Does Spring Boot Need a Web Server?


Scott Campbell

Does Spring Boot Need a Web Server?

If you are familiar with Java development, you have probably come across Spring Boot. It is a powerful framework that simplifies the creation of stand-alone, production-grade Spring-based applications. One question that often arises when working with Spring Boot is whether or not it needs a web server to run.

The Short Answer

The short answer is no, Spring Boot does not need a separate web server to run. It has an embedded web server called Tomcat, which allows you to run your application as a self-contained unit. This means that you can package your application as a JAR file and run it without any external dependencies.

Embedded Web Server

When you create a Spring Boot application, it automatically includes an embedded web server in its dependencies. By default, this embedded web server is Tomcat, but you can also choose other servers like Jetty or Undertow depending on your needs.

The embedded web server provides all the necessary capabilities to handle HTTP requests and serve static resources. It eliminates the need for setting up and configuring an external web server, making deployment and distribution of your application much easier.

Advantages of Using an Embedded Web Server

  • Simplicity: Using an embedded web server simplifies the deployment process. You don’t have to worry about installing and configuring a separate web server for your application.
  • Portability: Since your application includes the necessary web server dependencies, it can be easily distributed and run on different machines without any additional setup.
  • Self-Containment: With an embedded web server, your application becomes self-contained. It doesn’t rely on any external infrastructure, making it easier to deploy and manage.

When to Use an External Web Server

While Spring Boot’s embedded web server is suitable for most applications, there are cases where you might need to use an external web server. Here are a few scenarios:

  • High Traffic: If your application is expected to handle a high volume of traffic, you might consider using a dedicated web server like Apache or Nginx to offload some of the load.
  • Complex Configurations: If your application requires complex configurations that are not easily supported by the embedded web server, an external server might be a better choice.
  • Integration with Existing Infrastructure: If your organization already has an existing web server infrastructure in place, it might be more convenient to integrate your Spring Boot application with that infrastructure.

In Conclusion

Spring Boot does not need a separate web server to run. It comes with an embedded Tomcat server that provides all the necessary capabilities for handling HTTP requests and serving static resources. However, there may be situations where using an external web server is more appropriate based on factors like traffic volume and configuration complexity.

If you are new to Spring Boot or looking for a streamlined way of deploying your Java applications, take advantage of the embedded web server and enjoy the simplicity and self-containment it offers!

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