What We Need to Know About the Spring Boot Framework?

spring boot

ring Boot is one of the most widely used Java-based development frameworks in 2021 and if you’ve clicked on this article, you’re probably interested to learn more about it. As you might know, each web-based software application has a front-end (what the app looks like visually) and a back-end (data access layer, server, database, etc.). Put simply, Spring Boot is a framework used only for configuring the back-end of Java applications. It can be used both in monolith and microservice architecture types but in most cases, it is utilised to set up the latter. 

Working in a bespoke software development company specializing in custom Java enterprise solutions, I see how choosing the right framework can ease the whole development process from day one. From a business perspective, the sooner a company can see a working software application that successfully handles online traffic and covers all their needs, the better. Spring Boots comes with all benefits of the Spring framework, adding more flexibility and scalability to it. In this article, I will explain what makes it a preferred choice in many Java enterprise applications and why you should also consider it for your next project. 

What is Spring Boot and Why Did it Appear? 

Spring Boot belongs to the Spring Family frameworks because all Java projects based on Spring share common reference documentation. The entire framework family is a collection of tools that supports the development and deployment of Java enterprise applications. In general, such Java apps rely on numerous objects or Spring Beans (building blocks) with interrelated dependencies and the whole idea behind Spring was to create projects that help establish best practices for Java development. Over the years, software engineers were often confronted with the task to find a coherent platform to design, build, configure all instantiated objects in a meaningful way. Thus, many new projects aimed to ease Java development began to appear with notable examples such as Spring MVC (web apps) or Spring Data (database).

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However, at some point, these were somehow insufficient and Spring Boot was the next logical step in evolution. In contrast to classical Spring applications, in which several XML configuration files had to be modified, Spring Boot does this automatically, ranking the framework as a preferred option for creating microservices. That’s exactly where Spring Boot steps in to reveal its full potential by speeding up software development. As today’s technology has become much more sophisticated, the need for tools that reduce this complexity increases. Using Spring Boot you have the whole benefits of the Spring family but developers get a boosted headstart. Essentially, Spring Boots has an auto-configuration mechanism that streamlines the entire development process and eliminates the need for manual configuration.   

Why Does it Become Increasingly Relevant?

The pandemic taught us a valuable lesson about the need to become highly adaptable, well-organised and with innovative thinking. Covid-19 positioned digitisation as a disruptive trend transforming all industries. As it might be In this sense, with ever-changing consumer and market conditions, the question is no longer on whether to digitise existing products, services or internal processes, but how to do it fast, reliable and secure. Spring Boot reaps the benefits of both Java, a mature programming language and Spring family as an open-source framework that is constantly evolving thanks to the support of a vast development community. 

Have you heard of the approach Convention over Configuration in software development? Its primary goal is to reduce the unnecessary complexity involved in software development. For example, as long as the developers stick to the usual conventions, e.g. identifiers of the same type in all application areas, these don’t have to be configured. Spring Boot applied exactly this principle and thus allows developers to develop enterprise applications in Java easier without restricting the developers’ options. The framework gives programmers a headstart when they begin a new project.

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Main Benefits of Spring Boot 

Spring is a mature framework and this comes with many benefits. First, as part of the standardised Spring family, if somebody has ever worked with Spring, they’ll quickly grasp the whole setup of Spring Boot. in fact, the most optimal way to use Spring Boot is to build a project from scratch and that’s why it is incredibly powerful when building an MVP as it provides an easy and fast headstart that is highly customisable after that. Second, using Spring Boot helps reduce development time and improves the dev team’s overall efficiency and productivity. It is also fast, compact and optimised to scale easily as your project needs grow. Horizontal scaling is known to be a much more practical option to accommodate all incoming traffic and Spring Boot can automatically create additional cloud instances (servers) based on the current needs of your Java application. 

Also, being an open-source framework with frequent patching also comes with the opportunity to make fewer code bugs – lots of people use it and bugs are easy to spot and eliminate faster, saving financial resources and optimising the development process. Spring Boot also provides the opportunity to configure parameters according to the project’s stage – development, test and QA (final test before production), production (real business environment). For example, you can use another database or apply different parameters in development or in production without touching the codebase. Last but not least, Spring Boot stands out with extensive dependency management for easy maintenance and coordination of Spring and third-party Java libraries such as Apache Commons, Mockito or JUnit.

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In a Nutshell:

By offering a default unit setup and integration tests, the Spring Boot framework was created to assist developers to save time and boost productivity. Especially if you want to quickly begin with your Java app development project, skipping the XML configuration and accepting all of the default property values is a good starting point. Many organisations and software developers use Spring Boot for large-scale enterprise projects, which makes it a highly mature, reliable and secure framework.

Of course, no technology or dev tool is perfect on its own and Spring Boot also has its drawbacks. For example, some senior developers aren’t particularly fond of it exactly because it comes with too many built-in features and many inexperienced developers misuse or overuse the framework. Enthusiastic about all the capabilities of the framework, young developers might ignore its limitations, which can cause more trouble in the long run. However, finding the right software vendor with proven processes and lean development practices ensures that you’re one step closer to realising your project vision that helps your business succeed. 

Author Biography Aleksandrina Vasileva 

Aleksandrina is a Content Creator at Dreamix, a custom software development company, and is keen оn innovative technological solutions with a positive impact on our world. Her teaching background, mixed with interests in psychology, drives her to share knowledge. She is an avid reader and an enthusiastic blogger, always looking for the next inspiration.  

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