Building an Application with Spring Boot

Bootstrap Spring Boot Tutorial – Simple Application

Spring Boot is an opinionated, convention-over-configuration focused addition to the Spring platform – highly useful to get started with minimum effort and create stand-alone, production-grade applications.

This tutorial is a starting point for Boot – a way to get started in a simple manner, with a basic web application.

Starting with Spring Initializr

For all Spring applications, you should start with the Spring Initializer. The Initialize offers a fast way to pull in all the dependencies you need for an application and does a lot of the setup for you. This example needs only the Spring Web dependency. The following image shows the Initializr set up for this sample project:

The following listing shows the pom.xml file that is created when you choose Maven:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""
<relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->
<description>Demo project for Spring Boot</description>






Create a Simple Web Application

Now you can create a web controller for a simple web application, as the following listing (from src/main/java/com/example/springboot/ shows:
package com.example.springboot;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;

public class HelloController {
public String index() {
return "Greetings from Spring Boot!";

The class is flagged as a @RestController, meaning it is ready for use by Spring MVC to handle web requests. @RequestMapping maps / to the index() method. When invoked from a browser or by using curl on the command line, the method returns pure text. That is because @RestController combines @Controller and @ResponseBody, two annotations that results in web requests returning data rather than a view.

Create an Application class

The Spring Initializr creates a simple application class for you. However, in this case, it is too simple. You need to modify the application class to match the following listing (from src/main/java/com/example/springboot/

package com.example.springboot;
import java.util.Arrays;
import org.springframework.boot.CommandLineRunner;
import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.context.ApplicationContext;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
public class Application {

public static void main(String[] args) {, args);

public CommandLineRunner commandLineRunner(ApplicationContext ctx) {
return args -> {

System.out.println("Let's inspect the beans provided by Spring Boot:");

String[] beanNames = ctx.getBeanDefinitionNames();
for (String beanName : beanNames) {



@SpringBootApplication is a convenience annotation that adds all of the following:

  • @Configuration: Tags the class as a source of bean definitions for the application context.
  • @EnableAutoConfiguration: Tells Spring Boot to start adding beans based on classpath settings, other beans, and various property settings. For example, if spring-webmvc is on the classpath, this annotation flags the application as a web application and activates key behaviors, such as setting up a DispatcherServlet.
  • @ComponentScan: Tells Spring to look for other components, configurations, and services in the com/example package, letting it find the controllers.

The main() method uses Spring Boot’s method to launch an application. Did you notice that there was not a single line of XML? There is no web.xml file, either. This web application is 100% pure Java and you did not have to deal with configuring any plumbing or infrastructure.

There is also a CommandLineRunner method marked as a @Bean, and this runs on start up. It retrieves all the beans that were created by your application or that were automatically added by Spring Boot. It sorts them and prints them out.


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