19 Point Checklist: Starting a New Project in Spring Boot

Starting a new project in Spring Boot requires careful planning and consideration to ensure a successful outcome.
In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive checklist of essential items to address before embarking on your Spring Boot project.

Essential Checklist

Following this checklist will help you set the right foundation and increase your chances of a project’s development process.

essential checklist for spring boot

1. Define Project Scope
Clearly define the project scope, goals, objectives, and requirements of your project. Outline the expected features, functionality, and user requirements to have a clear vision of what you aim to achieve.

2. Select the Design Pattern
When starting a new project on Spring Boot, it is crucial to carefully choose the appropriate design pattern based on the project’s requirements, scope, and future plans. The design pattern you select plays a significant role in influencing the performance and cost of the deployment environment.

3. Select Java Version
The Java version you choose will impact the compatibility, performance, and availability of libraries and frameworks for your project. Must check commercial use and licencing.

4. Choose Spring Boot Version
This is the same as the selection of the Java version. Choosing the appropriate Spring Boot version is crucial when starting a new project. The Spring Boot version you select will determine the availability of features, compatibility with other libraries, and community support.

5. Project Structure
When setting up a project structure for a Spring Boot application, it’s important to follow established conventions and best practices. Although the specific structure may vary depending on the project’s complexity and requirements.
The project structure can vary from one organization to another, better to consult seniors from the organization.

6. Define Dependencies
Dependencies in software development refer to external libraries, frameworks, or modules that are required by a project to provide additional functionality or services. These dependencies are typically managed through build tools like Apache Maven or Gradle, which handle the download, configuration, and resolution of the required libraries. Dependencies are essential for leveraging existing code and reducing the effort needed to implement common functionalities.

7. Configure Application Properties
Application properties in a Spring Boot project are used to configure various aspects of the application, such as database connections, logging settings, security configurations, and more. These properties are typically stored in a configuration file called `application.properties` or `application.yml` including different environment properties and other message properties.

8. Version Control and Collaboration
Version control and collaboration are crucial aspects of software development that enable teams to work together efficiently and effectively. Version control systems allow you to track changes to your codebase, collaborate with team members, and manage different versions of your project. Once you have selected a version control tool, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the best practices for branching strategies.

9. Deployment Planning / DevOps
Deployment planning and DevOps practices are critical for successful software development projects. They involve streamlining the deployment process, ensuring efficient delivery of software, and promoting collaboration between development and operations teams. This includes Infrastructure as Code (IaC), Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD), Configuration Management, Containerization, Monitoring and Logging, Security and Compliance and much more.

Check out What it Takes to Build a Successful App Here

10. Selection of Best Database
The selection of the best database depends on various factors such as the nature of your project, scalability requirements, data model complexity, performance needs, budget constraints, and the expertise of your team.

11. Design Database Schema
If you go with a relational database. Designing a database schema involves defining the structure and relationships of tables, columns, and constraints that store and organize data. It includes identifying entities and attributes, establishing relationships, normalizing the schema, choosing appropriate data types, creating tables, applying constraints, and indexing. Keep it simple and ready for expansion for future development. Make sure you use appropriate naming conventions.

12. Database Migration
Database migration
refers to the process of transferring data and making changes to the database schema from one version to another. During a database migration, scripts or migration tools are used to modify the schema and transform the data if necessary. This process ensures that the database remains consistent and functional throughout the transition. Proper planning, testing, and backup strategies are crucial to ensure a smooth and successful migration while minimizing the risk of data loss or application downtime.

13. Database Version Control
Database version control involves managing and tracking changes to the database schema and associated scripts over time. It ensures that all modifications, including schema changes, stored procedures, functions, and triggers, are recorded and organized in a version control system. This allows teams to collaborate effectively, maintain a history of changes, and easily revert to previous versions if needed.
You can check Flyway, Liquibase, and ActiveJDBC.

14. Implement Unit / Integration Tests
Unit / Integration testing is a critical aspect of software development that helps ensure the correctness and reliability of your code. In a Spring Boot application, you can implement unit tests using frameworks like JUnit and Mockito.

15. Implement Logging and Error Handling
Implementing logging and error handling in your Spring Boot application is essential for monitoring and debugging. Configure a logging framework, such as Log4j, Logback, or the built-in Java logging framework, and define log levels to control the verbosity of log statements. Place log statements strategically throughout your code to capture relevant information and track the application’s behaviour.

By implementing effective logging and error handling, you can improve the maintainability and reliability of your application. Remember, when you have nobody to inform you about production issues, logs will provide you with all the necessary insights.

16. Implement Caching
Implementing caching in your Spring Boot application is crucial for improving performance and reducing system load. Choose a suitable caching provider like Ehcache, Redis and many more that integrates well with Spring Boot. Configure caching by defining caching rules and strategies to determine which data should be cached and for how long. Each provider has its own mechanism, implementation, pros and cons. Select it wisely. By implementing caching effectively, you can optimize the response time of your application and reduce the load on your underlying systems.

17. Implement Documentation
Implementing documentation for your Spring Boot application is crucial for clarity, maintenance, and collaboration. Begin by generating API documentation using tools like Swagger or Springfox to describe the input/output and purpose of your RESTful endpoints. Additionally, include meaningful comments in your code to explain the functionality of methods, classes, and complex logic.

Document configuration files, external dependencies, and important design decisions. Provide a clear and concise README file with instructions for building, deploying, and using your application. While it may seem boring as a coder, effective documentation will help other developers work with you and streamlines the transition of your code to others.

18. Monitoring and Metrics
Implementing monitoring and metrics in your Spring Boot application is essential for gaining insights into its performance and ensuring smooth operation. Choose a monitoring tool such as Prometheus, Grafana, or Datadog to collect and visualize important metrics. Instrument your application with monitoring agents or libraries that capture relevant data, including CPU usage, memory utilization, request latency, and error rates.

Set up dashboards and alerts to track these metrics and detect any anomalies or performance issues. By effectively implementing observability, monitoring, and metrics, you can proactively identify and address issues, optimize performance, and improve the overall reliability of your Spring Boot application.

19. Security Review
Performing a security review of your Spring Boot application is essential to identify and address potential vulnerabilities. Conduct a code review to identify insecure coding practices and ensure adherence to secure development guidelines. Scan dependencies for known vulnerabilities using tools like OWASP Dependency Check.

Well, we’ve something for you, Consider using “Codegrip”, a code review tool developed by us, to streamline your code review tasks and manage them in one central location. Codegrip can help you enhance the process of code review for your application and improve your development process.

Read More: 15 Effective Code Review Practices for Product Engineering Teams

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Conclusion

In conclusion, starting a new project in Spring Boot requires thorough planning and consideration of various aspects. The checklist provided in this blog post serves as a comprehensive guide to help you address essential items before diving into your project.

By following this checklist, you can establish clear project scope, select appropriate design patterns and Java versions, define project structure, manage dependencies, configure application properties, incorporate version control and collaboration, plan for deployment and DevOps, select the best database and design its schema, handle database migration and version control, implement unit and integration tests, logging and error handling, caching, documentation, monitoring and metrics, and perform a security review.

19-point checklist for starting a new project in Spring Boot?

Define Project Scope, Select the Design Pattern, Select Java Version, Choose Spring Boot Version, Project Structure, Define Dependencies, Configure Application Properties, Version Control and Collaboration, Deployment Planning / DevOps, Selection of Best Database, Design Database Schema, Database Migration, Database Version Control, Implement Unit / Integration Tests, Implement Logging and Error Handling, Implement Caching, Implement Documentation, Monitoring and Metrics, Security Review etc.

How to start a new project in Spring Boot?

Set up a Java Development Kit (JDK), Choose an IDE (e.g., IntelliJ IDEA), Install Maven or Gradle as a build tool, and Create a Spring Boot project using Spring Initializer or your IDE, Configure your project and add dependencies, Write code, run tests, and develop your application.

What are the benefits of Spring Boot?

Spring Boot simplifies Java application development, offering rapid development, embedded servers, and production-ready features.

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