Best Way to Master Spring Boot – A Complete Roadmap
In the corporate world, they say “Java is immortal!”. But Why? Java remains one of the major platforms for developing enterprise applications. Enterprise Applications are used by large companies to make money. Those applications have high-reliability requirements and an enormous codebase. And according to a Java Developer Productivity Report, 62% of surveyed developers are using Spring Boot as their main framework technology.
Now the questions that arise are, What’s Spring Boot? Why it’s so much popular nowadays? What’s the best way to master Spring Boot? How to start? Where to start? What topics one should cover? etc, etc. Do you need to learn all the concepts from a book or you should go with some online tutorials or you should learn Spring Boot by doing some projects on it? So in this article, we are going to discuss all these things in detail.
Why Spring Boot if There is Already Spring!
Spring is widely used for creating scalable applications. In the case of web applications, Spring provides Spring MVC which is widely used to create scalable web applications. But the major drawback of spring projects is that configuration is really time-taking and can be a bit tedious for the new developers. To make the application production-ready takes some time in spring. And the solution for this is Spring Boot. Spring Boot is created on the top of the spring and includes all the features of spring. And is becoming a favorite of developers these days because of its rapid production-ready environment which allows the developers to directly concentrate on the logic instead of struggling with the configuration and setup.
Please refer to this article for a detailed explanation: Difference between Spring and Spring Boot
What’s Spring Boot?
Spring Boot is one of the most popular and used frameworks of Java Programming Language. It is a framework based on microservice and making a production-ready application using Spring Boot takes very little time. It is very easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring-based Applications that you can “just run“. So some of the main features of Spring boot are listed below.
- Create stand-alone Spring applications
- Embed Tomcat, Jetty, or Undertow directly.
- Provide ‘starter’ dependencies to simplify the build configuration.
- Automatically configures Spring and 3rd party libraries whenever possible.
- Provide production-ready features like health checks, and externalized configuration.
- No code generation and no requirement for XML configuration.
Why Spring Boot? (Decide the Goal First)
So before jumping into the complete Roadmap of Spring Boot one should have a clear goal in his/her mind that why he/she wants to learn Spring Boot? Is it for your college academic projects? Or Is it for your long-term career? Or Do you want to build your websites to start your business? So first make a clear goal. Why do you want to learn Spring Boot?
A Roadmap to Learn
Start with the Overview of Spring Boot. Read some Spring Boot-related blogs and also research some \ Spring Boot-related things. For example, read blogs on Introduction to Spring Boot, Why Spring Boot? if there is already Spring, etc., etc. and make a complete mind makeup to start your journey on Spring Boot. Make yourself self-motivated to learn Spring Boot and build some awesome projects using Spring Boot. Do it regularly and also start learning one by one new concept on Spring Boot. It will be very better to join some workshops or conferences on Spring Boot before you start your journey. Make your goal clear and move on towards your goal.
1. Learn Java Programming
One may consider this step as a prerequisite. Learn Java programming language in depth before you start learning Spring Boot.
2. Spring Framework
To master Spring Boot you need to learn the Spring framework first. So we will suggest, you must know the basics of the Spring framework at least. Without learning the core spring firework you are not going to get the “Ahh!!” moment about Spring Boot such as what are the things it carries to the table. In the spring framework, you need to learn these things
- Bean Life Cycle
- Dependency Injection
- Inversion of Control
- Bean Factory and Application Context
- MVC Structure
- Integrating different libraries/frameworks (Like Hibernate)
- AOP (Aspect Oriented Programming):
- How AOP Works
- Creating PointCut, JoinPoint, Aspect, etc (Basics Only)
3. Spring Security
It is a powerful and highly customizable authentication and access-control framework. It provides both authorization and authentication to Java applications. Like all Spring projects, the true power of Spring Security is found in how easily it can be extended to meet custom requirements. You need to learn the following concepts in Spring Security
- Form Authentications
- JWT(JSON Web Token)
4. Spring Boot
Once you have an understanding of spring firework and how to implement spring security that is the time you need to switch to spring boot. And at that time you are going to get the “Ahh!!” moment about Spring Boot because whatever you did and whatever the configuration you are doing for the spring application that everything will be automated in the spring boot. So let’s see what you need to learn in spring boot
4.1: Importance of Spring Boot
You have to understand the importance of spring boot this is why spring boot was there and how it is beneficial to create the application. Ideally, the spring boot is used to create the RAD (Rapid Application Development) level application and to create the microservices. In the microservices world spring boot is the most famous framework.
4.2: Auto Configuration and Adding Configuration
Spring Boot comes with auto-configuration. Whatever the configuration you accomplish while creating the spring application using the spring web and spring AOP you have to do add a lot of configurations. These all configurations are been automated, auto-configured in the spring boot. So by default configuration would be always there, but whenever you want to modify these configurations you can modify all those configurations. So you should learn all these things like how to modify a particular configuration which is been autoconfigured. So that is a really important part of the spring boot because it is always not advisable to use the default configuration though these configurations are created with certain parameters kept in mind.
You must be aware of how to create different properties files for the different profiles and you can also create the YAML file also.
4.4: Integration with other libraries/frameworks
You should also learn how to integrate different libraries suppose you want to integrate the MySQL database with your spring boot application so you needed to learn how to do that.
4.5: REST API
Ideally, spring boot is used to create the REST APIs to be consumed or to be consumed by the other application and to use in the microservices. You just learn the following things in REST API
- HTTP Methods:
- HTTP Status Codes:
Now comes the database part of the spring boot because your backend is really important for creating your application. So you must learn different types of database
- Spring Data
We will suggest starting with the SQL Database so from that database you will get a core knowledge of how a database works and how are the different operations performed in the database.
To use any of the databases with your spring boot application you have to learn the spring data. Spring data can be used to configure and use the different databases that are available. So following are the things you should learn in Spring Data
- Spring Data JPA
- Spring Data MongoDB
- Spring Data JDBC
Microservices are small, loosely coupled distributed services. Microservice Architectures evolved as a solution to the scalability and innovation challenges with Monolith architectures (Monolith applications are typically huge – more than 100,000 lines of code). It permits to take a large application and break it into easily manageable small components with slightly defined responsibilities. Read more in this article: Microservices Introduction. And as it is known that Spring Boot is famous for Microservices so one should learn these things in Microservices
- Spring Cloud
- Spring Cloud Gateway
- Spring Cloud Config
- Spring Cloud Circuit Breaker
- Spring Cloud OpenFeign
- Spring Cloud Sleuth
- Other Spring Cloud Projects (Based on Requirement)
- Microservices Patterns (Basics Understanding)
- Event Sourcing
- DevOps (Will be plus)