Comparing and contrasting Java Spring Boot with Spring

15 Feb 2024

One frequently asked question in the software development industry is ‘Is Java Spring and Spring Boot the same thing?’

‘Why does it even matter?’ is a query you may have. Knowing the difference can make your work a lot easier. For instance, Java Spring Boot simplifies the setup and functioning of Spring apps. By understanding how both of these work, separately and together, you can make smarter choices for your business, saving you time and effort.

Choosing the right tool for the job is vital to success, especially in the constantly developing realm of technology. Let’s examine these two robust frameworks and discover how they can help you accomplish your goals.

What is Spring?

Spring is a popular open-source tool used to build big company applications.  The Spring framework has features to help developers work faster, such as tools for handling transactions, working with data, improving security, and simplifying server-side tech.

It’s one of the most flexible and robust tools available for Java. Spring covers many parts of making an app, offering many ways to simplify Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) development and make developers’ lives easier.

Spring meets the needs of making big company applications today by allowing you to build applications using simple Java objects, known as POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects). This means your business parts aren’t locked into any specific tool or way of running, making it easier to test, reuse, and keep your code up to date.

 Spring Boot and the Spring framework make it easier to work with Java applications by giving a solid yet simple foundation. They help make building Java apps less complicated by offering a complete set of tools for web and non-web parts of an application.

For example, imagine you’re organizing a big party. Spring is like having a checklist that guides you through every detail you need to manage: sending out invitations, setting up decorations, arranging food and drinks, and selecting music. It offers tools and suggestions for each task, but it’s up to you to decide how to execute them and in what order.

Java Spring Boot, in this analogy, is like buying a party package. This package already includes pre-selected invitations, decorations in a theme, a menu of food and drinks, and a playlist. It saves you time by making some decisions based on what most parties need, allowing you to focus on customizing the details to make your event unique.

So, if using Spring is like planning a party from scratch with a comprehensive guide, then using Spring Boot is like starting with a pre-planned party kit that you can tweak to your liking. It’s about how much you want to do yourself versus having some choices made for you to simplify the process.

What are the main features of Spring?

What are the main features of Spring?

The Spring Framework is known for its comprehensive infrastructure support for developing Java applications. Here are some of its main features:

  1.  Dependency Injection / Inversion of Control (IoC): Facilitates loose coupling by injecting dependencies at runtime rather than during compile time.
  2. Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP): Allows for separating concerns, especially cross-cutting aspects such as logging, transaction management, etc.
  3. Data Access/Integration: Simplifies integration with JDBC, ORM frameworks and offers transaction management support.
  4. Transaction Management: Provides a unified approach to transaction management across various transaction APIs.
  5. Model-View-Controller (MVC): A web framework that implements the MVC design pattern for building web applications.
  6. Security: Offers comprehensive security features for authentication, authorization, and protection against common exploits.
  7. Testing: Supports testing with frameworks like JUnit and TestNG, providing mock objects and testing contexts.
  8. Spring Boot: Simplifies the development of new Spring applications through convention over configuration, embedded servers, and a wide range of starters.

These features make Spring a powerful and versatile framework for developing Java applications, from simple stand-alone applications to complex, enterprise-level systems.

Spring Use Cases

You can use the Spring framework for many different things, such as:

  • Making applications that don’t need a server to run
  • Creating microservices that can grow bigger or smaller as needed
  • Keeping the server-side of your app safe
  • Developing applications that can do things without waiting in line
  • Setting up automatic tasks in batches

Advantages of Spring

The Spring framework comes with a lot of perks, like:

  • It helps build all parts of an app
  • It’s pretty lightweight because it uses simple Java objects (POJOs)
  • It makes it easier to keep app parts separate and straightforward to test
  • Spring allows you to use a mix of XML and annotations for setting things up
  • It also provides helpful tools for connecting with other systems

The Spring framework offers many advantages, but what prompted the creation of Spring Boot?

Spring is the go-to Java framework for making big, complex apps. For a long time, if you wanted to build a web app, Spring was your best bet. However, as these apps got more extensive and complicated, so did Spring. Even though it’s excellent for creating large-scale projects, its growing complexity has become a challenge for many developers.

Spring Boot was designed to tackle the challenge of Spring’s complexity head-on. It combines Spring’s best features, like dependency injection and robust configuration, but simplifies everything with a setup that prefers convention over configuration.

What is Java Spring Boot?

What is Java Spring Boot?

Spring Boot is a Java framework that makes it easier to create robust applications quickly. It lets people build self-contained, ready-for-production apps with Spring that start-up easily.

Spring Boot builds on the Spring framework by cutting down on the usual setup and code you need to write. It offers a ready-to-use setup for making Spring applications with less need for XML and annotations. You can get these apps up and running with just one command, which is great for making apps fast.

Since Spring Boot builds on Spring, it includes all of Spring’s excellent features. Spring Boot aims to reduce the amount of code you write and simplify the app development process.

For example, imagine you’re setting up a lemonade stand for the first time. You have a recipe for lemonade, but you also need to figure out how to set up the stand, where to place it, attract customers, and handle sales. Doing all this from scratch can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it.

Spring Boot is like a lemonade stand kit. It comes with a pre-built stand (your application framework), signs to attract customers (pre-configured components like security and databases), and a cash box for sales (built-in application metrics and health checks). Instead of figuring out how to build the stand or make the signs, you focus on making the best lemonade (your specific application logic). You open the kit, follow some simple instructions to customize your stand, and you’re ready to start selling lemonade much faster than if you had to build everything from scratch.

In this analogy, Spring Boot helps you get your “lemonade stand” up and running quickly, letting you focus on what you want to sell rather than getting bogged down with the setup details.

What are the main features of Spring Boot?

Spring Boot comes with these fantastic features:

  • It has a built-in server, so making apps is less complicated.
  • Starter dependencies help you set up and build your apps quickly.
  • It sets up Spring settings for you automatically.
  • You get tools to check on your app’s health and performance.
  • Spring Boot pre-configures everything. You need to select the correct configuration to access specific functionality. If you aim to create a REST API, Spring Boot offers the tools for it.

Advantages of Spring Boot

Java microservices Spring Boot makes building apps faster and cuts out a lot of unnecessary setups, including:

  • It lets you make apps that work on their own.
  • You don’t have to bother deploying WAR files when using Spring Boot.
  • There’s no need for an XML setup.
  • It comes with Tomcat, Jetty, and Undertow built-in.
  • It includes features that are ready for real-world use.
  • Starting up Spring Boot is straightforward.
  • It’s simpler to tweak and keep track of your app.

Drawbacks of Spring and Spring Boot

Drawbacks of Spring and Spring Boot

While Spring and Spring Boot are effective in their respects, they could be better. Now, let’s explore the drawbacks of Spring and Spring Boot.


Spring can be more challenging to use than Spring Boot. It requires a lot of understanding. If you’re new to it, you’ll have to spend time learning the Spring framework. Also, because it’s pretty complex, it can be hard to pick up with little experience in development.

Concurrent Mechanism

Spring offers developers many choices, but having so many options can make it hard to know which features to use and which to skip. Making the wrong choices can lead to significant delays.

No Particular Rules

The Spring framework doesn’t deal directly with XSS (cross-site scripting). Knowing this, we need to come up with ways to stop hackers from breaking into your application.


Making a Spring application requires using a lot of XML.

Drawbacks of Spring Boot

You should be aware of the following Spring Boot downsides despite its many advantages:

Limited authority

Spring Boot adds many unnecessary dependencies, making the deployment file larger.

Complex procedure

Turning an old or current Spring project into a Spring Boot application is a challenging and lengthy process.

Restricted suitability

Even though Spring Boot works excellently for microservices, many developers think there are better choices for creating big applications.

How does Spring Boot solve the main issues of Spring?

When you look at Spring versus Spring Boot, Spring Boot is an enhancement of the Spring framework that lets developers create stand-alone and combined web applications in Java more easily. Spring Boot builds on Spring’s features by smoothing the development process and adding support for external configurations for services like MongoDB, MySQL, and Oracle databases. It also integrates with external libraries like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various messengers.

Spring Boot stands out because of its Auto-configure magic. It automatically sets up configurations for your application that would be tough to do manually. This automatically assigns values to different application parts when it finds them on the classpath.

Moreover, Spring Boot introduces its annotations, blending Spring’s annotations to make using popular web frameworks in projects more accessible.

 Key Differences between Spring and Spring Boot

Now that we’ve covered what Spring and Spring Boot do, let’s look at how they differ:

Spring is a trendy tool for developing Java applications. But, as it’s added new features over time, it’s gotten complex. Starting a new project usually requires a lot of time and hard work.

Think of Spring as a multi-tool framework for building big, severe applications. It’s like a Swiss Army knife for developers because it supports other tools like Struts, JSP, Hibernate, and more. On the other hand, Spring Boot is like a special add-on to Spring that makes it easy to set up and run your apps quickly, without much hassle.

Spring Boot is all about making things faster and easier. It helps you get your work done quicker and more efficiently. While Spring is known for letting you inject dependencies, Spring Boot’s big thing is auto-configuration.

Spring Boot lets you build applications that can run independently without much setup. It’s perfect for making web pages that change dynamically and for creating microservices.

Differences:  Java Spring VS Spring Boot

The key differences between Spring and Spring Boot include:

Commonly used to create large-scale Java applications for businessesOften used to make REST APIs
Seeks to make developing Java applications for businesses easierSeeks to reduce the amount of code and simplify the process of creating web applications
Allows building loosely coupled applicationsAllows building standalone applications
Dependency injection is the main feature.Auto-configuration is the main feature.
Involves writing lots of boilerplate codeReduces boilerplate code
Needs dependencies to be defined manuallyStarters take care of dependencies
Involves setting up server manuallyIncludes embedded server like Tomcat and Jetty

How Nintriva Helps You Build Software with Java Spring or Spring Boot:

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Expert Guidance: Get help from Nintriva’s experienced professionals, who will guide you through the software development process.

Customized Solutions: Receive software solutions customized to fit your specific business needs, ensuring they work efficiently for you.

Advanced Technology: Use the latest tools and technology to create modern and innovative software solutions that keep you ahead of the competition.

Agile Development: Develop software quickly and efficiently using flexible methods, allowing you to adapt to changes in the market.

With our expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction, Nintriva is your trusted partner in software development.

Nintriva works closely with you to understand your goals and deliver scalable, secure, and trustworthy software solutions that help your business grow. This way, your software is customized to meet your specific demands and enable you to compete successfully in the modern business environment.

Get in touch with us.

Prompting readers to contact Nintriva


We’ve looked at several key differences between Spring and Spring Boot and how to choose between them based on what we need. Each framework serves its purpose well, depending on the project requirements.

Spring Boot is the go-to for creating microservices in Java. It makes the whole process faster and smoother by setting up many things for you, like testing and web application settings. 

Java Spring Boot is what we propose if you want to quickly build robust and well-configured apps without being bogged down by the complex setup that Spring demands.

App creation is also made easier for developers by Spring Boot’s code length and configuration.

Thus, Spring Boot is the best choice for anyone who wants to launch their Java application with the least hassle.

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