I just announced the new Spring 5 modules in REST With Spring:


1. Overview and Maven

This is a simple Spring MVC tutorial showing how to set up a Spring MVC project, both with Java-based Configuration as well as with XML Configuration.

The Maven artifacts for Spring MVC project are described in the in detail in the Spring MVC dependencies article.

2. The web.xml

This is a simple configuration of the web.xml for a Spring MVC project:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
   id="WebApp_ID" version="3.1">

   <display-name>Spring MVC Java Config App</display-name>




We are using Java based Configuration, so we’re using AnnotationConfigWebApplicationContext as the main context class – this accepts @Configuration annotated classes as input. As such, we only need to specify the package where these configuration classes are located, via contextConfigLocation.

To keep this mechanism flexible, multiple packages are also configurable here, merely space delimited:

      org.baeldung.spring.web.config org.baeldung.spring.persistence.config

This allows more complex projects with multiple modules to manage their own Spring Configuration classes and contribute them to the overall Spring context at runtime.

Finally, the Servlet is mapped to / – meaning it becomes the default Servlet of the application and it will pick up every pattern that doesn’t have another exact match defined by another Servlet.

Note: There are multiple approaches to configure a Spring MVC project. Instead of web.xml as described above, we can have a 100% Java-configured project using initializer. For more details, refer to our existing article.

3. The Spring MVC Configuration – Java

The Spring MVC Java configuration is simple – it uses the MVC configuration support introduced in Spring 3.1:

public class ClientWebConfig extends WebMvcConfigurerAdapter {

   public void addViewControllers(ViewControllerRegistry registry) {


   public ViewResolver viewResolver() {
      InternalResourceViewResolver bean = new InternalResourceViewResolver();


      return bean;

Very important here is that we can register view controllers that create a direct mapping between the URL and the view name – no need for any Controller between the two now that we’re using Java configuration.

4. The Spring MVC Configuration – XML

Alternatively to the Java configuration above, we can also use a purely XML config:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans" 

    <bean id="viewResolver" 
        <property name="prefix" value="/WEB-INF/view/" />
        <property name="suffix" value=".jsp" />

    <mvc:view-controller path="/sample.html" view-name="sample" />


5. The JSP Views

We defined above a basic view controller – sample.html – the corresponding jsp resource is:


      <h1>This is the body of the sample view</h1>	

The JSP based view files are located under the /WEB-INF folder of the project, so they’re only accessible to the Spring infrastructure and not by direct URL access.

6. Spring MVC with Boot

Spring Boot is an addition to Spring Platform which makes it very easy to get started and create stand-alone, production-grade applications. Boot is not intended to replace Spring, but to make working with it faster and easier.

6.1. Spring Boot Starters

The new framework provides convenient starter dependencies – which are dependency descriptors that can bring in all the necessary technology for a certain functionality.

These have the advantage that we no longer need to specify a version for each dependency but instead allow the starter manage dependencies for us.

The quickest way to get started is by adding the spring-boot-starter-parent pom.xml:


This will take care of dependency management.

6.2. Spring Boot Entry Point

Each application built using Spring Boot needs merely to define the main entry point. This is usually a Java class with the main method, annotated with @SpringBootApplication:

public class Application {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        SpringApplication.run(Application.class, args);

This annotation adds the following other annotations:

  • @Configuration – which marks the class as a source of bean definitions
  • @EnableAutoConfiguration – which tells the framework to add beans based on the dependencies on the classpath automatically
  • @ComponentScan – which scans for other configurations and beans in the same package as the Application class or below

With Spring Boot, we can set up frontend using Thymeleaf or JSP’s without using ViewResolver as defined in section 4. By adding spring-boot-starter-thymeleaf dependency to our pom.xml, Thymeleaf gets enabled, and no extra configuration is necessary.

The source code for the Boot app is, as always, available over on GitHub.

Finally, if you’re looking to get started with Spring Boot, have a look at our reference intro here.

7. Conclusion

In this example we configured a simple and functional Spring MVC project, using Java configuration.

The implementation of this simple Spring MVC tutorial can be found in the GitHub project – this is an Eclipse based project, so it should be easy to import and run as it is.

When the project runs locally, the sample.html can be accessed at:


I just announced the new Spring 5 modules in REST With Spring:


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Sujit Tripathy

Thanks for the post. I am wondering this when addViewControllers will be helpful? Will it be when there is no business logic between view and another view layer so that the action and view mapping can be done via the ViewControllerRegistry. I think we can get the with @controller also so is there any added advantage on this? share your thoughts.

Eugen Paraschiv

Hey Sujit,
Yes, that’s the general idea. You can certainly handle all of these mappings in the Controller layer, but if there’s no extra logic, it’s generally easier to do everything here and not have to define lots of extra methods with no real logic.
Hope that clarifies things. Cheers,

Sujit Tripathy

Thanks Eugen.