Let’s tell you some basics of the Spring framework before we dive in deeper details about comparison between spring boot vs spring mvc as there are chances that you might be new to the framework.
One always lays the foundation first and then starts building! So, here is a brief explanation of the Spring framework.
What is Spring Framework?
Spring is an application framework and inversion of control container for Java platform. The java applications depend on objects that collaborate to form your application. Their interaction results in dependencies. As Java doesn’t have means to organize these components, Spring gives you a system of modules that are designed to organize for you.
Basically, it takes care of the larger infrastructure of your application so you can work on implementing your system. It brings your web applications to life without an opinionated system. It speeds up your development process.
Now, that you know what Spring does, let’s tell you in detail about Spring boot vs Spring MVC!
You need to know that spring mvc and spring boot are not competing against each other. Actually, they are components of the same universe.
We’ll begin with discussing both the concepts individually, weigh their pros and cons and finally come to the Spring mvc vs Spring boot discussion.
One of the modules in web layer of the Spring framework is the Web-Servlet module. The module has Spring’s model view controller implementation for web applications. The mvc architecture and ready elements can be utilized to develop loosely coupled and flexible applications.
The mvc architecture separates your application in a triad, making it easy to build lines of code without starting over each time. It dissociates various aspects like UI logic, business logic, input logic etc. The decoupled framework makes testing easier.
Also, spring has a dependency injection problem. Once you create your application, there is no easy way to test it because there is no specific information to be used. Spring mvc framework helps by solving the dependency injection issue and giving you the chance to test what will happen in each application.
What is the big deal about Spring MVC?
Spring is massive with a lot of components. Spring MVC being one of them lets you implement your application through model view controller architecture. Separating the building blocks enables you to reuse the code without having to repurpose it. The decoupling makes it easier to execute web applications because the components operate without dependency.
Pros of Spring MVC
- Apps that use Spring MVC are highly scalable
- It has a large community with documentation
- Covers a huge ecosystem
- Enables you to decouple the framework for easy execution
Cons of Spring MVC
- Architecture is simple but not beginner friendly
- Bulky with legacy DI, API and spaghetti code
Spring boot is a way to ease the development of stand alone applications with minimal or zero configurations. Spring boot makes the creation of production grade, spring powered services and applications easy with minimum confusion.
It can be used for both, traditional WAR deployments or creation of stand alone java applications. Thus, it can be said that spring boot provides a faster ‘getting started’ experience for the spring development process.
What is the big deal about Spring Boot?
If you’re building applications using Spring framework, you are going to use Spring MVC. The real question is whether to use spring boot or not. If you have just started with Spring, you can use Spring boot to fill in the holes and guide your development process. It leaves you free to develop rules for applications.
It can also be used when you are falling short of time and need to get the project rolling. It eases your work in the case of standard applications. Although spring boot favors certain lines of development, it also offers a little flexibility for working outside its preferences.
Moreover, it also saves you from the trouble of lot of configuration and internalizes it to help you focus on the significant parts of development.
Pros of Spring Boot
- Solves the bloated code issues often found in Spring apps
- Enables fast prototyping because project set up is cut down significantly
- It has inherited all of Spring’s strengths
- Auto application configuration removes guesswork
Cons of Spring Boot
- UI framework is still not there
- Community and documentation is not up to the mark
As we have given you the basics of both the components, it’s time to come down to the main point. Here is an in brief discussion on comparison between spring boot vs spring mvc!
One of the most common dilemmas faced by the spring developers who are new to Spring framework is which one they should choose, spring mvc or spring boot. Most of them would go for Spring boot as it is the latest. Let’s dig deeper in comparison between the two to know which of them is more recommended.
- It is a HTTP oriented web application development framework and is one of the spring modules.
- Spring mvc enables a decoupled way of developing web applications. The web application can be implemented in accordance with model view controller design pattern.
- It is equivalent to Java Server Faces in the JavaEE stack. Classes annotated with @controller are the most popular elements.
- For implementation of Rest based APIs, it has an equivalent @RestController.
- Spring boot helps you to quickly build and create spring applications using the spring framework.
- You will need a lot of configuration if you choose to avoid spring boot.
- Only spring boot has the features to create stand alone web applications and auto configuration.
- You can also incorporate H2 on build path with the help of auto configuration. For an in-memory database, it will auto-configure the connection details without any further configuration.
- The spring boot starter web increases productivity by rendering defaults and configurations to minimize the efforts of a developer.
- It also offers embedded http servers such as Jetty, Tomcat, etc. that can be packed together with your applications to create executable war files.
Use Spring mvc if you want to develop a web application but for the development of general spring applications or when you are a beginner, it is recommended to use Spring boot as it is production ready, quickly adopted and reduces the job.
Spring boot can also use spring mvc and autoconfigure it. In such a situation, the choice is between boot or bootless. It depends on how open your organization is to associated risks and innovation.
Today, most of the spring projects are completely integrated with boot and even the community has begun to develop various applications based on Spring boot. The useful features such as remote shell and actuator for monitoring and managing with boot enhance your application with production ready features.
Spring boot is one of the first microservice ready platforms. The project configuration is very simple with it and there is no need to maintain an XML file.
When it comes down to comparison between the two, Spring boot can be considered more useful and reliable due to its inbuilt features and benefits. Most of the things are auto configured in boot. Just like Tomcat, it bundles a war file with server runtime for easy deployment and distribution of web applications.
It is also quite useful for container based deployments as the industry is moving towards it. Thus, it can be rightly said that the reasons for increasing popularity of spring boot are quite logical.