Spring Back-end Web Development Framework

Spring Framework

The Spring Framework is one of the most popular application development frameworks for enterprise Java. Pivotal Software initially released it in 2003. The primary purpose of the Spring Framework is to simplify the creation of enterprise-ready applications by providing comprehensive infrastructure support.

Intro to Spring

The Spring Framework, initially released by Pivotal Software in 2003, is a comprehensive and modular enterprise application framework for the Java platform. It is designed to streamline the development process by providing a rich set of functionalities such as Inversion of Control (IoC) for dependency management, Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) for cross-cutting concerns, and built-in support for transactional data access, web applications, security, and much more. Through its vast ecosystem, including projects like Spring Boot and Spring Security, Spring empowers developers to create scalable, maintainable, and production-ready applications with reduced boilerplate and a focus on convention over configuration.

Spring Quick Facts

  1. Origin: Spring Framework was first released by Pivotal Software in 2003 and was created by Rod Johnson as a response to the complexities in J2EE (now Java EE).
  2. Core Principle: It operates on the principle of “Inversion of Control” (IoC), allowing developers to declare dependencies without manually managing object creation and lifecycles.
  3. Modularity: Spring is modular, meaning developers can choose specific modules like Spring MVC for web applications, Spring Data for data access, or Spring Security for authentication and authorization, without adopting the entire framework.
  4. Spring Boot: A subproject of Spring, Spring Boot simplifies the process of building production-ready applications by providing defaults and auto-configurations, eliminating much of the boilerplate setup.
  5. Active Community: Spring boasts a vast and active community, which means frequent updates, a plethora of resources, tutorials, and third-party tools built around it.

Core Features of the Spring Framework

  • Inversion of Control (IoC): This is the core feature of the Spring Framework. The framework takes the responsibility of managing object lifecycles and dependencies.
  • Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP): With AOP, you can define cross-cutting concerns like logging, transactions, and security, separately from the business logic.
  • Data Access: Spring provides extensive utilities to simplify the database access and error handling. It offers support for JDBC, JPA, JMS, and transactions.
  • Spring MVC: A comprehensive web module for building web applications, including RESTful applications.
  • Spring Boot: Though a project on its own, Spring Boot simplifies the process of building production-ready applications with minimal setup.
  • Spring Security: A powerful and customizable framework for authentication, authorization, and other security features.
  • Spring Data: Simplifies data access using Spring-powered repositories.

Spring Modules

Spring’s modular nature allows developers to pick and choose which modules are needed for their application. Some of the popular modules include:

  • Spring Core Container: It includes the Beans, Core, Context, and Expression Language modules.
  • Data Access/Integration: This encompasses JDBC, ORM, JMS, and Transactions.
  • Web: Web, Web MVC, Web Websocket, and Web Webflux are part of this.
  • Security: Offers comprehensive security features.
  • Messaging: For working with messaging systems like JMS.

Advantages of Using Spring

  • Flexibility: Being modular, you can choose only the components/modules you need.
  • Scalability: Built for enterprise-scale applications.
  • Maintainability: Encourages best practices and writing clean, testable code.
  • Active Community: A vast and active community supports the framework.

Spring Versus Alternatives

The Spring framework stacks up well against the many different options available for doing back-end web development. In the table below, you can see how Spring compares to other back-end development frameworks, including Django, Express.js, and Ruby on Rails.

Getting Started with Spring

If you’re new to the Spring framework and ready to get started, you can use this quick technical guide to getting started.


  • Java JDK (preferably JDK 8 or newer)
  • Maven or Gradle (for dependency management)
  1. Setup Spring Initializr:
    • Visit the Spring Initializr website.
    • Choose your desired project type (Maven or Gradle).
    • Select your Java version.
    • Add dependencies based on your needs (Web, JPA, Security, etc.).
    • Click on “Generate” to download the project structure.
  2. Import Project:
    • Extract the downloaded zip file.
    • Import the project into your preferred IDE (like IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse).
  3. Add Dependencies (Optional):
    • If you need to add more dependencies, you can do so in the pom.xml (for Maven) or build.gradle (for Gradle).
  4. Code Your Application:
    • Under src/main/java, you’ll find the main application file. This is the entry point to your application.
    • Define beans, services, controllers, repositories as needed.
  5. Run Your Application:
    • In your main application file (with the @SpringBootApplication annotation), right-click and run as a Java application.
    • Your Spring application should now be running!
  6. Explore Further:
    • Dive into Spring Boot’s auto-configuration, explore the various modules, and consider integrating databases, security, or other advanced features.

Remember, the Spring ecosystem is vast. As you become more familiar with it, you’ll uncover an array of tools and best practices that can significantly streamline your development process and improve the quality of your applications.

Similar Posts