We have various frameworks in Java. Spring framework is most popular out of them. Some other commonly used frameworks are Struts, JSF, but Spring has already dominated all of them. Let’s understand why is Spring framework so popular ?.
At its core, the Spring Framework includes the principles of simplicity, modularity, and loose coupling. It provides developers with a unified programming model that simplifies the complexities of enterprise application development. With its popular dependency injection mechanism, Spring allows the creation of highly modular and testable code. It also makes developers free from the burden of managing complex dependencies manually. Before directly coming to ‘Why is Spring Framework so Popular ?’, let’s first understand the basic terminology ‘What is a Framework?’.
What is a Framework?
Framework is a special type of software that is built on top of other technologies. It has the ability to generate the most commonly used logics automatically. It also provides abstraction on other technologies to simplify application/software development. For example: Spring, Struts, JSF Frameworks created on top of Servlet & JSP technologies. Spring JDBC module created on top of Spring and JDBC technology.
Note: JSP, Servlet, JDBC are the Java Technologies, Java is a programming language, whereas Spring, Struts, JSF are Frameworks.
What is a Spring Framework in Java?
Spring Framework is a special type of light weight open source software built on top of Servlet & JSP technologies. It is used to develop a complete Java application without letting developers worry about frequently used logics. It provides basic functionality support for developing all kinds of Java applications. In other words, Spring handles the basic infrastructure. So you as a developer needs to focus on your application’s business logic only.
Why is Spring Framework so popular ?
It has several dominating features in comparison to other frameworks in Java. It is a highly acceptable framework in java by the industry because of below features:
Light-Weight: Spring has dominated EJB in no time because of its light-weight feature. EJB was heavy-weight in comparison to Spring.
Open-Source: It is open source software, easily installable, so adapted by industry very quickly.
Modular Architecture: It has multiple modules, we can use each module independently as per our requirement.
Easy to develop Application: As it already has frequently used functionalities of an application built-in into it by default, the developer needs to focus on application’s business logic only.
Fast development: Spring framework modeled on the basis of real time use cases, so developing projects become very fast & easy.
Dependency Injection Feature: Using dependency injection feature, we just need to instruct the Spring container when to instantiate which object via xml or annotations, it creates objects for us. We don’t have to create objects manually. Dependency Injection also promotes loose coupling between components in an application.
Using interfaces instead of classes: It provides good practice such as programming using interfaces instead of classes. It facilitates developers to develop enterprise applications using POJO and POJI model programming.
Easy test support: The Spring Test module provides support for an easy-to-test code.
Extensive Ecosystem: Spring has a massive ecosystem that helps in extending outside the core framework. It incorporates several projects and libraries, such as Spring Boot, Spring MVC, Spring Data, Spring Security, and Spring Cloud, which provide further functionality. The whole Spring ecosystem offers developers an ample amount of tools and options to improve productivity and sort out common business development challenges.
AOP Support: It reduces boilerplate code via AOP (Aspect Oriented Programming) support. Boilerplate code is the code that repeats across multiple applications or in the multiple parts of the project with no change or very minimal change. For example, common connection preparation logic in JDBC comes under boilerplate code. By applying AOP, developers can flawlessly integrate features like logging, security, and transaction management into their applications without modifying the primary structure of the code base.
Integration Capabilities: Spring Framework offers support for integrating with other technologies and frameworks. It provides integration with popular frameworks such as Hibernate, JPA, JUnit, and much more. This interoperability enables developers to smoothly integrate Spring into the required software stack.
Backward Compatibility: Spring Framework has a powerful adherence to backward compatibility. It ensures that applications built on older versions of the framework can flawlessly migrate to newer versions without severe code changes. This behavior makes developers and organizations more confident to rely on the stability and sustainability of their Spring-based applications.
Community Support: A massive and active community of developers also contributes to the popularity of the Spring Framework. The community provides detailed documentation, tutorials, blogs, white papers, forums, and resources, making it easier for developers to learn the framework effectively. The Spring community also aggressively contributes to the improvements, development of new features, and bug fixes, and ensures the framework stays relevant and up-to-date.
Now-a days companies get target to complete a project in very less time, but without any compromise on the quality. In such type of situations Spring Boot is the best option to use, which is built on top of the Spring Framework. You may also go through the topic ‘Why is Spring Boot so Popular?’.
What is the future expectation for the Spring Framework’s popularity?
The Spring Framework continues to develop with the ever-changing landscape of software development. With the introduction of new features, ongoing community support, and flexibility to developing trends, the framework is expected to maintain its popularity in the Java ecosystem in the future as well.
Is the Spring Framework only suitable for large-scale enterprise applications?
As the Spring Framework is frequently used in large-scale enterprise applications, its versatility makes it appropriate for projects of various sizes. Developers appreciate its flexibility, making it applicable to a wide range of application types, from small projects to large, and complex as well.
What is the role of Spring Boot in the popularity of the Spring Framework?
Spring Boot, an expansion of the Spring Framework, simplifies the process of building production-ready applications by providing defaults for application infrastructure and eliminating the need for manual configuration. Its ease of use has significantly contributed to the continued popularity of the Spring Framework.