What is the Spring Framework and what is Spring Boot? What are their core features? Which is easier to work with? There are a number of questions related to this, which will hopefully be answered at the end of this blog.
What Is The Spring Framework?
The Spring Framework offers us a robust programming and configuration model for practical java-based business applications despite the deployment platform. It is one of the most commonly used Java EE frameworks, which offers an elaborate environment for programming and configuration.
A most significant aspect of the Spring System is Dependency Injection (DI) or Inversion of Control (IoC), and it is the cornerstone of all Spring Modules. These are the design patterns that help us develop loosely coupled applications that can easily be tested and maintained.
Strictly speaking, this configuration environment level allows components to be loosely coupled and transfers the responsibility for managing components to the container.
Let’s see why these dependency injections are so important.
Example Without Dependency Injection
Here, MyTerm depends on MyModule to perform a specific task.
Since we have created the instance for MyModule, both of them are tightly coupled. If we have to create a mock for MyModule in a unit test for MyTerm, it is obviously difficult. So, how should we make sure to have MyTerm use the mock?
Let’s see how Dependency Injection solves this issue.
Using The Dependency Injection
The above code is now loosely coupled and faster to test using the Spring dependency injection. The Spring IoC container produces, instantiates, and handles what are called beans. They shape the foundation of our application.
The Spring framework provides us with two basic annotations that enable dependency injection:
@Component: annotation labels down a class as a bean which we need to manage
@Autowired: marks and implicitly injects the variables for which needs to find the correct matching object. It supports both XML and annotation configurations as well.
Other Features Of Spring Framework
In simple terms, the Spring framework lessens code duplication and provides templates for different technologies. This conceals the fundamental steps of these technologies. For example, you do not need to write code using Spring’s JdbcTemplate, but you can only concentrate on writing code to execute queries.
The Spring paradigm is also able to dissolve singleton and factory class creation and encourages declarative programming too.
Since the Spring Framework provides you with characteristics such as dependency injection or IOC and manages transactions, it also serves as a base for other Spring frameworks. Spring Boot is a perfect example of this.
How Did Spring Boot Come To Exist?
Over the past few years, the Spring architecture has become increasingly complex due to added functionalities. In order to begin a new Spring project, it involves going through a long process.
There are a number of similar configurations that have to be manually applied when creating an application using the Spring Framework. We will need to specify the frameworks that we want to use and then also select compatible versions. Thus Spring developers came up with a new framework called Spring Boot.
How Does Spring Boot Solve The Main Issues Of The Spring Framework?
Although the Spring Framework focuses on giving you versatility, Spring Boot aims to reduce the length of the code and provide you with the simplest way to build a web application. Spring Boot optimizes the dependencies of Spring and operates applications from a command line directly. Not only does it require an application container, such as Spring, but it also assists in controlling and externally configuring multiple parts.
Spring Boot Auto-Configuration generates the basic configuration necessary to use these frameworks in our application, which results in not needing to do such configurations manually, and it also shortens the time involved in creating an application.
For instance, if HSQLDB is on your classpath and no database link beans have been configured manually, then Spring Boot auto-configures an in-memory database. What is obvious is that Spring Boot has indirectly rolled up Spring annotation classes into its own collection of annotations.
Other Features Of Spring Boot
It helps build a stand-alone application based on the jar dependencies you have enabled, with less or nearly zero configuration.
Mostly with Spring Boot, we just need to notify Spring how many plugins we want to use, and we’ll get a quick setup for them. We can use the spring initializer to pull our application into all the dependencies we need, thereby reducing our development time.
Spring Boot assists in faster development as it has a lot of starter projects that help you get moving very quickly. Many non-functional features are also included, such as embedded servers, some metrics, health checks, safety, etc. In short, with minimal invasion of code, it makes Spring-based application creation simpler.
It comes with the starter definition in the pom.xml file that takes care of installing the JAR dependencies depending on the Spring Boot Requirement. There is no XML configuration requirement, and it also provides many plugins, such as H2, for working with an embedded and in-memory database.
Some of the key differences between Spring and Spring Boot are shown below:
All in all, Spring Boot is a project initializer based on Spring. It prevents you from writing long code with features such as auto-configuration and lets you avoid excessive configuration. The Spring Framework is really a solid option for developers, with the many enhancements listed above. However, when used with Spring Boot, it is highly advantageous.
The above example well illustrates the plot that I explained in the above sense. Spring framework is something that we need to manually change almost all configurations, while Spring Boot already provides us with zero or limited configuration standalone applications. The following diagram is a fairly clear example that illustrates these two frameworks.
The added benefits that come with Spring Boot are of great value to developers as they give minimal effort to complete projects. Spring Boot is the solution to all the concerns that come from the Spring framework.