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Spring Boot vs Spring MVC: What is the Difference?

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  • | 791 Ratings |
  • Last Updated August 09, 2018

Introduction

Spring is an application framework highly popular for the development of enterprise applications. It is built for Java and allows software developers to implement the enterprise systems of various sizes including POS, e-commerce, ERP, banking, and so on. The Spring Framework offers a comprehensive configuration and programming model for the latest enterprise applications based on Java on any type of deployment platform. 

Spring 5 is the latest version of Spring framework and it has the support for reactive web applications. Being reactive implies that a system is elastic, message-driven, responsive, and resilient. Spring Framework’s two of the most important features are inversion of control (IOC) and dependency injection (DI). This is because, we can build loosely coupled applications when DI and IOC are used properly.

What is Spring MVC?

One of the modules of the Web layer of the Spring Framework is the Web-Servlet module. This module consists of Spring Framework’s MVC (model-view-controller) implementation for web applications. It provides a model-view-controller architecture and ready elements that can be utilized to build loosely coupled and flexible web applications. 

The model-view-controller pattern results in dissociating the various aspects of application such as UI logic, business logic, input logic while offering a loose coupling between these components. Spring MVC is designed around a DispatcherServlet that deals with the HTTP requests and responses.  

What is Spring Boot?

Spring Boot is a way to ease the creation of stand-alone application with zero or minimal configurations. It is basically an approach to build applications based on Spring framework with minimal configuration. Spring Boot makes it easy for the creation of production-grade, spring powered services and applications with minimum confusion. 

It can be used for traditional WAR deployments or for the creation of stand-alone Java applications. Spring Boot provides a widely accessible and a radically faster ‘getting started’ experience for the entire Spring development. 

Wish to Learn Spring Boot? Learn it from industry experts.!

Comparing Spring Boot and Spring MVC

In the above paragraphs, we have learnt what is Spring Framework, Spring Boot, and Spring MVC. Now, let’s compare Spring MVC and Spring Boot. One of the most common dilemmas for the newbie developers who want to use Spring Framework is which one they should go for, either for Spring MVC or Spring Boot. 

Well, if you are a new developer, you may think you should go for Spring Boot as it is the latest one. So, let’s dig deeper into the comparison part and understand which one is more recommended than the other. 

Spring MVC

  1. Spring MVC is a HTTP oriented web application development framework and is a module of Spring framework. 
  2. It provides a decoupled way of building web applications. It will let you implement your web application in accordance with the model-view-controller design pattern. 
  3. pring MVC is equivalent to JSF(Java Server Faces) in the JavaEE stack. Classes annotated with @Controller are the most popular elements in Spring MVC. 
  4. For the implementation of REST based APIs, Spring MVC has an equivalent @RestController.

Spring Boot

  1. Spring Boot enables you to rapidly build and create Spring applications utilizing the Spring framework. 
  2. You need more configuration on your part if you choose to avoid Spring Boot. 
  3. The features that only Spring Boot can offer are the capability to create standalone web applications and auto-configuration. 
  4. You can do things such as incorporate H2 on the build path with the help of auto-configuration. For an in-memory database, Spring will auto-configure the connection details without any further configuration. 
  5. The starter projects provided by Spring Boot will increase productivity by providing defaults and configurations to minimize the effort of a developer avoiding writing a lot of XML configuration, annotations, and boilerplate code.
  6. Spring Boot also offers embedded http servers such as Jetty, Tomcat, etc. which you can package together with your applications for creating executable war files. 
  7. With the help of Spring Boot, you can tell Spring how many of its modules(spring-web, spring-date, spring-core, and so on) to use and you will also get a quick setup for them. 

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. Also, Spring Boot can use Spring MVC and autoconfigure it. In this case, the choice won’t be between MVC and Boot but between Boot or Bootless. This depends on how open to associated risks and innovation your organization is. 

Today, most of the Spring projects are integrated completely with Boot and even the Spring community began to develop various applications based on Spring Boot(monitoring and managing for example). You can benefit from very nice and useful features like remote shell and actuator for monitoring and managing with Boot. This enhances your application with production-ready features.

Spring Boot has very powerful and nice configuration controls. Because of these, you can extend the Boot in a very simple and impressive way. Boot is one of the first microservice ready platforms. 

Your project configuration will be very simple with the help of Boot and you need not maintain an XML file as well. Boot provides a lot of default implementation and JPA integration and Spring Hibernate will be pretty simple.

Conclusion

So, if you look at the comparison part, Spring Boot is more useful when compared with Spring MVC as it has many inbuilt features and benefits which make it more reliable to use than MVC. Most of the things are auto configured using Boot. Just like Tomcat, Boot bundles a war file with server runtime. This enables for easy deployment and distribution of web applications. 

Spring Boot is quite useful for container based deployments as industry is moving towards them. Though Spring MVC is the oldest and widely used JVM web framework and it has a large community of followers which are quite helpful and have provided numerous answers and tutorials, the popularity of Spring Boot is growing at a rapid pace and the reasons are mentioned clearly in the above section. 

 

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