Java developers who work with the Spring Framework to develop Java-based applications will find a lot of useful information about this popular framework in books. In addition to offering a detailed explanation of each major facet of the framework, most books also offer guidance on how to use Spring in conjunction with other Java-based technologies. Some books may even contain complete code examples that can be used with or adapted for an individual's own projects.
What is Spring Framework and why it is used?
Spring Framework is an open source application development framework. It provides many features like dependency injection, AOP, aspect oriented programming, MVC support, testing support etc., to build Java-enterprise applications. Its primary goal is to simplify software development and reduce the cost of building and maintaining these applications.
The main aim of Spring Framework is to make Java-EE development easier. It does that by hiding a lot of complexities of Java-EE programming and providing solutions for common problems faced while developing Java-enterprise applications.
Should I learn Spring before Java?
Spring comes with its own set of learning materials. But it is recommended to learn Java programming first before you learn Spring Framework. Furthermore, you should be comfortable with object oriented programming as Spring is an OOP based framework. If you are already well-versed in Java, then go ahead and learn Spring as it will make your application development faster.
Spring is not a replacement for all other Java-frameworks. You can use it along with Struts, Hibernate, JSF etc., and get the benefits of both worlds (i.e., of using different frameworks). If you want to use only one framework for all your application needs, then go with Spring.
"OJVM" - An Open Source Java-Virtual Machine implementation by Hewlett Packard Enterprise is recommended for learning Spring Framework since it is widely used in production environments. However, any recent Virtual Machine will do.
Is Spring difficult to learn?
If you already have programming experience in Java, then learning Spring is not that difficult. You can configure your applications using XML files and annotations in Spring Framework. It provides a lot of flexibility to configure the components which makes it easier for developers with existing knowledge of Java-EE APIs. You can start your journey as a Spring developer as soon as you join a project that uses Spring Framework. In fact, joining such a project is the best way to learn something new from scratch.
There are many ways to get started with Spring:
Spring Boot: This is the recommended way to build Spring based applications. It provides a lot of features like auto-configuration, starter dependencies and components which makes it easier for developers to configure their application. It supports both Maven and Gradle build systems out-of-the-box.
Spring Web MVC: This is an ideal way to build web applications in Spring. It provides many powerful features like validation, conversion support, model caching, RESTful Web Services etc., to reduce the development time of your application.
Spring Data: It simplifies data access layer by providing custom repository implementations for specific types of databases (like MongoDB, PostgreSQL etc.,) and hides the complex implementation details from developers.
Spring Cache: Cache is used to store frequently accessed data so that it does not have to be re-retrieved from database or other data sources. Spring Cache provides a declarative model for caching which makes it easy for developers to configure their applications.
Spring Cloud: Spring Cloud provides a set of tools and frameworks for developers to build micro services and deploy them as cloud services easily. Some of its features include service discovery, load balancing etc.,
How much Java is required for spring?
There is no fixed rule about the required level of Java knowledge before you learn Spring. But, having intermediate or advanced knowledge will help you to configure your applications easily without much hassle. In addition, you will have to know how to develop web applications using MVC pattern.
Is Spring Profile similar to Java-EE? No, Spring Framework is not related to Java-Enterprise Edition (Java-EE). It was inspired by some of the concepts of Java-EE but it does not provide complete support for developing enterprise applications. Its core components are oriented towards building applications faster.
Some Spring concepts you must know:
Spring Beans: It is a POJO with Component annotation. Spring components are managed by the container and is used to build web applications.
Inversion of Control (IoC): This concept provides developers more flexibility when working with Spring Framework. Inversion of Control means that your application components will receive dependencies from container.
Spring MVC: This is a web application framework that simplifies the implementation of Servlets. It uses annotation handlers to process HTTP requests and generate responses.
Spring JDBC: Spring Framework provides custom wrappers for standard JDBC APIs which make it easier for developers to handle connections, queries etc., without adding additional complexity.
In conclusion, Spring is a lightweight framework for developing enterprise applications. It provides lots of flexibility to developers to configure the components according to their needs, which makes it easier for them to maintain and enhance their applications. Lastly, if you want to use one framework for your application needs, then go with Spring.