in the validation of the configurations of web projects.

Externalize Configuration

Do you consistently need to modify your configurations as you write a code in a variety of software environments? With Spring Boot, developers have the ability to externalize their configuration and write the same code for all the environments. As a result, reusability is increased in the projects.

Logging

Spring Boot also helps common logging for internal logging. This means that all the dependencies of a web project are set by default. However, developers can customize these dependencies if needed.

Embedded Servers

Spring Boot provides Embedded Servers. This means that you can eliminate the need of WAR files from your toolkit. Instead, you can now create JAR files and put your Tomcat Web Server inside the JAR file. This JAR file is called an embedded server. Now this embedded server can be run on any machine that recognizes JVM.

First Spring boot application

Before you start building spring boot application you need to have some tools ready.

  • Java 8 and above
  • Apache Maven 3.3.9
  • Spring STS/eclipse

 

  1. Open STS IDE select New-> Maven project. Select your workspace location.
  2. In New maven project explorer select maven-archetype-quickstart
  3. Enter Name of your application (Let say “myFirstSpringBootApplication”) and click the finish button.
  4. Open pox.xml and add spring-boot-starter-parent and the spring-boot-starter-web dependency.

<parent>
<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId>
<version>2.0.3.RELEASE</version>
</parent>

<dependency>
<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-web</artifactId>
</dependency>

  1. Go to App.java which was created by default and add @SpringBootApplication               import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
                   import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;              @SpringBootApplication
  2. Create a new class TestMyFirstSpringBootApplicationController and write the code like this.

import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;
@RestController
public class TestMyFirstSpringBootApplicationController {
      @RequestMapping(“/”)
      public String firstMethod() {
             return “yey .I wrote my first application!”;

}

}

 

  1. Start your application by clicking on Run As-> Java Application
  2. Test your application. Open the web browser and type http://localhost:8080. You should see the message “yey. I wrote my first application!”;
  3. Write your comment on my blog and suggest if you want to update /add anything

 

Final Thoughts

Are you exhausted with the management of dependencies? Do you hate to continuously write boilerplate code? Well, then you should certainly think about using Spring Boot, especially for small projects.

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