At present, Spring is one of the widely used application development frameworks for Java platform. The comprehensive infrastructure support provided by Spring helps developers to simplify and accelerate the development of various Java applications. In addition to keeping applications modular, testable, and maintainable, the framework enables developers to keep the code reusable and leverage Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs).
The developers can build Java applications efficiently using various modules provided by Spring – core, context, beans, ORM, IOC, JMS, servelet, transaction, aspects, DAO, and instrumentation. The framework further supports widely used frameworks like JSF, EJB, Struts, Tapestry and Hibernate. The developers even have the option to extend Spring Framework and simplify enterprise application development using a number of Java-based frameworks including Spring MVC and Spring Boot.
As its name indicates, Spring MVC enables developers to build large and complex web applications rapidly by leveraging model-view-controller (MVC) design pattern. The MVC design pattern helps the developer to keep a web application’s user interface (UI) and business logic layers separated. Hence, it becomes easier for developers to build, maintain, and update complex web applications.
Spring MVC simplifies development of complex web applications by providing sophisticated features like dependency injection and inversion of class. But it requires developers to implement MVC design pattern in Spring Framework using a specific class - DispatcherServlet. DispatcherServlet receives the incoming requests and maps them to the appropriate resource – models, views, and controllers.
The developers can use DispatcherServlet as a front controller to manage HTTP requests and responses efficiently. They can further use the lightweight servlet container provided by the framework to build and deploy web applications without putting extra time and effort. At the same time, Spring MVC provides a comprehensive infrastructure for both framework and application classes.
Understanding Important Aspect of Spring Boot
Spring Boot comes with features to simplify development of standalone and production-grade Spring applications. As an opinionated framework, Spring Boot loads and configures the libraries in a standardized way. Hence, the developers are not required to put extra time and effort to configure the libraries properly. The feature further helps Java programmers to focus only on improving code quality and meeting precise business requirements.
The developers can use the framework to standalone Spring applications. They are not required to deploy the application on a specific server or run the application in a special environment. The developers can run the Spring application simply by executing the run command or clicking on the run button. Spring Boot further configures the application based on the surrounding environment. It even configures the applications based the dependencies added by the developers.
But the framework configures the application automatically. Hence, many developers leverage Spring Boot to build and deploy Java applications without focusing on code generation and XML configuration. Also, Spring Boot makes it easier for developers to build a better application by providing a set of production-ready features – metrics, externalized configuration and health checks.
Comparing Spring Framework, Spring MVC and Spring Boot
While writing a Java application, a programmer has the option to use Spring Framework, Spring MVC, or Spring Boot. Both Spring MVC and Spring Boot are an important part of the Spring ecosystem. But they are not mutually exclusive. Each of the two frameworks helps developers to solve specific problems. Also, they differ from each other in the category of design goals and core features.
In addition to supporting MVC design pattern, Spring MVC also comes with built-in features to curtail Java application development time. The developers can build better Spring applications by availing customizable binding, validation, handler mapping, and view resolution. The framework enables developers to configure the framework and applications classes in a simple and straightforward way.
Spring Boot makes it easier for developers to deploy Spring applications by providing default and automatic configuration. Spring Boot starters help developers to avail ready-to-use and automated configuration for the application. The developers can take advantage of the core features provided by the framework to manage Spring dependencies without putting extra time and effort. Spring Boot comes with features to simplify development of microservices according to varying business requirements and priorities.
On the whole, both Spring MVC and Spring Boot help developers to simplify and accelerate development of Spring applications. Spring MVC enables developers to develop, test, deploy, and maintain web applications using the MVC design pattern. Spring Boot helps developers to build and deploy Spring applications more efficiently by auto-configuring features and libraries. Hence, the developers need to compare Spring MVC and Spring Boot based on the precise needs of individual Java development projects.