Simplifying Spring Boot Application Development with Starters

Devaraju Boddu
3 min readNov 2, 2023

Developing Spring Boot applications has become significantly easier and more streamlined, thanks to the introduction of Spring Boot Starters. In this article, I’ll explore what Spring Boot Starters are, why they are valuable, and provide examples to demonstrate how they simplify the process of setting up Spring Boot applications.

What Are Spring Boot Starters?

Spring Boot Starters is one of the major key features or components of Spring Boot Framework. The main responsibility of Spring Boot Starter is to combine a group of common or related dependencies into single dependencies. I will explore this statement in detail with one example. For instance, we would like to develop a Spring Web Application with Tomcat WebServer. Then we must add the following minimal jar dependencies in your Maven’s pom.xml file or Gradle’s build.gradle file

The primary goals of Spring Boot Starters are to:

  1. Simplify Dependency Management: Starters handle the version and compatibility management of various libraries and components, ensuring that your project’s dependencies work well together.
  2. Accelerate Project Setup: With Starters, you can quickly create a working Spring Boot application for a specific use case without the need to add individual dependencies or write extensive configuration.
  3. Encourage Best Practices: Starters often embody best practices in application development, allowing you to start on the right foot.
  4. Facilitate Easy Extension: You can extend the functionality of your Spring Boot application by adding additional dependencies to the project.

Using Spring Boot Starters

To use Spring Boot Starters, follow these simple steps:

  1. Create a new Spring Boot project or open an existing one in your preferred development environment.
  2. In your project’s pom.xml (if using Maven) or build.gradle (if using Gradle), add the appropriate Spring Boot Starter dependency. The dependency's name typically follows the format spring-boot-starter-<module> or spring-boot-starter-<use-case>. For example, if you want to create a web application, include the spring-boot-starter-web Starter.
  3. Spring Boot’s auto-configuration mechanisms will kick in, and the necessary libraries, configurations, and components will be automatically added to your project.

Let’s dive into a practical example to see how Spring Boot Starters work.

Example: Creating a Web Application

Suppose you want to create a web application using Spring Boot. To get started, include the spring-boot-starter-web Starter in your project. Here’s an example using Maven:


<dependencies>
<dependency>
<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-web</artifactId>
</dependency>
</dependencies>

With this dependency added, your Spring Boot application is now equipped to handle web requests, thanks to the inclusion of Spring MVC and an embedded web server.

Customizing Starters

While Spring Boot Starters provide opinionated defaults, they are highly customizable. You can override the default configurations and add your own dependencies to tailor your application to specific requirements.

To customize a Starter, you can add additional dependencies, create your own configuration classes, or modify existing settings. Spring Boot’s documentation provides guidance on how to extend and customize Starter functionality.

In conclusion, Spring Boot Starters are invaluable tools that simplify the process of setting up and configuring Spring Boot applications. By using them, you can get your projects up and running quickly while benefiting from best practices and well-managed dependencies. Whether you’re building a web application, working with databases, or adding security features, Spring Boot Starters are your go-to solution for a smoother and more efficient development process. Start leveraging them in your Spring Boot projects today!

--

--

Devaraju Boddu

Technical Consultant | Ruby On Rails | Java | Spring Boot | AWS