Does Spring Boot Require a Web Server?

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Scott Campbell

Does Spring Boot Require a Web Server?

Spring Boot is a powerful framework that simplifies the development of Java applications. It provides a streamlined approach to building stand-alone, production-grade Spring-based applications.

One common question that arises when working with Spring Boot is whether or not it requires a web server.

Understanding Spring Boot

Spring Boot is designed to be self-contained and self-running. It aims to minimize the complexity of setting up and configuring a Spring application by providing sensible defaults and auto-configuration.

With Spring Boot, you can create executable JAR files that contain all the dependencies needed to run your application.

When you start a Spring Boot application, it automatically starts an embedded web server. This means that you don’t need to deploy your application on a separate web server like Tomcat or Jetty – the embedded server handles the HTTP requests and responses internally.

The Embedded Web Server in Spring Boot

The embedded web server used by default in Spring Boot is Tomcat. However, you have the flexibility to choose other embedded servers such as Jetty or Undertow based on your requirements.

The choice of an embedded server is controlled through dependencies in your project’s build configuration file (e.g., pom.xml).

By default, the embedded web server runs on port 8080, but you can configure it to use any other available port or even multiple ports if needed. Additionally, the embedded server supports various features like SSL/TLS configuration, session management, and request/response compression.

Web Server Alternatives for Production Deployment

While the embedded web server provided by Spring Boot is suitable for development and testing purposes, it may not be ideal for production deployment in all scenarios. In production, you might want to deploy your Spring Boot application on a standalone web server like Apache Tomcat or Nginx for better performance, scalability, and security.

To deploy a Spring Boot application on a separate web server, you can simply package it as a WAR file instead of an executable JAR. This allows you to take advantage of the advanced features provided by the external web server while still benefiting from the simplicity and convenience of Spring Boot for development.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Spring Boot includes an embedded web server that is automatically started when you run your application. This embedded server is sufficient for most development and testing scenarios, providing simplicity and convenience.

However, for production deployment, it is recommended to consider using a standalone web server to take advantage of its advanced features.

With Spring Boot’s flexibility and ease of configuration, you have the freedom to choose the best approach based on your specific project requirements. Whether you decide to use the embedded web server or deploy on a separate one, Spring Boot remains an excellent choice for developing Java applications.

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