Spring Boot is an open-source Java-based framework introduced by Pivotal Software, Inc. It has become a popular solution for building both Web Application Archive (WAR) deployments and stand-alone Java apps due to the time-efficient and hassle-free development process.
Spring Boot stands out among other frameworks because it provides software engineers with agile configuration, sturdy batch processing, efficient workflow, and a great variety of tools, helping develop robust and scalable Spring-based applications.
This article will provide you with an insight into Spring Boot Framework, covering its main characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.
When it comes to Spring Boot, first, it should be mentioned that Spring Boot and Spring Framework are different technologies.
Spring is an entire ecosystem for Java development encompassing a vast number of out-of-box modules such as Spring MVC, Spring JDBC, Spring Security, and others.
Spring Boot, in contrast, is an extension to Spring, used to build applications utilizing microservices. It facilitates and speeds up the development process, making it more productive due to its core features.
Autoconfiguration is a core Spring Boot approach to reduce the number of actions developers have to take. It automatically configures a Spring application based on dependencies you added before. Spring Boot autoconfiguration offers robust default features while saving great flexibility.
Opinionated means that Spring Boot decides by itself on the set of default configured beans which you can override if necessary. Moreover, this framework chooses the packages to install for the dependencies you may need. This way, Spring Boot developers start building their applications right away, concentrating more on business logic since much of the work is done by the framework itself.
An embedded server is a part of an application. It means that you don’t have to preinstall it in the deployment environment. Spring Boot offers a Tomcat embedded server by default, but you can change it to Jetty or Undertow. Embedded servers provide more efficient deployment and reduce app restart time.
Spring Boot lets developers set up and run stand-alone, production-grade Spring apps without deploying them to a web server. To run a Java app it’s necessary to package it, to choose, download, and configure the web server, and to organize the deployment process. In contrast, a Spring Boot Java app needs only packaging, after that it is ready to run, using simple commands.
Spring Boot app development is closely related to microservices that help to create light and ready-to-run applications.
Microservices is an approach to software architecture that allows developers to write and deliver the app code in independent and easy-to-manage pieces. What is more, microservices provide developers with many other extra benefits:
- easier and faster deployment
- easier maintenance;
- improved efficiency;
- better fault tolerance;
- improved scalability, etc.
While Spring is a complicated framework with a steep learning curve, Spring Boot is an easier way to dive into the Spring ecosystem. By offering much automation, Spring Boot helps developers avoid tiresome manual configurations, reduce the learning curve, and achieve successful results faster.
Although Spring Boot doesn’t require learning Spring, to improve your development skills it can be useful to go back to Spring essentials to understand some inner Spring Boot details such as Dependency Injection, how to do configurations, etc.
Here are the pros and cons of Spring Boot framework that will help you decide if this development tool meets your business demands.
Spring Boot was designed to help software engineers accelerate the development process, allowing them to eliminate time-consuming initial set-up and configuring of the deployment environment. The main Spring Boot benefits include:
- Time-efficient and effortless development of Sring-based apps.
- Autoconfiguration of all components for a production-grade Spring application.
- Prebuilt embedded servers (Tomcat, Jetty, and Undertow), leading to accelerated and more productive app deployment.
- HTTP end-points, letting enter inner app features such as metrics, health status, etc.
- No XML configuration.
- A vast choice of plugins, facilitating developers’ work with embedded and in-memory databases.
- Easy access to databases and queue services such as MySQL, Oracle, MongoDB, Redis, ActiveMQ, and others.
- Smooth integration with the Spring ecosystem.
- Large community and a great variety of tutorials, facilitating the getting-to-know period.
Lack of control. Due to the opinionated style, Spring Boot creates many unused dependencies that result in large deployment file size.
The challenging and time-consuming process of converting the legacy or existing Spring project into the Spring Boot apps.
Not suitable for large-scale projects. Working seamlessly with microservices, according to many developers, Spring Boot doesn’t fit well for building monolithic applications.
Spring Boot has become an integral element of the Java ecosystem, offering an efficient and scalable set of tools for building Spring apps with microservices architecture. Due to default setup for unit and integration tests, it allows developers to enjoy an accelerated development and deployment processes. Moreover, Spring Boot helps developers build robust apps with clear and safe configurations without much time and effort spent on gaining extra knowledge about Spring.
To decide whether this Java development solution meets your project requirements, check out the benefits and drawbacks of Spring Boot, its core features and align them with your business goals. This way, you will be able to clear up any doubts and choose the best solution for your company.