Creating a Spring Boot Project with Eclipse and Maven

Setting up a basic project with Spring Boot is a cake walk. In this article, we will explore the different options of creating Spring Boot Projects with Maven and Eclipse.

You will learn

  • How to bootstrap a simple project with Spring Initializr?
  • How to use Spring Starter Eclipse Plugin to create a simple project with Spring Boot, Maven and Eclipse?
  • How to create a Spring Boot Project manually step by step?

10 Step Reference Courses

Tools you will need

  • Maven 3.0+ is your build tool
  • Your favorite IDE. We use Eclipse.
  • JDK 1.8+

Introduction to Maven

Q : Why Maven?

You don’t want to store all the libraries in your project!

You want to tell I need A, B, C and you would want the tool to download the libraries and make them available to you.

That’s Maven. The tool which you use to manage the libraries.

If you need a new version of the library, you can change the version and your project is ready!

Also, You don’t need to worry about what libraries your library needs to work. For example, Spring might need other libaries - logging, xml etc.

Once you declare a dependency on Spring, Maven would download

  • Spring
  • And all dependencies of Spring

Isn’t that cool?

Big Picture of Maven

Defining what Maven does is very difficult.

Every Day Developer does a lot of things

  • Manages Dependencies
    • Web Layer (Spring MVC)
    • Data Layer (JPA - Hibernate) etc.
  • Build a jar or a war or an ear
  • Run the application locally
    • Tomcat or Jetty
  • Deploy to a T environment
  • Add new dependencies to a project
  • Run Unit Tests
  • Generate Projects
  • Create Eclipse Workspace

Maven helps us do all these and more…

Naming a project

You define dependencies in your pom.xml.

Maven would download the dependencies and make them available for use in your project.

But, how does Maven know what dependency to download?

You need to tell it by giving the details of the dependency.

Just like you can identify a Java class with a class name and a package name, you can identify a maven artifact by a GroupId and an ArtifactId.


Declaring Dependencies

Dependencies are frameworks that you would need to develop your project.

In the example below we are adding two dependencies.



Maven Build Life Cycle

When we run “mvn clean install”, we are executing the complete maven build life cycle.

Build LifeCycle is a sequence of steps

  • Validate
  • Compile
  • Test
  • Package
  • Integration Test
  • Verify
  • Install
  • Deploy

Maven follows Convention over Configuration.

Pre defined folder structure

  • Source Code
    • ${basedir}/src/main/java
    • ${basedir}/src/main/resources
  • Test Code
    • ${basedir}/src/test

How does Maven Work?

Maven Repository contains all the jars indexed by artifact id and group id.

Once we add a dependency to our pom.xml, maven asks the maven repository for the jar dependencies giving group id and the artifact id as the input.

  • Maven repository stores all the versions of all dependencies. JUnit 4.2,4.3,4.4

The jar dependencies are stored on your machine in a folder called maven local repository. All our projects would refer to the jars from the maven local repository.

Local Repository : a temp folder on your machine where maven stores the jar and dependency files that are downloaded from Maven Repository.

Important Maven Commands

  • mvn –version -> Find the maven version
  • mvn compile -> compiles source files
  • mvn test-compile -> compiles test files - one thing to observe is this also compiles source files
  • mvn clean -> deletes target directory
  • mvn test -> run unit tests
  • mvn package -> creates a jar for the project
  • help:effective-settings -> Debug Maven Settings
  • help:effective-pom -> Look at the complete pom after all inheritances from parent poms are resolved
  • dependency:tree -> Look at all the dependencies and transitive dependencies
  • dependency:sources -> Download source code for all dependencies
  • –debug -> Debug flag. Can be used with all the above commands

Creating Spring Boot Projects with Eclipse and Maven

There are three options to create Spring Boot Projects with Eclipse and Maven

  • Spring Initializr -
  • Use STS or STS Eclipse Plugin and Create a Spring Boot Maven Project directly from Eclipse
  • Manually Create a Maven Project and add Spring Boot Starter Dependencies.

We will use a Spring Boot Starter Web as an example.

Option 1 - Bootstrapping Spring Boot Project with Spring Initializr

Creating a Web application with Spring Initializr is a cake walk. We will use Spring Web MVC as our web framework.

Spring Initializr is great tool to bootstrap your Spring Boot projects.


As shown in the image above, following steps have to be done

  • Launch Spring Initializr and choose the following
    • Choose com.in28minutes.springboot as Group
    • Choose student-services as Artifact
    • Choose following dependencies
      • Web
      • Actuator
      • DevTools
  • Click Generate Project.

This would download a zip file to your local machine.

Unzip the zip file and extract to a folder.

In Eclipse, Click File -> Import -> Existing Maven Project as shown below. Image

Navigate or type in the path of the folder where you extracted the zip file to in the next screen.


Once you click Finish, Maven would take some time to download all the dependencies and initialize the project.

That’s it. Your first Spring Project is Ready.

Follow these links to understand more about the project that is created - Spring Boot vs Spring vs Spring MVC, Auto Configuration, Spring Boot Starter Projects, Spring Boot Starter Parent, Spring Boot Initializr

Option 2 - Using STS or STS Eclipse Plugin to create Spring Boot Maven Project

With Spring tool suite, you can directly create a spring boot project from Eclipse.

You should either download the complete installation of STS or You can install the STS Eclipse plugin provides the complete download of STS as well as the Update Sites for STS Eclipse Plugin.

In Eclipse/STS, start with File -> New -> Spring Starter Project as shown below. Image

In the next screen, you can choose the following for your project.

  • Group ID
  • Artifact ID
  • Root Package
  • Version
  • Description
  • Java Version
  • Language
  • Packaging

Make sure you choose Maven as Type.


In the next screen, you can choose the dependencies that you would want to add to your Spring Boot project. Image

Once you click Finish, Maven would take some time to download all the dependencies and initialize the project.

That’s it. Your first Spring Project is Ready.

Option 3 - Manually Create a Maven Spring Boot Project

The last option is to create the project manually.

In Eclipse, start with File > New > Maven Project

Choose Create a simple project as shown in the screenshot below: Image

In the next screen, provide these details for your project and click Finish.

  • Group ID
  • Artifact ID
  • Version

This would create a basic Maven project with Zero dependencies.

Next add in the appropriate Spring Boot Starters into the pom.xml




Starter Web is used for developing Spring Boot Web Applications or RESTful Services.

Starter Test provides unit testing and integration test capablities with Spring Test, Mockito and JUnit.

One this we are missing is the version for these dependencies.

We will add Spring Boot Starter Parent as the parent pom in the pom.xml

    <relativePath /> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->

Let’s configure the Java version to use as 1.8


Next step is to create a Spring Boot Application class which will be launching point of the web application.


package com.in28minutes.springboot.tutorial;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;

public class SpringBootWebApplication {

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

All that you need to do is to add @SpringBootApplication and use static method to launch the Spring Application context.

When you launch this class a java application, you would see that an embedded tomcat server would launch up and you are ready to add in features to this application.


In this article, we looked at the different options to creating Spring Boot Projects with Maven and Eclipse. I love option 2 of creating the project directly from Eclipse using STS plugin. But, you might have your own preference.

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