10 Tips for Optimizing Spring Boot Applications

10 Tips for Optimizing Spring Boot Applications

Building fast, efficient Spring Boot apps requires paying attention to performance optimization techniques. Here are 10 tips to make your Spring Boot application blazing fast.

1. Use Lazy Initialization

By default, all beans defined in your Spring context get initialized on startup. This can increase boot time, especially if some beans are expensive to initialize.

Lazy initialization allows delaying bean instantiation until it is first needed. Just add @Lazy annotation to optimize:

@Configuration
public class AppConfig {

  @Bean
  @Lazy
  public ExpensiveBean expensiveBean() {
    return new ExpensiveBean();
  }

}

2. Enable HTTP Caching

Enabling HTTP caching mechanisms can avoid duplicate requests to your APIs and reduce payload sizes. Popular techniques are:

  • Cache-Control headers – Specify max-age and caching policies
  • ETag – Add a unique hash representing response body
  • Expires headers – Set expiration of cached responses

Here’s an example using a @ControllerAdvice:

@ControllerAdvice
public class CacheConfig {

  @GetMapping
  public ResponseEntity<Data> getData() {
    return ResponseEntity
               .ok()
               .eTag(Integer.toString(data.hashCode()))
               .header("Cache-Control", "max-age=3600")
               .body(data);
  }

}

3. Paginate APIs

Limiting large responses can reduce memory usage and speed up APIs. Pagination only returns a subset of data per API request.

Spring Data JPA has built-in pagination support:

@GetMapping("/api/orders")
public ResponseEntity<Page<Order>> getOrders(Pageable page) {
  return ResponseEntity.ok(orderRepository.findAll(page));
}

4. Enable GZIP Compression

GZIP compressing HTTP responses can significantly reduce payload sizes at the cost of increased CPU usage.

Simply set server.compression.enabled=true in Spring Boot config. Responses will be compressed if the client supports it.

5. Use Asynchronous Processing

Performing long-running tasks like integrating with external services synchronously can cause poor response times and thread starvation.

Annotate service methods with @Async so calls return immediately on a separate thread:

@Async
public void asyncProcess(Data data) {
// long execution
}

6. Cache Expensive Operations

Sometimes data needs to be recalculated or fetched on every request. This can strain application performance.

Caching with @Cacheable stores results, avoiding duplicate execution:

@Cacheable("reports")
public ReportEntity generateReport() {
// expensive operation
  return report;
}

Now subsequent calls fetch cached data quickly.

7. Preload Data On Startup

For data that is frequently needed (reference data, configurations etc), prime the cache on startup:

@PostConstruct
public void init() {
// fetch reference data into cache
}

This avoids cache misses on initial requests.

8. Monitor Performance

Monitoring tools like Datadog, New Relic or @Profiled aspect allow identifying bottlenecks.

@Profiled can profile specific pieces of code and is very lightweight:

@Profiled
public void processData() {
// logic to profile
}

9. Optimize Database Queries

Issues like N+1 queries, missing indexes lead to slow database access. Analyze logs, tune fetch strategies and create indexes optimally.

Read more: Solving the Notorious N+1 Problem: Optimizing Database Queries for Java Backend Developers

10. Scale Horizontally

Distribute load across instances by adding nodes, databases etc. Strategies like caching reduce load on databases.

For IO bound apps, more instances can dramatically improve throughput and response times.

Conclusion

Performance tuning is an iterative process. Continuously benchmark, profile and optimize your Spring application to handle increasing load over time.

What tips do you have for making Spring Boot apps blazing fast? Let me know in the comments!

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