Top 10 Essential Spring Boot Features for Java Development

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DC Kumawat

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Top 10 Essential Spring Boot Features for Java Development

Introduction

Dating back when Spring Boot 1.0 was officially released in April 2014 started marking its presents in the modern technology bundle. And since then, like most technologies, Spring Boot has also improved. Spring Boot is a Java-based tool built on the spring framework. Spring Boot is a popular, open-source, enterprise-level framework proficient for creating standalone, production-grade web applications that run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Spring Boot framework is well-versed with the top-grade features of Spring Boot and can create an application with minimal programming effort. Today we will go deep down and learn more about Spring Boot features that allow Java Spring Boot developers to develop web applications in just under 140 characters. So what are the top features of Spring Boot that give it such a title? It will be better to dive into this informative post and learn the top 10 Spring Boot features for Java development.

But before going into the informative mode, check out its key components.

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Some Key Components of Spring Boot

Spring Boot Starters: The main responsibility of a Spring Boot Starter is to consolidate a group of common or related dependencies into a single dependency. Spring Boot Starter can reduce the number of manually added dependencies by adding only one dependency in the application. So instead of manually determining the dependencies, add a Spring Boot Starter. Examples are spring-boot-starter-web, spring-boot-starter-test, spring-boot-starter-data-jpa, etc.

Spring Boot Autoconfiguration: One common complaint with Spring is that we need to create a lot of XML-based configurations. The Spring Boot AutoConfigurator will simplify this entire XML-based configuration. It also reduces the number of annotations. Auto Configuration is one of the most compiling Spring Boot features that can't be left out. Spring Boot Auto Configuration is a framework's intelligence to automatically configure Spring applications according to its dependencies like JAR available on the classpath. It helps developers to do manual configuration as simple Java Spring-based applications require it. For example:

  • Configure a DispatcherServlet, when Spring MVC JAR is on the classpath.
  • An EntityManager, if JPA JAR is on the classpath.
  • Spring Boot provides Intelligence as Auto-Configuration.

Spring Boot CLI: Spring CLI (Command Line Interface) is another one of the great features of Spring Boot that allows you to run and test Spring Boot applications from the command prompt. Running a spring boot application using Spring CLI internally uses spring boot Starter, and spring boot autoconfigure components to resolve all the dependencies and execute the application.

It has Groovy Compiler and Grape dependency manager and supports Groovy Scripts without Groovy external installation. By using Spring CLI, you can develop Spring Boot applications quickly and efficiently, which makes the whole process quicker. And also, CLI can run the scripts written in Groovy, which means developers can easily focus on writing the business logic for the application without worrying about the boilerplate code.

Spring Boot Actuator: Spring Boot Actuator is a sub-project of the Spring Boot framework that adds several additional production-grade features to monitor and manage your Spring Boot application with little effort on your part. Actuators enable production-ready features for Spring Boot applications without implementing these things manually. The Spring Boot actuator is mainly used to get the internals of a running application, such as health, metrics, information, dumps, environment, etc., similar to your production platform monitoring setup.

What are the Spring Boot Features for Java Development?

This section dives into comprehensive details of Spring Boot and its top-grade features. For the Spring Boot development company, Spring Boot framework works as a solution that offers them a faster Java application deployment, less coding, auto-configuration for applications, and so on. Let’s see the comprehensive Spring Boot features for Java development.

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Top 10 Spring Boot features for Java development

Check out the top features of Spring Boot for Java development.

1. Spring Application

The Spring Application class provides an easy way to bootstrap Spring Application, starting with its primary method. Then, a developer can call start the application by calling a static run method. Below is an example of how it will look:

public static void main(String[] args) {

    SpringApplication.run(MySpringConfiguration.class, args);

}  

2. Externalized Configuration

Externalized Configuration is a Spring Boot feature that allows you to externalize configuration to utilize different environments to work with the same application code. It has various external configuration sources such as Java properties files, YAML files, environment variables, and command-line arguments.

This is when you have to configure these properties, which will require you to rebuild and retest your application on all platforms. Not only that, you must redeploy your application to the production platform every time there is a change.

To lure down this problem, Spring Boot enables you to externalize your configuration. Externalizing the configuration means using the application code that you use in one platform on an external platform. Spring Boot lets you externalize your configuration to reuse your code on different platforms. The following files can be used to externalize the configuration:

- Properties files

- YAML files

- Environment variables, etc.

To debug your application and analyze the logs, you need to understand what is happening inside the application. For example, which beans are configured, how many times a specific service was called, or how many times a particular service failed. The actuator is the window in your application. The Actuator Framework is lightweight to inspect your application health-checking endpoints without installing any other applications or tools. Spring actuators provide an easy way to track health, metrics, information, and more.

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In addition to monitoring, actuator endpoints enable you to interact with your application. Spring Boot includes several built-in endpoints, and you can also add your actuator implementations.

3. Profiles

Spring profile provides a way to exclude the parts of your application configurations and makes it available only for specific environments. In addition, you can use the profile component or property to specify which profile is active, enabling you to determine the property in any way.

This Spring Boot features list still has a long way to go, so next up is "Spring Initializr".

4. Spring Initializr

Spring Initializr provides an extensible API to generate the structure of JVM-based projects and to inspect metadata used to create projects. It allows developers to set up the task manually more quickly and efficiently. Spring Initializr has some following options to help you define the structure of their projects.

Project: It allows you to create a Maven project or Gradle project.

Language: Java, Kotlin and Groovy; any of the three languages can be chosen.

Spring Boot: You can select the Spring Boot version.

Project Metadata: Contains information that describes the project.

5. Opinionated Configuration

Spring Boot takes an Opinionated Configuration approach before building or deploying a new Spring application. When you use Java, you have ample options depending on the web, logging, archiving framework, or whatever build tool you want.

Instead of having many Java options, developers prefer to use only popular libraries. What Spring Boot does is it loads and configures them in the most standard way. Hence, developers do not need to drain a lot of time configuring the same thing repeatedly. This way, they have more time to write code and meet business requirements.

It's a great way to get started with the Spring Boot stack quickly. It helps you set up a fully functioning application very promptly by providing intelligent default configurations that you will most likely be satisfied with.

6. Spring Security

If Spring Security is on the classpath, web applications are automatically secured by default. In addition, this spring boot feature provides authentication and authorization to our application by using simple servlet filters. However, web applications lack security, meaning the platform is most likely to face threats and attacks as it is not protracted completely and accessible by anyone who uses the internet.

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With Spring Security, you can secure your web URLs. It contains several security components, such as MVC security and Webflux security. It protects your application end-to-end, and you can customize your desired settings per the requirements.

7. Testing

Spring Boot provides several utilities and annotations to developers that help test te applications without complications. This test support is provided by two modules spring-boot-test, which contains core items, and spring-boot-test-autoconfigure enables auto-configuration test support for your application.

8. Spring Integration

Spring Integration is a powerful Spring Boot feature that offers a few conveniences working with it, including "Starter". Spring integration provides abstractions over messaging and other transport such as HTTP, TCP and others. You can get started by implementing spring integration on the classpath; it is accessible through the @EnableIntegration annotation.

9. Standalone Application

Spring Boot is a highly proficient enterprise-level application framework that covers a comprehensive list of spring boot features in greater detail. Among those spring boot features for java development, the standalone application feature comes with various functionalities. As a result, spring boot helps developers create applications that run on any platform.

Specifically, it allows you to create standalone applications that run independently without relying on an external web server by embedding a web server such as Tomcat and Netty in your application throughout the initialization. As a result, you can launch your application on any platform by simply Run Command. And also, you can opt out of this spring boot feature to build applications without an embedded web server.

10. Logging

Spring Boot uses a Common Logging for all internal logging but leaves the underlying log implementation open. By default, configurations are provided for Java Util Logging, Log4J2 and Logback. Therefore, in such cases, loggers are pre-configured to use console output and with optional file output.

By default, if a developer uses "Starters," Logback is used for logging. Adequate Logback routing is also included to ensure that dependence libraries that use Common Logging, Java Util Logging, Log4J2 or SLF4J all work correctly.

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Conclusion

That's all for now about features of Spring Boot for Java development. These top 10 spring boot features make the whole Java development work fluently and productively, and that's why more and more companies are adopting Spring Boot for Java development. Java developers with extensive knowledge of Spring Boot are also in high demand. The learning curve of Spring Boot is widely popular; as a result, more and more Java Spring Boot developers are attracted to it.

Other than the spring mentioned above, Spring Boot features will help you become more familiar with the framework. We hope this post will be beneficial as Spring Boot features are and will allow you to make your productivity of application development more fluent without complications.

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