NestJS vs Java Spring: Which is Faster?

Jun 12, 2024

The choice of the right framework can significantly influence the trajectory of your back-end development project. In this article, you'll explore a comparative analysis of two prominent contenders: NestJS, a forward-thinking framework in the Node.js environment, and the Spring Framework, a time-tested pillar in the Java landscape. Knowing their strengths and potential pitfalls will equip you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions based on your project's certain needs.

spring is backend or frontend
spring is backend or frontend

What is NestJS?

NestJS is a dynamic, developer-centric framework designed for building server-side applications using Node.js. It utilizes JavaScript and completely supports TypeScript to enable strong typing and enhanced maintainability.

NestJS combines three programming paradigms — it successfully intertwines elements of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), Functional Programming (FP), and Functional Reactive Programming (FRP). This amalgamation of methodologies means a solid base for building scalable server-side applications that address a wide range of project requirements and improve code readability and reuse.

Moreover, NestJS is recognized as a good starting point for most projects. It efficiently caters to 80% or more of typical project needs. In larger teams and enterprise settings, NestJS is often preferred due to its pattern and structure, as they are beneficial for teams with varying skill levels.

What is Spring Framework?

The Spring Framework is a comprehensive Java-based platform that allows developers to build enterprise applications. Its set of features includes but is not limited to dependency injection, aspect-oriented programming, and transaction management. These features collectively contribute to making Spring a convenient tool for many developers. So, what is Java Spring used for?

Notably, Spring's dependency injection feature simplifies the management of application objects and promotes loose coupling to enable more manageable and testable coding. Spring's transaction management service, on the other hand, abstracts away the underlying transaction management APIs, hence providing a consistent programming model across different transaction APIs, such as JTA, JDBC, Hibernate, JPA, and JDO3.

The Spring Framework performance allows developers to construct everything from simple web services to complicated transactional systems using Java. This means you can start small, building simple applications with minimal configurations, and gradually scale up to more complex systems as your expertise grows.

NestJS vs Spring Framework — the Comparison

NestJS and the Spring Framework are dependable and multifunctional, but they differ in the programming languages they support and the features they offer. The Node JS vs Java spring choice often comes down to the project requirements and whether the development team is familiar with JavaScript/TypeScript or Java.

nestjs vs spring
nestjs vs spring


NestJS is a progressive Node.js framework that is perfect for developers already familiar with JavaScript or TypeScript. Its architecture offers static typing built around TypeScript, a feature that greatly improves code reliability.

One of the NestJS's greatest strengths is its lightweight nature. It does not impose any unnecessary overhead, yet it can provide a powerful set of tools and features that increase developer productivity. It extends standard Node.js frameworks like Express or Fastify and ensures a foundation for quick setup and development. Thus, it makes it possible to start with a minimalistic application and gradually add more features as needed.

NestJS is also modular and testable as it promotes clean code practices and makes it easier to build large-scale applications. It also has a strong community and extensive documentation, extremely helpful for both beginners and experienced developers.


On the other hand, the Spring Framework is a mature and feature-rich platform designed for crafting enterprise-level applications in Java. Its capabilities include data access, transaction management, messaging, and more, to allow developers to create complex applications with no need to integrate multiple third-party libraries.

However, the extensive functionality of the Spring Framework can also be a double-edged sword. While it offers a lot of flexibility and power, its learning curve can be steep, especially for developers new to the framework or Java. The complexity of the framework requires a good understanding of its core principles and the Java language itself.

Despite this, Spring Javascript Framework has proven its worth in the enterprise industry over the years. It's known for its scalability and long-term support, perfect for large-scale, high-transaction systems. Just like NestJS, it also has a strong community and excellent documentation with a wealth of resources for developers of all levels.

Why does it matter? Companies using NestJS and Spring Framework

The choice between NestJS and the Spring Framework carries business implications. Large organizations adopt these frameworks to show their scalability and support for complex business tasks. Let's find out the examples of NestJS and Spring Framework companies.

NestJS companies

NestJS has earned the trust of many companies from different industries, despite being a relatively new player in the web development field. Both startups and established organizations adopt it to effectively benefit from its developer-friendly nature.

  • For instance, Adyen, a leading payment platform, uses NestJS for building scalable and multifunctional applications.
  • Similarly, Autodesk, a global leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software, uses NestJS's capabilities to build efficient server-side apps.
  • Regarding the tech industry, companies like, known for offering consulting services and software solutions, use NestJS due to its modularity, testability, and compatibility with TypeScript.
nestjs vs spring boot
nestjs vs spring boot

These are just a few examples but they successfully show that NestJS can fulfill the needs of diverse companies and that it has a potential for varied application development.

Spring Framework companies

Alternatively, the Spring Framework is a tried and tested true standard software development. Its flexibility and versatile features have led to its adoption by many Fortune 500 companies.

  • Major players in the tech industry, like Microsoft and Dell, have been recognized for using the Spring Javascript Framework in enterprise-grade application development.
  • In the financial sector, companies such as Visa and Credit Suisse have used the Spring Framework to develop secure, high-volume software. It is not unusual for them to use Spring for developing transactional apps as well.
  • Adding to its list of noteworthy users, Netflix, a company acclaimed for its highly scalable and efficient systems, also extensively employs Spring Framework performance.
java vs node.js for backend
java vs node.js for backend

This usage underscores the framework's capacity to sustain applications with hefty traffic and demanding performance needs.

It's evident that NestJS and the Spring Framework have garnered the confidence of a diverse range of businesses, regardless of their size or industry. The broad-based utilization of these frameworks says a lot about their dependability.

Performance Comparison

Three important factors should be considered when drawing a performance comparison between NestJS and the Spring Framework: CPU consumption, memory usage, and the overall effect on development costs.

spring boot advantages and disadvantages
spring boot advantages and disadvantages

CPU Usage

Both NestJS and the Spring Framework are optimized for efficiency, but inherent differences in their language base and structural design can result in different CPU usage patterns. NestJS is built on Node.js and uses a single-threaded event loop model. This approach is highly efficient for I/O-intensive applications. Some benchmarks indicate up to 20% less CPU usage compared to multi-threaded models. In contrast, the Spring Framework, based on Java, utilizes a multi-threading model that is more efficient for CPU-intensive tasks, potentially offering up to 30% better performance in such scenarios.

Memory Usage

Memory usage can also diverge significantly between the two frameworks. It largely depends on the complexity of the application and the underlying architecture of the chosen framework. The Spring Framework is known to consume more memory due to its large feature set. While a typical enterprise application can consume up to 200–300 MB more memory than a similar application built on a leaner framework, NestJS, due to its modular and minimalist design, can reduce the memory footprint of a similar application by up to 40%.

Development Costs

On the financial side of things, NestJS potentially offers cost benefits. Its foundation in JavaScript, a language that is familiar to about 67.7% of developers, can lead to a shorter learning curve and thus lower associated development costs if your team is proficient in JavaScript. In contrast, the Spring Javascript Framework may require more specialized knowledge. Therefore, training costs may be higher if the team is not yet familiar with Java.


How to choose between NestJS or the Spring Framework? It is largely contingent on your specific project needs and the expertise of your development team.

NestJS, being built on the modern and popular JavaScript, maybe a more accessible option for teams that are already proficient in JavaScript due to its leaner architecture and potentially lower memory footprint. The result is reduced resource consumption and shorter development time. Also, its single-threaded event loop model is perfect even for I/O heavy applications.

On the other hand, the Spring Framework has a robust feature set and multi-threading model, ideal for more complex, CPU-intensive tasks. Although memory usage can increase and there are costs associated with Java developer salaries, the extensive features offered by Spring are a worthwhile trade-off for certain projects.

The key to choosing between NestJS and the Spring Framework is therefore to fully understand the requirements of the project and carefully evaluate the NestJS and the Spring Framework's pros and cons. If you take this into account, you'll get a successful project outcome.


What are the key differences between NestJS and Spring Framework?

NestJS and Spring Framework represent two different approaches to back-end development: NestJS is built on Node.js and uses a single-threaded event loop model. It is also JavaScript-based and offers a leaner, more modular architecture, often favored for I/O heavy applications. In contrast, the Spring Framework uses a multi-threading model, is Java-based, and offers a comprehensive feature set, suitable for CPU-intensive tasks.

Which framework is better for building microservices: NestJS or Spring Framework?

Both frameworks have strong support for building microservices. NestJS leverages the simplicity of JavaScript, and its modular architecture is well-suited to microservices. The Spring Javascript Framework offers Spring Boot and Spring Cloud, two robust tools for building and managing microservices. Consider the needs and purpose of your project, as well as whether your team is trained properly.

How do the learning curves for NestJS and Spring Framework compare?

The learning curve for each framework depends on the developer's familiarity with their respective base languages. NestJS is JavaScript-based, so the learning curve may be shorter for developers already proficient in JavaScript. Spring Framework, being Java-based, may require a deeper understanding and more specialized Java knowledge, and it can lead to a steeper learning curve if your team isn't already familiar with it.

Can NestJS be a viable alternative to Spring Framework for Java developers?

NestJS can be a viable alternative to the Spring Framework for Java developers. Although NestJS is based on JavaScript, its structure and design principles are heavily influenced by Angular, a framework familiar to many Java developers. Moreover, TypeScript (the language used in NestJS) is statically typed like Java, so that it can make the transition easier for Java developers. However, they still need to learn a new language and adapt to the event-driven model of Node.js.

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