Difference Between Spring and Spring Boot


Spring Framework (Spring) is an open-source application framework that provides infrastructure assistance to develop Java applications. Spring is one of the most popular Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) frameworks, which assists developers in creating high-performance applications using plain old Java objects (POJOs). It is used for developing stand-alone, production-grade applications on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Java Spring Boot (Spring Boot) is a tool that accelerates and simplifies the development of web applications with the Spring Framework by leveraging three core capabilities- autoconfiguration,
an opinionated approach to configuration, and the ability to build stand-alone applications. Spring Boot is an extension of Spring and makes development, deployment, and testing convenient, and spring Boot is used widely to make Spring developments faster. Let us look at the difference between Spring and Spring Boot but first, we need to know what they are.

What Is A Framework?

Understanding what a framework is essential to comprehend Spring vs Spring Boot. A framework is a reusable design platform for software systems, and it offers support to the code libraries and several scripting languages. A framework is something that can make the core programming easy. There are frameworks developed for all languages. These have been built to allow reusability of the code and to offer tools to let programmers build and develop various components of the software project.

Now that we understand frameworks, let us delve into what a Spring is.

What Is Spring?

Spring is a lightweight application framework. It is a framework for frameworks as it offers its support to several frameworks like Hibernate, Struts, and JSP. Spring offers comprehensive infrastructure support to develop Java applications. It has excellent functions like dependency injection and modules like Spring ORM, Spring AOP, and Spring MVC. These modules help shorten the application development time and improve the application development efficiency.

Spring Boot- What Is It?

Spring Boot allows you to create a stand-alone Spring application that is production-grade. It is a Java-based framework and is used to create a microservice. Made up of 2 words – Spring and Boot, the first part is the Spring framework, and the second is the Bootstrap. So when you combine both the works, you get a bootstrap Spring application from scratch. Spring Boot eliminates the XML configuration that a Spring application needs, letting it develop a faster and more efficient ecosystem.

Difference Between Spring and Spring Boot

Here are the major Spring and Spring Boot differences.

  • Spring is a lightweight open-source framework that is used to develop enterprise applications. Spring Boot is built on the conventional Spring framework and is used to build REST APIs.
  • Dependency injection is a crucial part of the Spring framework, and auto-configuration is an essential Spring Boot feature.
  • Spring helps create loosely coupled applications, and Spring Boot assists in building stand-alone applications.
  • You would need an explicit server to run the Spring application, and Spring Boots offer embedded servers like Jetty.
  • You would need a deployment descriptor to run the Spring application, which is not required in Spring Boot.
  • Spring applications need many lines of codes which are limited in Spring Boot.
  • Spring does not offer support for the in-memory database, and Spring Boots support in-memory databases like H2.

Why Is Spring Boot Preferred Over Spring?

Spring Boot’s advantages are many. Spring Boot has a default configuration that offers faster application bootstrapping. Spring Boot takes an opinionated view of the Spring starter dependency for an efficient and simpler build-up of the app configuration. With Spring Boot, you do not have to worry about the version not matching because many starter projects offer easy integration like Spring Boot Starter Web and Spring Boot Starter Test. With embedded servers like Jetty, execution is much easier than Spring, which needs its servers to run an application. You avoid any boilerplate code with the Spring Boot, which helps to reduce time and increase your productivity. 


Spring is an application framework that is light in weight, and it offers support to several frameworks. Spring Boot is used mainly to develop the REST APIs. The key difference between Spring and Spring Boot is its features, and Spring uses dependency injection while it is auto-configuration in Spring Boot. Spring Boot thus helps reduce the development time and the developers’ effort, which increases productivity. Check out our Full Stack Development course to learn more about the differences between the two and comprehensively understand the topic.

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