Spring vs Spring MVC vs Spring Boot

In this article, we will learn what is Spring, Spring MVC, and Spring Boot and what are the differences between them. This is one of the frequently asked interview questions in the interviews for beginners as well as experienced candidates.

Spring Framework

The Spring Framework is an open-source framework for creating enterprise-level Java applications. It provides comprehensive infrastructure support, allowing developers to focus on building robust applications without worrying about underlying infrastructure problems like transaction management, logging, and security. 


Inversion of Control (IoC) Container: The IoC container is responsible for the creation, configuration, and management of application objects (beans). It automates object management by injecting dependencies, leading to more modular and testable code. 

Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP): AOP helps separate cross-cutting concerns like logging, transactions, and security from the main business logic. This separation promotes code modularity and reusability. 

Data Access / Integration: Spring simplifies database access and exception handling with JDBC. It also integrates seamlessly with popular Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) frameworks like Hibernate, JPA, and JDO. 

Transaction Management: Offers a consistent, programmatic, and declarative mechanism for transaction management, ensuring that data remains consistent and the system remains robust.

Security: Provides comprehensive security features such as authentication, authorization, and protection against common vulnerabilities in web applications and RESTFul web services.

Messaging: Spring's messaging module helps with the development of messaging-based applications. It provides support for both traditional messaging systems and newer ones like Apache Kafka. 

Spring MVC

Spring MVC is a module of the Spring Framework specifically designed for developing web applications following the Model-View-Controller pattern. 

Spring MVC module is used to build both web applications and RESTFul web services.


DispatcherServlet: Central servlet handling HTTP requests and delegating responsibilities. 

Web Models, Views, and Controllers: Clear separation of application's logic, data, and presentation layers. 

Integration with View Technologies: Compatible with JSPs, Thymeleaf, FreeMarker, etc. 

RESTful Web Services: Provides annotations to develop REST-based APIs. 

Usage: Ideal for web applications, especially where there's a need for clear separation of concerns, integration with different view technologies, or development of RESTful services.

Spring Boot

Spring Boot is an extension of the Spring ecosystem that simplifies the initial setup and development of new Spring applications. It provides defaults and eliminates much of the boilerplate configuration.


Auto Configuration: Automatically configures your application based on the included libraries.

Standalone: Enables building production-ready standalone applications with embedded servers like Tomcat. 

Production Ready: Provides built-in health checks and metrics via Spring Boot Actuator. 

No Code Generation: Enhances existing code without generating additional code artifacts.

Opinionated Defaults: Provides out-of-the-box default configurations to speed up development.

Environment-specific Configuration: Easily manages application settings for different environments.

Command Line Interface (CLI): Allows running Groovy scripts, making prototyping and scripting simple. 

Embedded Servers: No need for external server setup, comes with embedded Tomcat, Jetty, or Undertow. 

Spring Boot Initializr: Web-based tool to bootstrap new Spring Boot projects. 

Microservices Ready: Easily integrable with Spring Cloud, making microservices architecture development a breeze.

Spring vs Spring MVC vs Spring Boot - Comparision Table

The below table summarizes the difference between Spring vs Spring MVC vs Spring Boot:
Spring vs Spring MVC vs Spring Boot


In this article, we discussed what are Spring Framework, Spring MVC, and Spring Boot and some key differences between them.

Spring Framework is a solid foundation, suitable for enterprise applications and where fine-grained control over configurations is required.

Spring MVC is a natural choice for web applications and RESTful service development within the Spring ecosystem.

Spring Boot is the go-to for rapid application development, especially for microservices, or when you want a production-ready application without the hassle of extensive setup.