Getting started with Spring Boot, | Part-01

  • Standalone: A Spring Boot application is self-contained and easily deployable. It can start with its own embedded Tomcat, Jetty, Undertow web container, or as a console application from a just standard file such as Java Archive (JAR) or Web Archive (WAR). An example of this would be an application that has spring-boot-starter-web as a dependency, which when run will by default inside an embedded Tomcat web container.
  • Production-grade: A Spring Boot application enables most of the features required for production, such as monitoring, connection pools, externalized configurations, and so on, out of the box, and ships with industry-standard, time-tested, and proven third-party applications such as Tomcat.
  • Flexible: A Spring Boot application will have most of its settings auto-configured with default settings based on the dependencies available in the classpath of the application. But the auto-configuration will step back whenever a custom configuration is made. An example for this would be when a Spring Boot application finds a MySQL JDBC driver in the classpath; it auto-configures DataSource, which connects to the host localhost and port 3306, as those will be the settings for a MySQL Server with a default installation.
  • Extensible: A Spring Boot application will have most core functionalities implemented out of the box, but also has a lot of Service Provider Interfaces (SPI), which are used by third-party developers to implement or modify functionality. An example of this would be when a requirement arises for a custom endpoint in Spring Boot Actuator; extending and overriding the AbstractEndpoint.invoke method in a Spring Bean will expose it as a new endpoint under Spring Boot Actuator.

Anatomy of a Spring Boot application

The anatomy of a Spring Boot application will be that it will be inheriting from a spring-boot-starter-parent project that will in return have all the common dependencies available for a Spring Boot application. Apart from this, there will be one or more spring-boot-starter POM such as spring-boot-starter-webspring-boot-starter-jpa, and so on. The following example excerpt from pom.xml shows the basic dependencies of a Spring Boot application:

   <relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->


The minimum bootstrapping point of a Spring Boot application will be a class with a main method that will be annotated with a @SpringBootApplication annotation along with the main method body, which calls the static method, for which a configuration class (a class with @Configuration annotation—the @SpringBootApplication annotation transitively has one) needs to be passed, along with a String array of arguments. The following code shows the minimum bootstrapping point of a Spring Boot application:

import org.springframework.boot.ApplicationRunner;
import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;

public class SpringBootIntroApplication {

public static void main(String[] args) {, args);

public ApplicationRunner applicationRunner() {
return args -> {
         System.out.println("Hello, World!");

By running the preceding class, a Spring Boot application can be provisioned and executed. There are several ways to run a Spring Boot application; some of them are mentioned here:

  • Running the Spring Boot application main class using an IDE.
  • Building a JAR or WAR file using the following Maven command and then running:
$ mvn clean install
$ java -jar target/<package-name>.[jar|war]

Run this using the Spring Boot Maven plugin:

$ mvn clean spring-boot:run

The @SpringBootApplication annotation comprises of @EnableAutoConfiguration and @ComponentScan annotations that do the heavy lifting of auto-configuring the Spring Boot application with the default settings and scanning the packages for any Spring-specific components such as services, components, repositories, and so on.

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