What is a Spring tutorial? (With applications and tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Programmers write code and ensure every line is accurate by going through the debugging process. Those seeking a faster and more efficient method for writing valid code may attend a Spring framework tutorial. Learning what that tutorial entails can help you use it effectively to create highly functional applications. In this article, we explain what a Spring tutorial entails, including its features, components and applications, and provide helpful tips about its functionalities.

What is a Spring tutorial?

A Spring tutorial is a method that provides an in-depth understanding of the Spring framework with clear examples. Spring is a reliable and open-source lightweight framework for application development, such as Java Enterprise Edition (JEE), primarily used for creating web applications. A framework is a structure that provides solutions to different technical issues.

There are versions of the Spring framework built for specific purposes, such as Spring Boot and Security. Spring is commonly referred to as a framework of frameworks because it supports other frameworks, such as Hibernate and Struts. This support lets users easily develop functional and secure Java applications that automatically handle simple processes, including managing dependencies and maintaining container lifecycles.

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Spring framework features

Here are some Spring framework features:

  • Lightweight: Spring is relatively lightweight in size and transparency. A lightweight framework helps reduce application code's complexity and avoid unnecessary ones in its functions.

  • Dependency injection: Spring manages the dependencies of Java beans by checking which ones require specific beans to function and proceeding to inject them as dependencies. This process ensures the loose coupling of code, which means that changing the application of one may not affect the other.

  • Inversion of control (IoC): This architectural pattern depicts the dependency injection that requires being implemented by external entities rather than searching or creating dependent objects themselves.

  • Aspect-oriented programming (AOP): This programming pattern separates system services, such as auditing, from application business logic. Spring framework uses AOP to give more modularity to functions throughout applications, such as logging, transaction management and authentication.

  • Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) exception handling: The JDBC exception layer in the Spring framework provides an exception system that simplifies the error handling method in JDBC. This includes an area Spring helps to reduce repeated codes required in the handling.

  • Security: Spring provides validation and authentication features with its security framework.

  • Flexible configuration: Spring framework allows developers to choose between different coding systems.

Spring framework applications

Working with the Spring framework benefits users in different ways. Here are some applications:

  • Plain Old Java Object (POJO)-based: Developers can build enterprise applications with Spring using POJO, an ordinary Java object without restrictions. Doing so is beneficial because you don't require an Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) container product, a server component containing business logic, but you may work with a servlet server, which extends the application a web server hosts.

  • Integration with other frameworks: Spring isn't an exclusive system. It can work with different technologies, including logging frameworks, JEE and other types of frameworks.

  • Testing applications: When you write applications with Spring, the testing process is easier because the transplanted code in the framework depends on the environment. With JavaBeans POJOs, injecting test data with dependency injection is easier.

  • Transaction management: Spring offers a functional interface for managing both simple local and complex global transactions.

  • Web model view controller (MVC): MVC is a software design pattern that helps implement user interfaces and data. The Spring web framework is a well-designed MVC system that provides an ideal alternative to other frameworks, such as Struts or less notable systems.

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Spring framework components

Spring has certain important elements that make up the framework. Here's a description for each one to help you understand the entire system:

Beans

Beans are class instances or objects that Spring manages. They form the basic component of Spring's architecture. Usually, objects produce their instances of dependencies. Spring manages an object's dependencies and fixes the object in a bean after inputting the dependencies it requires. Beans' scope determines their visibility and lifecycle, meaning the scope regulates when they're established and destroyed. There are six bean scopes:

  • singleton

  • prototype

  • request

  • session

  • application

  • WebSocket

Singleton is the default scope of a bean. It creates a single object of the bean and caches it in the memory. You can use the first two listed scopes for any application. While the remaining four are only functional with web applications.

Autowiring

Autowiring occurs when Spring injects beans into each other. It locates a particular bean dependency, finds a match and increases the group. The @Autowired annotation allows Spring to locate and inject a bean into a similar one. If there are more beans of the same type, Spring responds with an error message.

IoC container

This container offers IoC ability. It's responsible for managing beans and producing required instances. For example, suppose there's a class of automobiles depending on the class of cars. Then, the programmer can use IoC to inject the dependency. Spring handles everything else. The IoC container produces instances of the two classes and inputs automobiles as a dependency on cars.

Spring modules and projects

Modules are a group of tools of the same or similar specific function. Programmers may select the modules they wish to import as dependencies for applications outside the basic group. Projects are modules that developers organise into groups. Every project comprises modules that specialise in working on a particular application type or platform. The module and project systems help developers keep programs lightweight because they can only load tools necessary for an application. Here are some components of the basic Spring project framework:

  • Data access or integration: This layer supports database and data management interaction. It includes JDBC, Object Relational Mapping (ORM), the Java Messaging System (JMS) module and Object-XML Mapping (OXM).

  • Web: This layer includes the web servlets, pockets and portlets for creating web applications. Developers use servlet and portlet to develop content for users' requests, but they use them in different contexts.

  • Spring core container: This includes the required Spring elements, such as beans, Spring expression language (SpEL), context and core. These modules control the basic functionality of Spring's framework, such as IoC, dependency injection and other important processes.

  • Test: This module handles unit testing by using TestNG and JUnit to support it and creating mock objects to assess code separately.

  • AOP: The Aspect-oriented programming component offers functionalities, including interception, security, pointcuts and logging features.

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General Spring tips

Learning a programming language and framework requires patience and work. Here are a few tips to help you learn Spring and other programming languages:

Focus on the basics

It's better to start by learning a programming language's fundamentals before moving to its more complex elements. How well you understand the basic language components impacts how fast you can learn the more challenging parts. It's beneficial to cover the basics even if they seem too easy or boring.

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Ask questions

As a programmer, you may be in situations where finding a solution is challenging. After trying to solve the issue yourself, ask more experienced programmers, in person or online, for help when you need it. Asking questions also helps the learning and assimilating process.

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Practise

It's not enough to read about and write notes on technical matters, such as programming. Practise regularly so you correctly understand the language you're learning. Reading about coding may make it seem easy but trying to do it yourself can improve your understanding and skills. As you practise, you learn more (especially about the language).

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Find online resources

There are many free and paid online resources on various subjects you can use as a programmer. You could search for helpful videos, articles or online courses to learn valuable information. If you're searching for an answer to a question, you can look online. You may find different responses or the same one in various formats, perhaps helping you fully understand a concept.

Related: 9 of the best online course platforms (with descriptions)

Take breaks

Programmers can spend hours writing or debugging code and may become frustrated while trying to fix errors. While working, it's beneficial to take short breaks and do other activities to clear your mind. When you return to work, you're ready to focus and have a refreshed mind.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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