Spring vs Spring Boot: Know The Difference (2023)

In this article, we are going to learn about Spring and Spring Boot. We will walk you through the following topics: What is Spring, What is Spring Boot, the difference between Spring and Spring Boot, the difference between Spring Boot vs Spring MVC, and many more frequently asked questions about Spring and Spring Boot. At the end of this article, you will have a good understanding of the fundamentals of Spring and Spring Boot.

Table Of Contents


(Video) Spring Vs Spring Boot - Difference | Example | Java Techie

  • What is Spring?
  • What is Spring Boot?
  • Key Differences
  • Difference Between Spring and Spring Boot
  • Conclusion
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Additional Resources

What is Spring?

Spring vs Spring Boot: Know The Difference (1)

Before understanding Spring let’s understand what is a Framework? The framework is a re-usable design platform for software systems, which provides support for code libraries and various scripting languages In simple words a framework is something that makes core programming easy. There are frameworks for PHP, Perl, Java, Python, Ruby, and many other languages. All Software Frameworks are built with the idea of reusability of the code and provide tools that help programmers develop and bind together different components of a software project.

Now, we know what a framework is so let’s jump to the definition of Spring. What is Spring? Spring is a lightweight application framework and we can say it is similar to the framework of frameworks because it provides support to various frameworks such as Struts, JSP, Hibernate, etc. The first version of the Spring framework was written by Rod Johnson in 2002 and the framework was first released in 2003 under the Apache license version 2.0.

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(Video) Clear Confusion: Spring Framework vs Spring Boot Differences

What is Spring Boot?

Spring vs Spring Boot: Know The Difference (2)

Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications. It’s a Java-based framework used to create a microservice ( microservice is defined as the small services that work together. The microservice defines an approach to the architecture that divides an application into a pool of loosely coupled services that implement business requirements).

Now let’s understand the definition of Spring Boot in simple words Spring Boot word is made up of 2 words Spring and Boot the first part of spring represents spring framework (The framework that let you write enterprise java applications) now second part boot that is bootstrap so combining both words Spring Boot means something that lets you bootstrap a spring application from the scratch.

(Video) SPRING BOOT Vs SPRING - A Comparison

In October 2012, a client, Mike Youngstrom, submitted a Jira ticket (Jira is a software application used for issue tracking and project management) requesting that the spring framework be bootstrapped so that it could be immediately launched. As a result, Spring Boot was developed in early 2013.

Key Differences

Now we have a complete idea about what is Spring and Spring Boot so let’s just go through the key differences between Spring and Spring Boot.

Basically, Spring is a lightweight application framework and we can say it is similar to the framework of frameworks because it provides support to various frameworks such as Struts, JSP, Hibernate, etc. and it’s used to build applications whereas Spring Boot is a spring-based framework that is mainly used to develop REST API’S.

The key difference or key feature of Spring is dependency injection and for spring boot it’s autoconfiguration, with the help of Spring Boot Framework developers can reduce development time, Developer Effort, and increase productivity.

Difference Between Spring and Spring Boot

Spring vs Spring Boot: Know The Difference (3)
BasisSpringSpring Boot
Where it’s used?Spring framework is a java EE framework that is used to build applications.Spring Boot framework is mainly used to develop REST API’s
Key featureThe primary or most important feature of the Spring framework is dependency injection(Dependency Injection (DI) is a design technique that removes dependencies from computer code, making the application easier to maintain and test).The main or primary feature of the Spring Boot is Autoconfiguration( Simply described, Spring Boot autoconfiguration is a method of automatically configuring a Spring application based on the dependencies found on the classpath.)
Autoconfiguration can speed up and simplify development by removing the need to define some beans that are part of the auto-configuration classes.
Why it’s usedIts goal is to make Java EE (Enterprise Edition) development easier, allowing developers to be more productive.Spring Boot provides the RAD(Rapid Application Development) feature to the Spring framework for faster application development.
Type of Application DevelopmentSpring framework helps to create a loosely coupled application.Spring Boot helps to create a stand-alone application.
Servers dependencyIn the Spring framework to test the Spring Project, we need to set up the servers explicitly.Spring Boot offers built-in or embedded servers such as Tomcat and jetty.
Deployment descriptorTo run a Spring application a deployment descriptor is required.In Spring Boot there is no need for the Deployment descriptor.
In-memory database supportSpring framework does not provide support for the in-memory database.Spring Boot provides support for the in-memory database such as H2.
Boilerplate codeSpring framework requires too many lines of code (boilerplate code) even for minimal tasks.You avoid boilerplate code which reduces time and increases productivity.
ConfigurationsIn the Spring framework, you have to build configurations manually.In Spring Boot there are default configurations that allow faster bootstrapping.
DependenciesSpring Framework requires a number of dependencies to create a web app.Spring Boot, on the other hand, can get an application working with just one dependency. There are several more dependencies required during build time that is added to the final archive by default.
HTTP AuthenticationHTTP Basic Authentication is for enabling security confirmations, it indicates that several dependencies and configurations need to be enabled to enable security. Spring requires both the standard spring-security-web and spring-security-config dependencies to set up security in an application. Next, we need to add a class that extends the WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter and makes use of the @EnableWebSecurity annotation.Spring Boot also requires these dependencies to make it work, but we only need to define the dependency of spring-boot-starter-security as this will automatically add all the relevant dependencies to the classpath.
TestingTesting in Spring Boot is difficult in comparison to Spring Boot due to a large amount of source code.Testing in Spring Boot is easier due to the reduced amount of source code.
XML ConfigurationIn the Spring framework, XML Configuration is required.No need for XML configuration in Spring Boot.
CLI ToolsSpring framework does not provide any CLI tool for developing and testing applications.Spring Boot provides a CLI tool for developing and testing Spring Boot applications.
PluginsSpring framework does not provide any plugin for maven, Gradle, etc. like Spring Boot.Spring Boot provides build tool plugins for Maven and Gradle. The Plugins offer a variety of features, including the packaging of executable jars.


By now, we have a good understanding of what Spring and SpringBoot are, even though they go hand in hand. To sum up Spring Boot contains all of the functionality of the standard Spring framework while also making application development much easier. When compared to Spring, you can get an application up and running in considerably less time because all Spring Boot attributes are auto-configured.

(Video) Spring Boot Tutorial | Spring vs Spring Boot vs Spring MVC #2

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better to learn Spring or Spring Boot?
Spring Boot contains all of the functionality of the standard Spring framework while also making application development much easier. When compared to Spring, you can get an application up and running in considerably less time because all Spring Boot attributes are auto-configured. So the answer is Spring Boot.

What is Spring Boot best for?
Spring Boot means something that lets you bootstrap a spring application from scratch and the Spring Boot framework is mainly used to develop REST APIs.

Does spring boot replace spring?
Spring Boot isn’t meant to be a replacement for Spring; rather, it’s meant to make working with it faster and easier. As a result, the majority of the modifications required to migrate an application are configuration-related. Our bespoke controllers and other components will largely remain unchanged.

How much does it take to learn Spring?
The answer to this question varies from person to person as everyone has their own speed but on average you can learn spring in approximately 4 weeks ( a month).

When should you not use a Spring boot?
Spring Boot is not suitable for large-scale projects because Spring Boot creates a lot of unused dependencies, resulting in large deployment files.

Additional Resources

  • Spring Interview Questions
  • Spring Boot Interview Questions
  • Spring Security Interview Questions
  • Difference Between Spring MVC and Spring Boot


Spring vs Spring Boot: Know The Difference? ›

Spring is a lightweight framework that offers an elaborate environment for robust programming and configuration model for Java-based applications. Spring Boot is a java-based framework that is best for creating stand-alone, Spring-based applications in a short period.

How can you tell the difference between spring and spring boot? ›

In the Spring framework, you have to build configurations manually. In Spring Boot there are default configurations that allow faster bootstrapping. Spring Framework requires a number of dependencies to create a web app. Spring Boot, on the other hand, can get an application working with just one dependency.

Do we need to know spring to learn spring boot? ›

Before learning Spring Boot, you must have the basic knowledge of Spring Framework.

Is Spring Boot a replacement for Spring? ›

Spring Boot is not intended to replace Spring, but to make working with it faster and easier. As a result, most of the changes needed for migrating an application are related to configuration. For the most part, our custom controllers and other components will remain the same.

Is Spring and Spring Boot in Java? ›

Spring Framework is a widely used Java EE framework for building applications. Spring Boot Framework is widely used to develop REST APIs. It aims to simplify Java EE development that makes developers more productive. It aims to shorten the code length and provide the easiest way to develop Web Applications.

What is REST API in Spring Boot? ›

The REST architecture builds web services that are accessible through URLs using one of four request verbs: POST, GET, PUT, and DELETE. So, you could say a REST API is software that allows you to create, read, update, and delete resources via URLs. You can learn how to create a REST API using Spring Boot.

How much Java knowledge is required for Spring Boot? ›

No background knowledge is needed to study Spring.

Is Spring Boot easy or hard to learn? ›

The Spring Framework requires a steep learning curve. It also has a complicated toolset, making it a difficult framework for relatively inexperienced development teams. Users can access lots of documentation and tutorials on the Spring Framework website and elsewhere on the internet.

Should I learn Spring MVC or Spring Boot? ›

You can use Spring MVC if you want to develop a web application with Spring. However, for the development of general Spring applications or beginning to learn Spring, it is recommended that you use Spring Boot as it is production-ready, mitigates the job, and is being quickly adopted.

When should you not use Spring Boot? ›

When you have a large number of different web apps, it can make sense to let the knowledge on that part only in the production team. In that case, you would not use Spring boot. On the other end, if the hosting is externalized, Spring boot allows to give a full package.

Why Spring Boot is preferred over Spring? ›

Spring Boot is an extension of Spring, which eliminates the boilerplate configurations required for setting up a Spring application. Featuring default codes and annotation based configuration, Spring Boot enables a faster and more efficient development ecosystem.

What is Spring Boot disadvantages? ›

Lack of control. Spring Boot creates a lot of unused dependencies, resulting in a large deployment file; The complex and time-consuming process of converting a legacy or an existing Spring project to a Spring Boot application; Not suitable for large-scale projects.

What is difference between Spring Boot and microservices? ›

Microservice architectures are the 'new normal'. Building small, self-contained, ready to run applications can bring great flexibility and added resilience to your code. Spring Boot's many purpose-built features make it easy to build and run your microservices in production at scale.

What is Maven in Spring Boot? ›

The Spring Boot Maven Plugin provides Spring Boot support in Apache Maven. It allows you to package executable jar or war archives, run Spring Boot applications, generate build information and start your Spring Boot application prior to running integration tests.

Why is Spring Boot used for microservices? ›

Why there is a need for Spring Boot? Spring Boot enables building production-ready applications quickly and provides non-functional features: Embedded servers which are easy to deploy with the containers. It helps in monitoring the multiples components.

What is diff between REST and API? ›

A web API lets you interact with a web server through HTTP requests, while a REST API lets you interact with any kind of server over HTTP. REST APIs are web services that use HTTP and provide an interface for clients to interact with the service.

What are the 4 components of REST API? ›

Any REST request includes four essential parts: an HTTP method, an endpoint, headers, and a body.

Why is API called REST? ›

Representational State Transfer (REST) is a software architecture that imposes conditions on how an API should work. REST was initially created as a guideline to manage communication on a complex network like the internet.

Is Spring boot full stack? ›

React and Spring Boot are two of the hottest technologies for developing Full Stack applications.

Should I learn Java or Spring Boot? ›

I recommend every Java developer to learn Spring Boot and if you already know spend some time learning it better. There is so much to learn on Spring Boot. If you need a course, I recommend the Spring Boot Masterclass, one of the best online courses to learn Spring Boot, from Udemy for just $10 on their sale.

In what order should I learn Spring? ›

Since most of the developers want to learn Spring MVC, I suggest you first start with Spring Core and then follow the Spring MVC part.
  1. Spring Core. Spring core is the core framework that provides the container required to implement Dependency injection and inversion of control. ...
  2. Spring MVC. ...
  3. Spring Security. ...
  4. Spring Boot.

How many days can we learn spring boot? ›

Free Spring Boot Tutorial | Full In-depth Course | Learn Spring Boot in 10 Hours.

How many months to learn spring boot? ›

You can learn Spring Framework in around 4 weeks and during the 4 weeks time you can learn it from beginning. In Spring framework you have to start with the SpringCore, SpringAOP and then learn the web development using Spring Web. After this you should learn the advanced concepts of the Spring Framework.

What should I learn before Java Spring? ›

  • Interview Preparation Course.
  • Data Science (Live)
  • GATE CS & IT 2024.
  • Data Structures & Algorithms in JavaScript.
  • Data Structure & Algorithm-Self Paced(C++/JAVA)
  • Data Structures & Algorithms in Python.
  • Explore More Self-Paced Courses.
Feb 26, 2023

Is Spring Boot still worth learning? ›

Spring Boot is one of the best frameworks for Java developers and if you don't know yet, probably 2023 is the best time to learn Spring Boot.

Should I learn NodeJS or spring boot? ›

Both technologies are winners. If your apps require a lot of input/output activities, NodeJS App Development is the way to go. But, if you need a tough, secure, and standalone program that takes a lot of CPU time. Thus, Spring Boot Development is the way to go.

Should I learn react or spring boot? ›

React and Spring are primarily classified as "Javascript UI Libraries" and "Frameworks (Full Stack)" tools respectively. "Components", "Virtual dom" and "Performance" are the key factors why developers consider React; whereas "Java", "Open source" and "Great community" are the primary reasons why Spring is favored.

Is Spring Boot in decline? ›

Popularity trend: Spring Boot dominates and still grows in all categories except for Google searches. Despite a long decline, Jakarta EE leads Quarkus in all categories but questions at Stack Overflow.

Do we need hibernate with Spring Boot? ›

As their names suggest, these are the starting dependencies in Spring Boot. This dependency includes JPA API, JPA Implementation, JDBC, and the other necessary libraries. Since the default JPA implementation is Hibernate, this dependency is actually enough to bring it in as well.

Is Spring Boot bad for microservices? ›

Spring Boot works well with microservices. The Spring Boot artifacts can be deployed directly into Docker containers. However, some developers don't recommend the framework for building large and monolithic apps.

Which is better hibernate or Spring Boot? ›

If you are planning to build a secure and full-stack web application, then Spring Boot is the best option. If you need a robust and relational database data model, Hibernate will be the best choice.

What is JPA in Spring Boot? ›

JPA is a specification which specifies how to access, manage and persist information/data between java objects and relational databases. It provides a standard approach for ORM, Object Relational Mapping. Spring Boot provides a seemless integration with JPA.

Does Spring Boot need a main method? ›

Spring boot provides entry into the application using the main method.

Does spring boot have a future? ›

We are planning to release Spring Boot 3.0 in November 2022. This next major revision will be based on Spring Framework 6.0 and will require Java 17 or above. It will also be the first version of Spring Boot that makes use of Jakarta EE 9 APIs ( jakarta. * ) instead of EE 8 ( javax.

What is better than spring boot? ›

Spring, Django, JBoss, Spring MVC, and Play are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Spring Boot.

Is spring boot a backend? ›

There are innumerable frameworks that developers use to build backend web apps, but mentioned-below are the top 7 backend frameworks, which have impressed the worldwide developers at large. Spring Boot is one of the best backend frameworks that developers count on while performing backend web development tasks.

How can I check my Spring Boot version? ›

In Spring boot application, you can easily obtain the info by altering the Spring Boot Maven/Gradle plugin configuration to generate the build. properties file and then accessing it through BuildProperties object. For simple scenarios, this is an easy and quick solution and should work for you.

What is the @SpringBootApplication annotation used for? ›

Spring Boot @SpringBootApplication annotation is used to mark a configuration class that declares one or more @Bean methods and also triggers auto-configuration and component scanning. It's same as declaring a class with @Configuration, @EnableAutoConfiguration and @ComponentScan annotations.

What is the difference between Spring Boot and Spring batch? ›

Spring Batch and Spring Boot can be primarily classified as "Frameworks (Full Stack)" tools. Spring Batch and Spring Boot are both open source tools. It seems that Spring Boot with 39.8K GitHub stars and 25.8K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Spring Batch with 1.3K GitHub stars and 1.3K GitHub forks.

What is the difference between Java and Spring Boot? ›

In most cases, Java EE works with web-based and non-web-based structures, while Spring provides multiple structures covering microservices, cloud, serverless event drivers, and others. However, note that Spring is complementary to Java EE, as it may be integrated with many specifications.

Which version of Spring is Spring Boot? ›

Spring Boot 2.2.1 now supports the latest version of Java that is Java 13. In the newer version of Spring Boot, Configuration properties support constructor-based binding. The class annotates with @ConfigurationProperties annotation is to be immutable.

Do we need Maven for spring boot? ›

Spring Boot is compatible with Apache Maven 3.6.3 or later. If you do not already have Maven installed, you can follow the instructions at maven.apache.org. On many operating systems, Maven can be installed with a package manager.

How to find Spring Boot version in cmd? ›

We can use “spring --help” to know the Spring Boot CLI Version as shown below. Now our Spring Boot CLI Installation process is done successfully. Before discussing about Spring Boot “HelloWorld” Example, first we will see how to run Groovy scripts from command prompt.

Why do we use @autowired annotation? ›

The @Autowired annotation provides more fine-grained control over where and how autowiring should be accomplished. The @Autowired annotation can be used to autowire bean on the setter method just like @Required annotation, constructor, a property or methods with arbitrary names and/or multiple arguments.

What is difference between @component and @bean? ›

@Component is a class-level annotation, but @Bean is at the method level, so @Component is only an option when a class's source code is editable. @Bean can always be used, but it's more verbose. @Component is compatible with Spring's auto-detection, but @Bean requires manual class instantiation.

What is @bean annotation in spring boot? ›

Spring @Bean Annotation is applied on a method to specify that it returns a bean to be managed by Spring context. Spring Bean annotation is usually declared in Configuration classes methods. In this case, bean methods may reference other @Bean methods in the same class by calling them directly.

Is Spring Boot only for REST APIs? ›

Spring Boot is a Java framework, built on top of the Spring, used for developing web applications. It allows you to create REST APIs with minimal configurations. A few benefits of using Spring Boot for your REST APIs include: No requirement for complex XML configurations.

What is the difference between Spring Boot and microservices? ›

In a nutshell, Spring Boot is an application used to develop a stand-alone Microservice application and Spring Cloud is used to configure the communication between those services. Hence both are needed to accomplish a production-grade microservices system.

What is the difference between Maven and Spring Boot? ›

Dependency injection (Spring) is about injecting dependencies into an instance of a class. Dependency management (Maven) is about retrieving the right library dependencies (other project jar files, including their own dependencies) for your project as a whole.

Is Spring Boot a JVM? ›

What is Java Spring Boot? Java Spring Framework (Spring Framework) is a popular, open source, enterprise-level framework for creating standalone, production-grade applications that run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).


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