Spring Boot vs. Spring: Which should you use?

Nidhi Inamdar|February 9, 2022|9 Minute read|
Blog / Technology Posts / Spring Boot vs. Spring: Which should you use?




With the addition of new functions in the last several years, the Spring framework seems to have become fairly sophisticated. As a result, starting a new Spring venture takes a long time and involves many steps. Spring Boot, on the other hand, was introduced to save time and effort. Spring Boot, which is based on the Spring framework, is quickly becoming the most used framework. Many developers are still debating between Spring Boot and Spring, and which is preferable.

What's the distinction between the Spring Framework and the Spring Boot frameworks? What distinguishes them from the competition? Which is more convenient to work with? There are a few questions that have developed as a result of this, which will probably be addressed towards the conclusion of this blog.

What is a framework?

Before we get into Spring, let's define what a framework is. The framework is a scalable application software architecture platform that supports a range of scripting languages and code libraries. A framework, in plain terms, is something that makes fundamental programming easier. All Application Frameworks are designed with the goal of reusability in mind, and they provide tools to aid programmers in the development and binding of multiple elements of a software project.

What is Spring Framework?


Spring is a compact open-source framework that allows Java EE7 developers to create enterprise applications that are reliable, scalable, and simple. It is one of the most extensively used Java Frameworks for application development. Spring provides an innovative coding and configuration model for the Java platform.

This framework promises to simplify Java EE growth and help developers be more efficient by providing different ways to help you in managing your business objects. Spring evaluates current business requirements and attempts to meet them.

Spring makes designing web applications a snap when compared to older Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Java frameworks like Java Server Pages (JSP), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), and Java Servlets. The Spring framework employs novel methodologies such as Plain Old Java Objects (POJO), Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP), and Dependency Injection to build enterprise applications (DI).

Rod Johnson created the first version of the Spring framework in 2002, and it was first released in 2003 under the Apache 2.0 license.

Features of Spring Framework

  1. It is light- In terms of size and capability, the Spring Framework is small. It's because of its POJO implementation, which doesn't require any classes or interfaces to be implemented.

  2. Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) (AOP)- It's a crucial component of Spring Framework. Aspect-Oriented Programming is being used to separate cross-cutting issues (such as logging, security, and so on) from the application's business logic.
  3. Managing Transactions- Transaction Management is used to manage transactions for Java objects and to unify numerous transaction management APIs. Also, employ container less environments rather than J2EE environments.
  4. Container -The Spring Framework builds and manages the lifecycles and configurations of application components.
  5. Injection of Dependency Spring Framework. - Dependency Injection functionality allows you to create loosely linked applications. As a result, unit testing these weakly linked apps is simplified. This also enables the developer to replace parts of the modules as needed.
  6. Compatibility with other frameworks - This framework has the advantage of not attempting to tackle problems that have already been solved. It just seeks to incorporate them into its structure, which solves larger issues. For instance, IBATIS, Hibernate, Toplink, and so on.


Spring Framework's Advantages

  1. Given the POJO concept, this is a relatively light framework. Declarative programming is supported, as well as annotation and XML configurations.
  2. Provides middleware solutions.
  3. Allows for easy testing and loose coupling.
  4. Factory classes and singletons are no longer formed.

How did Spring Boot originate?

With Spring Boot, you can quickly modify and use the Spring framework. While Spring allows for loosely connected apps, keeping track of the vaguely linked pieces can be laborious and challenging. This is when Spring Boot enters the picture.

Also with Spring architecture being more intricate by the day, it was imperative to introduce Spring Boot. Starting a new enterprise in the spring entails several steps. Multiple equivalent configurations must be applied manually while building a Spring framework programme. As a result, it must identify the frameworks to be used as well as select compatible versions. As a result, Spring's engineers created the Spring Boot framework.

Spring Boot is a framework that is developed on top of the Spring framework. As a result, it has all of the characteristics of spring. Spring Boot is indeed a microservices-based framework that speeds up the development of your app. Spring Boot's elements are all pre-configured. To leverage particular features, developers merely need to apply the precise configuration. Spring Boot is strongly recommended if you want to create a REST API.

Spring Boot, in addition to giving maximum flexibility, focuses on reducing code length, making it the simplest way to create a Web application. This framework minimizes the time it takes to construct an application by providing preset codes and annotation setup. To put it another way, Spring Boot makes it possible to create a stand-alone program with almost no configuration.

Features of Springboot

Spring Boot has a variety of features, including:

  1. Embedded server to reduce application development difficulties.
  2. Starter dependencies with strong opinions to make the development and app configuration easier.
  3. Spring functionality auto-configuration: A key feature that automatically configures the class depending on the given requirement. It saves you time noting long codes and prevents you from configuring things you don't need.
  4. Externalized configuration, health check, and metrics.
  5. Starter Dependencies for Spring Boot.

Springboot Advantages

  1. There is no requirement for XML configuration.
  2. It creates stand-alone programmes.
  3. Spring Boot is simpler to set up than Spring.
  4. Spring Boot doesn't require WAR files to be deployed.
  5.  It concentrates on lowering the LOC.
  6. It is beneficial to directly integrate Jetty, Undertow, or Tomcat.
  7. It's simple to administer and customize.
  8. Features that are ready for production.
  9. Spring Boot is a Spring Framework module that eliminates the boilerplate configurations required to build up a quick and efficient Spring application.

How Well does Spring Boot Address The Spring Framework's Primary Issues?

Even though the Spring Framework concentrates on offering you flexibility, Spring Boot attempts to shorten your code and make building a web application as simple as possible. Spring Boot optimizes Spring's dependencies and allows you to run apps directly from the command line. It not only necessitates the use of an application container, such as Spring, but it also aids in the control and configuration of numerous pieces from the outside.

Spring Boot Auto-Configuration produces the fundamental configuration required to use these frameworks in our application, eliminating the need to do such configurations manually and reducing the time spent developing an app.

If you have HSQLDB on your code and no network link beans configured explicitly, Spring Boot will create an in-memory database for you. Spring Boot has inadvertently bundled Spring annotation elements into its own set of annotations, as is clear.

Spring framework requires us to update practically all configurations manually, but Spring Boot already includes zero or restricted configuration standalone applications. The graphic below is a good example of how these two frameworks function together.


Spring vs. Spring Boot

Before you choose the correct framework for your next project, learn the differences among Spring and Spring Boot.

Spring Framework

Spring Boot

Spring Framework is a popular framework for developing Java EE applications. 

The Spring Boot Framework is commonly used to create REST APIs.

It focuses on making Java EE development easier. 

It focuses on minimizing the code's length.

Dependency Injection is the most essential characteristic. 

Autoconfiguration with Dependency Injection

It creates apps that are loosely connected. 

It creates stand-alone software.

It involves a wealth of boilerplate code.

It cuts down on boilerplate code.

You will  need to set up the server for testing.

For testing, Spring Boot includes embedded servers such as Jetty and Tomcat.

To execute the Spring application, you will need a deployment descriptor.

The application can be run without any deployment descriptors.

It doesn't support in-memory databases at all.

It can be used within databases like H2.


And although they go hand in hand, we now have a clear idea as to what Spring and Springboot are. To summarize, Spring Boot framework provides all of the features of the normal Spring framework while greatly simplifying application development. Since all Spring Boot properties are auto-configured, you could get an operation up and operate in a fraction of the time it takes with Spring.

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Also, read: Laravel vs Spring boot: Which is the right framework for you?

Nidhi Inamdar

Sr Content Writer

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