Difference between Spring and Spring Boot?

Over the past few years, the Spring framework became more complex and time taking. If you want to build a new project from scratch it will take a lot of time and the procedure will be very complex.

To avoid this problem Spring boot framework came into existence. It uses all the features of spring with having some additional features.

Now it will become very easy to create a new project from scratch in a shorter span of time using the Spring boot framework.

In our blog, we are going to discuss both Spring and Spring boot frameworks with their features separately.

Difference between Spring and Spring Boot

SpringSpring Boot
Spring framework is used to create Java applications.Spring Boot is used to create restful web services.
The main feature of spring is dependency injection.The main feature of Spring boot is auto-configuration that automatically configures the class based on their requirements.
It allows us to develop loosely coupled applications.It allows us to create standalone applications.
It increases the line of code.Spring Boot helps to reduce boiler pate code.
In the Spring framework, we have to add the server externally.Spring boot comes with the concept of embedded servers such as Tomcat and Jetty.
In the Spring framework, we have to define our dependency manually in the POM file.In comes with a new feature Starter that automatically download all the required dependency in the POM file.
It does noes not support any database.It provides supports for many embedded databases such as the H2 database.

Spring

Spring is used to create lightweight web applications. It is an open-source framework that helps to build simple, reliable, and scalable web applications.

Spring framework uses dependency injection(DI), simple plain old java (POJO) classes, and aspect-oriented programming(AOP). It supports various types of configuration such as XML annotations, Java Config and Annotation-based.

The Spring framework is mapped consists of some interesting features such as Dependency Injection (DI) and also consists of some modules like Spring JDBC, ORM, MVC, Security, Aop, and Test.

Advantages of Spring

There are many advantages of Spring that are listed below:

  • Loose Coupling: Applications that are built from the spring framework are loosely coupled due to dependency injection.
  • Light Weight: Spring is known as the lightweight framework because of its POJO implementation. It doesn’t force any developer to inherit any class or interfaces.
  • Declarative Support: Spring provides declarative support validation, transaction, formatting, and caching.
  • Predefined Templates: It provides templates for Jdbc , hibernate & Jpa. Spring framework helps to hide the basic steps of these technologies.
  • Powerful Abstraction: The Spring framework provide powerful abstraction to Java EE specifications such JDBC, JPA etc.

Disadvantages of Spring

The major drawback of the Spring framework are listed below:

  • More Complex: Spring framework is more complex. It requires a lot of configuration. If you are not aware of spring then first you will need to learn spring which is also a difficult process.
  • Create Confusion: Spring provides parallel mechanism means multiple options to developers which creates confusion among them.

Spring Boot

Spring Boot provides an open-source platform where developers are able to create standalone applications.

It helps to create production-grade applications with less configuration. Spring boot is mainly used to create microservices with auto-configuration. It supports all the features of the Spring framework.

Advantages of Spring Boot

The main advantages of Spring Boot are listed below:

  • Reduced Boilerplate code: Spring Boot provides the ability to developers to build a production-grade, spring-powered web application in the easiest possible manner with minimum lines of boilerplate of codes. After creating a web application we can easily create a jar/war file and deploy it to the server like tomcat and jetty.
  • Autoconfiguration: Spring boot supports autoconfiguration that allows developers to configure their web applications. If you want to change the database of the application, you just add the dependency in your POM file and Spring boot will automatically download the dependency and configure the database for you.
  • Standalone: It is one of the primary features of the Spring Boot framework. There is no need to deploy your application. you have to just run and start your application in your browser.
  • Increased Productivity: Spring Boot helps to reduce and production time which increases the productivity of the developers.
  • Embedded Servers: It comes with an embedded server like tomcat and jetty.
  • Support Embedded Database: The Spring Boot framework also support embedded databases such as H2.
  • Provides In-built Logger: Spring boot also provides support to logging such as log back.
  • Remote Support: Developers should be able to access their application via remote in Spring boot.

Disadvantages of Spring Boot

The major drawback of Spring Boot are listed below:

  • Lack of Control: One of the major drawback of Spring boot is a lack of control. The opinionated approach downloads many extra dependencies that are not required for our project which increases the deployment file size.
  • Not suitable for large application: Spring boot is also not suitable for large-scale projects.
  • Insufficient In-built logging ability: Although it comes with some basic features of logging that help to monitor their health status that is also not sufficient.

Required Maven Dependency

Minimum dependency required to create a web application using the Spring framework are listed below:

<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework/spring-web -->
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-web</artifactId>
    <version>5.3.10</version>
</dependency>
<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework/spring-webmvc -->
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-webmvc</artifactId>
    <version>5.3.10</version>
</dependency>

Whereas in the case of the Spring Boot framework, the minimum dependency required to create a web application is given below:

<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework.boot/spring-boot-starter-web -->
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-web</artifactId>
    <version>2.5.4</version>
</dependency>

Spring boot framework provides multiple starter dependencies for different spring modules. Some of them are given below:

  • spring-boot-starter-web
<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework.boot/spring-boot-starter-web -->
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-web</artifactId>
    <version>2.5.4</version>
</dependency>
  • spring-boot-starter-data-jpa
<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework.boot/spring-boot-starter-data-jpa -->
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-data-jpa</artifactId>
    <version>2.5.4</version>
</dependency>
  • Spring-boot-starter-test
<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework.boot/spring-boot-starter-test -->
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-test</artifactId>
    <version>2.5.4</version>
    <scope>test</scope>
</dependency>
  • spring-boot-starter-security
<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework.boot/spring-boot-starter-security -->
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-security</artifactId>
    <version>2.5.4</version>
</dependency>
  • spring-boot-starter-thymeleaf
<!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.springframework.boot/spring-boot-starter-thymeleaf -->
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-thymeleaf</artifactId>
    <version>2.5.4</version>
</dependency>

Can I learn Spring boot without spring?

There is a lot of confusion amongst students and new developers about whether they can learn spring boot without learning the spring framework. The answer to this question is YES, you can easily learn the Spring boot without learning spring.

If you want to build restful web services quickly with minimum configurations then you should learn Spring boot otherwise you will first learn the basics of Spring Framework.

Is Java Spring hard to learn?

Spring framework is easy to learn. It is because the whole Spring framework is based on the POJO classes instead of depending on special classes and interfaces.

Developers can easily write their code and build a Java application without having to go out of the box to achieve the wiring.

Conclusion

The main motive of the Spring boot framework is to reduce production time and increase efficiency. If you want to build restful web services you should definitely go with Spring boot but if you want to build a heavy and large-scale application you should definitely go with the Spring framework.

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