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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Spring?
2.1.
Features of Spring
2.2.
Advantages of Spring
3.
What is Spring Boot?
3.1.
Features of Spring Boot
3.2.
Advantages of Spring Boot
4.
What is Spring MVC?
4.1.
Features of Spring MVC
4.2.
Advantages of Spring MVC
5.
Differences between Spring and Spring Boot
6.
Difference between Spring Boot and Spring MVC
7.
Spring vs Spring MVC vs Spring Boot- Which is Better?
8.
Frequently Asked Questions 
8.1.
Should I learn Spring MVC before Spring Boot?
8.2.
What is difference between Spring MVC and Hibernate?
8.3.
What is the difference between Spring Boot and Spring MVC?
8.4.
Is Spring MVC and REST API the same?
8.5.
What is the difference between Spring and Spring MVC?
9.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
Medium

Spring Vs Spring Boot Vs Spring MVC

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Introduction

Spring is a widely used open-source framework for building enterprise-level Java applications. Spring MVC is a sub-framework within Spring that focuses on building web applications using the Model-View-Controller architectural pattern. Spring Boot, on the other hand, is a standalone framework that simplifies the development of Spring-based applications by providing pre-configured templates and eliminating boilerplate code.

Difference Between Spring vs Spring Boot vs Spring MVC

There are several application development frameworks available, but one of the most popular frameworks when working with java is the Spring framework.

You will be completely fascinated with the Spring framework and its ability to manage applications.

In this article, we will learn about the variety offered by the spring framework. We will learn about the differences between Spring, Spring Boot and Spring MVC frameworks.

What is Spring?

Spring is a widely used open-source application framework for the Java platform. It provides a comprehensive programming and configuration model for modern Java-based enterprise applications. Spring enables developers to build modular and reusable code using a wide variety of components, such as data access, web, and messaging. It also provides support for enterprise features such as transaction management, security, and caching. Spring has a large and active community, with many third-party libraries and tools available, making it a popular choice for building robust and scalable Java applications.

Features of Spring

The main features of Spring are discussed below.

  • Inversion of Control (IoC) and Dependency Injection (DI) to manage application components and reduce dependencies.
  • Aspect-oriented programming (AOP) for modularizing cross-cutting concerns.
  • Integration with various data access technologies like JDBC, Hibernate, and JPA.
  • Built-in support for transaction management and declarative transaction demarcation.
  • Integration with various web frameworks like Spring MVC and WebFlux for building web applications.
  • Support for building and consuming RESTful web services.
  • Integration with messaging technologies like JMS and AMQP.

Advantages of Spring

The advantages of Spring are discussed below.

  • Provides a modular and flexible approach to building Java applications, allowing for easy integration with other frameworks and libraries.
  • Reduces the amount of boilerplate code required for application development through the use of Dependency Injection and Aspect-oriented Programming.
  • Facilitates the development of testable code through its testing framework and other testing-related features.
  • Offers robust support for transaction management, data access, and web application development.
  • Provides a wide range of community-driven add-ons and extensions, such as Spring Security for authentication and authorization, Spring Data for simplified database access, and Spring Integration for messaging and integration with external systems.
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What is Spring Boot?

Spring Boot is one of the modules of the Spring Framework. It helps us to build a stand-alone application with very minimal or almost zero configurations. It is helpful to use it when we want to develop a simple Spring app or RESTful service.

Features of Spring Boot

The main features of Spring Boot are discussed below.

  • Opinionated configuration: 
    Spring Boot provides pre-configured settings for many common application components, reducing the amount of boilerplate code that developers need to write.
     
  • Embedded server: 
    Spring Boot includes an embedded server (Tomcat, Jetty, or Undertow) that allows developers to run their applications as standalone jars without needing to deploy to a separate web server.
     
  • Auto-configuration: 
    Spring Boot can automatically configure many components, such as database connections and message queues, based on the classpath and other factors.
     
  • Actuator: 
    Spring Boot Actuator provides a set of endpoints for monitoring and managing the application, including health checks, metrics, and more.
     
  • Developer tools: 
    Spring Boot includes tools for developers, such as automatic restarts, hot-swapping of code changes, and more.
     

Advantages of Spring Boot

The advantages of spring boot are as follow.

  • Faster development: 
    Spring Boot's opinionated configuration and auto-configuration features reduce the amount of boilerplate code that developers need to write, which can speed up development time.
     
  • Easier deployment: 
    Spring Boot's embedded server allows developers to deploy their applications as standalone jars, which can simplify the deployment process.
     
  • Reduced complexity: 
    Spring Boot's auto-configuration feature reduces the complexity of configuring components such as databases and messaging systems.
     
  • Modular design: 
    Spring Boot is designed to be modular, which means developers can choose to use only the components they need and leave out the ones they don't.
     
  • Improved productivity: 
    Spring Boot's developer tools, such as automatic restarts and hot-swapping of code changes, can improve developer productivity.
     
  • Easy integration with other Spring projects: 
    Spring Boot integrates well with other Spring projects, such as Spring Data and Spring Cloud, making it easy to build complex applications.
     

What is Spring MVC?

Spring MVC is a framework of Web MVC used for building web applications. It also contains a lot of configuration files for various capabilities. It is an HTTP oriented web application framework.

Let us see some differences between Spring and Spring Boot. Later, we will also see some differences between Spring Boot and Spring MVC frameworks.

Features of Spring MVC

The main features of spring MVC are discussed below.

  • Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture: 
    Spring MVC follows the MVC pattern, which separates the application into three components: the model (data and business logic), the view (presentation layer), and the controller (handles requests and updates the model).
     
  • DispatcherServlet: 
    Spring MVC uses a front controller called DispatcherServlet, which centralizes request handling and manages the flow of requests through the application.
     
  • HandlerMapping: 
    Spring MVC uses HandlerMapping to map incoming requests to controller methods based on URL patterns and other criteria.
     
  • ViewResolver: 
    Spring MVC uses a ViewResolver to locate the appropriate view template for a given request.
     
  • Data binding: 
    Spring MVC provides data binding features that can automatically convert incoming request parameters to Java objects and vice versa.
     
  • Validation: 
    Spring MVC includes a validation framework that can validate form data and other input before processing it.

Advantages of Spring MVC

The advantages of Spring MVC are discussed below.

  • Modular architecture: 
    Spring MVC's modular architecture allows developers to build applications using a wide variety of components, such as data access, web, and messaging, that can be reused across the application.
     
  • Separation of concerns: 
    Spring MVC follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, which separates the application into three components: the model (data and business logic), the view (presentation layer), and the controller (handles requests and updates the model). This separation of concerns makes it easier to maintain and extend the application.
     
  • Extensible: 
    Spring MVC is highly extensible, with many extension points and hooks that allow developers to customize and extend the framework to meet their specific needs.
     
  • Easy to test: 
    Spring MVC's modular and loosely coupled architecture makes it easy to test components in isolation using mock objects and other testing tools.
     
  • Built-in features: 
    Spring MVC provides many built-in features, such as data binding, validation, and exception handling, that can save developers time and effort.

Differences between Spring and Spring Boot

Spring Spring Boot
Spring Framework is used widely for Java EE framework in order to build applications. Spring Boot Framework is used widely to develop REST APIs.
The basic aim of it is to simplify the Java EE development, which makes developers more productive. The basic aim of Spring Boot is to shorten the code length and provide an easy way to develop web applications.
The primary feature of the Spring is dependency injection. The Spring Boot has a primary feature of Autoconfiguration. It basically configures the classes based on the requirement automatically.
Spring framework helps us to make things simpler by helping us to develop loosely coupled applications. Spring Boot helps us to create a stand-alone application with less configuration.
In order to test the Spring project, we will need to set up the server explicitly. Spring Boot provides us with embedded servers such as Jetty and Tomcat, etc.
In the Spring framework, the developer has to write a lot of code, even to do a simple task. Spring Boot uses very short boilerplate code.
In Spring, the developers have to manually define the dependencies for the Spring project in pom.xml Spring Boot already comes with the concept of starter in pom.xml file, which internally takes care of downloading the dependencies on the basis of the requirement of Spring Boot.
Spring framework does not provide any support for in-memory databases. Spring Boot offers various plugins for working with an embedded and in-memory database such as H2.

 

Difference between Spring Boot and Spring MVC

Spring Boot Spring MVC
Spring Boot is a module of Spring for packaging the Spring-based application with sensible defaults. Spring MVC is a model view controller-based web framework under the Spring framework.
Spring Boot provides us default configurations to build a Spring-powered framework. Spring MVC provides ready to use features for building a web application.
There is no need to build configuration manually in Spring Boot. Spring MVC requires building configuration manually.
There is no requirement for a deployment descriptor in Spring Boot. A Deployment descriptor is required in Spring MVC.
The Spring Boot avoids boilerplate code and wraps dependencies together in a single unit. In Spring MVC, we have to specify each dependency separately.
Spring Boot helps us in reducing development time and increases productivity. Spring MVC takes more development time.

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Spring vs Spring MVC vs Spring Boot- Which is Better?

Spring, Spring MVC, and Spring Boot are all popular frameworks for building Java-based applications. While they share some common features and modules, they serve different purposes and have different strengths and weaknesses.

  • Spring is a comprehensive framework that provides a wide range of features for building enterprise applications. It is highly modular, customizable, and extensible, but requires more configuration and setup than the other two frameworks.
     
  • Spring MVC is a web framework that provides support for building web applications using the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern. It is highly customizable and extensible, but also requires more configuration and setup than Spring Boot.
     
  • Spring Boot is a tool that provides an opinionated configuration and auto-configuration approach for quickly creating standalone Spring applications. It is simpler and faster to use than the other two frameworks, but may not be as customizable for complex projects.
     
  • Ultimately, the choice between these frameworks depends on the specific requirements and constraints of the project. For complex enterprise applications, Spring may be the best choice, while for smaller projects with less complexity, Spring Boot may be a better fit. Spring MVC is best suited for web applications that require more control and customization.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Should I learn Spring MVC before Spring Boot?

Understanding Spring MVC can be beneficial, but Spring Boot simplifies the setup. Learning both can enhance your skills, but starting with Spring Boot is common.

What is difference between Spring MVC and Hibernate?

Spring MVC is a web framework, while Hibernate is an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) framework. They serve different purposes: Spring MVC handles web applications, and Hibernate deals with database interactions and mapping objects to database tables.

What is the difference between Spring Boot and Spring MVC?

Spring Boot is an opinionated framework that simplifies the setup and development of Spring-based applications, providing auto-configuration and embedded servers. Spring MVC is a part of the Spring framework, focusing on building web applications using the MVC design pattern.

Is Spring MVC and REST API the same?

Spring MVC is an implementation of the Model-View-Controller pattern for building web applications, whereas REST API is a style of software architecture for distributed systems. While Spring MVC can be used to build RESTful APIs, they are not the same conceptually.

What is the difference between Spring and Spring MVC?

Spring is a comprehensive framework for building enterprise applications, providing features like dependency injection, aspect-oriented programming, and transaction management. Spring MVC is a part of Spring, specifically focusing on web applications.

Conclusion

In this article, we compared the Spring Vs Spring Boot Vs Spring MVC. Understanding the differences between Spring, Spring Boot, and Spring MVC can help developers choose the right tool for their projects. Spring is a comprehensive framework for building enterprise applications, while Spring Boot simplifies setup with auto-configuration and embedded servers. Spring MVC is specifically for building web applications using the Model-View-Controller pattern.

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