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Pros and Cons of Using Spring Boot

Spring is one of the most popular Java frameworks utilized mainly for building large enterprise-level applications. Spring is a highly flexible framework with a wide range of software development tools.

Although software developers can build the most unique and complex application features with Spring, many of them opt for Spring Boot – one of the Spring framework extensions. That’s because Spring Boot is much simpler to configure, faster to start with, and it’s much easier to deploy applications with it.

In this article, we’ll have a look at Spring Boot in more detail, find out its pros and cons, and explore why so many software developers prefer it to the traditional development with Spring.

Pros and Cons of Using Spring Boot

What is Spring Boot?

To understand what Spring Boot is and its features, we should get back to the Spring framework first.

Spring is a robust framework developed in 2003 by Rod Johnson. At that time, Spring was a real breakthrough as it helped software developers solve various issues in Java applications, including Dependency Injection, data binding, validation, resource and event management, and much more. Today, the framework continues to be popular among software developers and is widely used for building complex projects with exclusive features.

With time, Spring acquired diverse goal-specific tools that facilitate the overall application development process. These tools include Spring Data, Spring Cloud, Spring Security, Spring Authorization Server, Spring Integration, Spring Batch, many other Spring tools, and of course Spring Boot.

As is evident, Spring Boot comes as one of the Spring framework extensions with a rich kit of useful features. Its first release happened in 2014 and it was created as a response to Spring complexity and lengthy configuring time. By using Spring Boot, software developers can quickly configure Spring and Spring Tools for much faster and easier application and service development. Web applications and microservices are among the most popular ones. Another great Spring Boot feature is that it can use several programming languages for building robust digital solutions, they include Java, Kotlin, and Groovy.

Advantages of Spring Boot

There are many reasons why software developers prefer Spring Boot to other Java frameworks when building microservices for mobile or web applications. Let’s have a look at the main Spring Boot benefits.

  • Quick and safe environment configuration for software development. It means that software developers can start building apps right away without having to spend time on tools and frameworks configuring.
  • Reduces code length and simplifies the development process by utilizing annotations for more straightforward code understanding and boilerplate configurations which automatically copy/paste parts of code for repeated functionalities.
  • Facilitates the creation and testing of Java-based applications by providing a default setup for unit and integration tests.
  • Comes with embedded HTTP servers like Jetty and Tomcat to test web applications.
  • Allows for easily connecting with database and queue services like Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, Solr, ElasticSearch, Rabbit MQ, ActiveMQ, and many more.
  • Eases dependency management with the help of starter packages. Each package covers a set of dependencies under a single name and provides access to various Spring and related technologies. For example, for creating a Spring web application, software developers will need the spring-boot-starter-web dependency and for quick access to the testing libraries, they will have to use spring-boot-starter-test, and so on.
  • Comes with an Embedded Servlet Container. It eliminates the necessity to set up a servlet container and deploy an application to it. With the Spring Boot native support of the servlet containers, the developed solutions can simply run on a built-in server such as Tomcat. At the same time, software developers can simply switch to other containers including Jetty, Undertow, Resin, or Wildfly.
  • Offers easy access to Command Line Interface which makes the development and testing of Spring Boot apps built with Java or Groovy agile.
  • Simplifies integration with Spring and offers access to other Spring tools such as Spring Data, Spring Security, Spring ORM, and Spring JDBC.

Spring Boot Benefits

Disadvantages of Spring Boot

Spring Boot offers many valuable features. It’s simple to use and quick to configure though this comes at some expense.

Due to its opinionated style, when there is one tried and tested way to develop an application, it takes much control out of the developers’ hands. For example, Spring Boot installs many additional dependencies (that often go unused) which increases the application/service loading time. Although Spring Boot is much easier to start with than Spring, software developers still have to understand how Spring modules work, along with some advanced topics in order to modify and troubleshoot it. That’s because they still have to rely on the Spring ecosystem and tools, instead of using the ones that they know and consider advantageous.

Spring Boot Use Cases

Spring Boot is created as a lightweight tool for the quick building of microservices architecture apps as well as various services. The development process starts with the selection of the Spring Boot Starters that basically determine the type of the developed software. Let’s have a closer look.

With spring-boot-starter dependency, software developers can build utilities, stand-alone projects, or desktop-based (GUI) projects.

With spring-boot-starter-web dependency, it’s possible to create Spring MVC Web applications or Spring MVC REST API applications. MVC-based applications rely on a Model-View-Controller design pattern. This pattern allows for building robust applications with a well-structured, easy to maintain and scale architecture.

With spring-boot-starter-web flux, software developers can create Spring Boot Reactive Web applications. Reactive applications are highly-responsive to user actions. This provides a smooth user experience and better handling of complex scenarios at minimal latency.

The list of Spring Boot dependencies isn’t limited to the three examples outlined above. They help software developers start a new project, and add the required libraries, databases, web application development patterns, and more. This way, software developers can quickly create the skeleton of the future product and after that delve into its details.

Conclusion

When it comes to building microservices architecture applications many Java developers prefer doing it with Spring Boot. That’s because this efficient tool significantly alleviates the configuring and development process by offering intuitive settings and an extensive toolbox with diverse instruments from using embedded servlet containers to running testing frameworks.

If you’re considering building a microservice application, be it a web solution or a mobile app, but you don’t know where to start then you definitely need a professional Spring Boot developer or two. Find out how to hire Spring Boot experts in Poland or contact us. We have a team of seasoned developers to help make your project more efficient!

Spring Boot is simply an extension of Spring itself to make the development, testing, and deployment more convenient. If you are experiencing problems with your Spring Boot application development project, we have a team of seasoned developers to help make your project