Spring Boot vs Node.js

Last modified: April 10, 2017

Spring Boot and Node.js are both hot options for application frameworks. While Spring Boot has largely addressed the headaches experienced with traditional Spring MVC, Node.js has been widely adopted for it's lightweight and pure JavaScript approach to full stack development. Node.js has made it easy for front end developers to enter the full stack scene and Spring Boot has reduced development time for building scalable and secure apps. In this article, we discuss both frameworks and why each one may be the best choice for you moving forward.

Spring Boot vs Spring MVC

Spring Boot is a Spring solution for creating stand-alone Spring apps quickly. It greatly reduces the configuration needed with a traditional Spring project and generates jar files that you can "just run".

Spring Boot embeds Tomcat or Jetty instances directly within projects. This means developers no longer need to worry about deploying a war file to a separate standalone server instance. Spring Boot also doesn't require any xml configuration or generate any code. This greatly reduces development time through an "opinionated" and convention over configuration based approach to app deployment.

Node.js vs Spring Boot

How does Spring Boot compare to Node.js? While it's arguably parallel to Node in deployment efficiency, a greater discrepancy exists in the performance realm. Node.js claims to be single threaded, meaning all I/O runs through a single event loop. It's argued that this is faster than multi-threaded engines because all blocking I/O is thrown off to "asynchronous" operations while the main loop keeps running. In this way, the CPU avoids the overhead of switching threads.

This is misleading because these "asynchronous" operations are actually separate threads running on the same CPU. Since Spring Boot is running on JVM, it's multi-threaded by nature. It's arguably more performant, but that discussion is for another time.

Should You Use Spring Boot or Node.js?

The choice to use one over the other boils down to a few major questions. They are:

How quickly do I need my project completed?

If you're looking for a quick MVP, then using Node.js may be the best choice. Since Node.js is written entirely in JavaScript, it's easy for front-end developers to contribute across the full stack. This greatly improves development time and makes it possible for one developer to fulfill both front and back end responsibilities.

Although Spring Boot makes app deployment much faster, it requires Java experience. If you have a web facing project that requires front end work, it may be harder to find someone that can work well in a Java environment. If you are are an enterprise level company with a team of experienced Java developers, then using Spring Boot could be equally as efficient.

How important is security?

Java is more robust and tested than Node.js and JavaScript making it inherently more secure. While major players like Paypal have shown that Node.js is viable for large scale, secure, products, it still has known vulnerabilities that are constantly being tested.

Node's package manager also poses security threats. Malicious developers can easily infiltrate the vast hierarchal dependency tree of npm modules in npm's central registry. This makes it more prone to security threats than maven or gradle which use a flat dependency tree to build out project dependencies.


In deciding whether to use Spring Boot or Node.js, ask yourself about security and timelines. While Node.js has traditionally dominated Spring in deployment time, Spring Boot has addressed most the pitfalls with Spring MVC. This leaves two great frameworks. Which one is right for you depends mostly on the development resources available to you and their familiarity with Java over JavaScript.


Sudeer M.
April 10, 2017
it's true there is a lot talk out there about whether spring is better than node, java better than javascript, etc. what really matters is what you've got to work with development wise. Node is less mature than Java/Spring but it has made of for lost time with its rich community and success stories. def more secure to use java based solutions but realize that every novice developer can easily spin up servers etc. thanks to node.js

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