What are the best Java frameworks for my project?
Which Java framework is best for web development?
Here, in this blog, you will get answers to all such questions. Let’s go!
We are heading towards 2020 and you can see that Java is still one of the most popular programming languages in the world.
Look at the chart shown below. It shows that Java is the 2nd most popular language in the world.
Java is one of the most popular computer programming languages. Also, it is a platform. A platform is an environment that helps to create and run programs written in any programming language.
Moreover, there are various frameworks that have been designed to make the coding in Java easy and faster. Before moving ahead, let’s first discuss what a web framework is?
A web framework is a program that permits you to easily develop web applications without any need to write the basic functionality of the program. The framework denotes a system of structure that you can change to simply develop new applications for specific software.
Hence, a web framework simplifies the entire software making process and instead of having to write all of the complex code for software, you can simply use the framework to make specific changes without rewriting the entire code.
It indicates that if you use a popular java framework, then you can focus more on writing the business logic of your app instead of writing the fundamental functions such as making database connections or handling exceptions. Hence, if you have some knowledge and experience of using java frameworks then you can get started quickly.
Struts is a free and open-source framework designed to create various kinds of mobile as well as web applications. It is basically used to create the base of a web application. Moreover, it functions on a special pattern MVC known as Model View Controller.
It has a plugin-based architecture and plugins are quite useful. They make it possible to extend the framework to fit with different project requirements. If we look at Struts plugins, these are just basic JAR packages. Hence, these are portable and can be added to the classpath of the app you develop.
Some plugins are bundled with the framework (JSON plugin, REST plugin, Config Browser Plugin, etc.) while you can add others from third party sources.
You can easily integrate Struts with other Java frameworks in order to perform tasks which are not created into the platform. For instance, you can use the spring plugin for dependency injection or the hibernate plugin for object-relational mapping.
Vaadin offers you a platform for efficient Java development. It permits you to create web apps of customizable components that focus on performance, UX and accessibility.
Vaadin 10 approaches web app development in an entire way. It permits direct access to DOM from the Java Virtual Machine. With the new release, the Vaadin team divides the previously monolithic framework into two different components.
It has a lightweight Java framework called Vaadin flow that operates routing and server-client communication and a set of UI components that operate in the user’s browser.
Plus points about Vaadin includes:
- It is supported by Apache
- Uses server-side programming
- Permits you to create rich and interactive web interfaces
- Good documentation
Negative points about Vaadin includes:
- Quite simple for code to become overly lengthy and complex
Wicket is a component-based web application framework which is quite similar to JavaServer Faces and Tapestry. It permits you to write user-friendly applications with the help of pure Java and HTML code.
Moreover, it is open-source, server-side, and all the code is scripted in Java. Since wicket applications are made up of reusable pages and components like images, buttons, links, forms, and others.
Wicket helps you to internationalize your applications, pages, and components by offering amazing support for more than 25 languages. It is built-in Ajax functionality that permits you to update components your page in real-time.
It has an event-driven architecture that results in applications that scale easily even with minimum hardware resources. Vert.x is created and maintained by the Eclipse foundation whose most popular project in Eclipse IDE for Java development. And ‘x’ refers to the polyglottic nature of this popular java framework.
Moreover, Vert.x is a library, not a container. It implies that you can easily apply other tools and components from other libraries that you prefer or require to create your web application.
Vert.x supports several languages and is quite simple to set up. Furthermore, it is highly modular and allows you to use any library that you. The only problem with this java framework is that it is quite difficult to scale it onto larger systems.
Spring MVC is one of the oldest java frameworks. It allows you to create enterprise-level java applications. Spring was started as a dependency injection tool, but with time, it got developed into a full-scale application framework.
It offers you an all-inclusive programming and configuration model that comes with support for generic tasks like setting up a database connection or handling exceptions. Other than java, you can use this framework with Kotlin and Groovy. Both of these operate on Java Virtual Machine.
This framework uses inversion of control software design principles. According to this principle, the framework controls the custom-written code. As a result, you can create loosely coupled modules for your spring applications.
Since it is highly modular, it permits you to write code which is quite clean and accessible. The only downside about spring is that it’s a complex web framework and in case you are new to Java programming, then this probably would not be the best choice. The reason is that it requires a lot of basic knowledge to work on this framework. Hence, it is not for beginners in Java development.
GWT or Google Web Toolkit
Google Web Toolkit is an open-source web framework that allows you to create and modify front end java applications in a simple way. It has the unique capability of creating complex applications in an easy method. It’s been developed by the world’s best search engine Google.
Good points about GWT
- Enough support
- Good documentation
- Professional and well developed
- Stable & well maintained
- Cross-browser portability
- History management
- UI Abstraction
- Required to write more code for simple things
- Best for Java developers only
Blade is a simple application framework with little footprint. It was created in 2015. It is a simple and lightweight framework. Moreover, the blade is based on java 8 and offers a RESTful style routing interface which makes web API quite cleaner and easy to understand.
Good points about Blade
- Simple and lightweight framework
- Based on the netty server and template engine
- Light source code- only 500 kb in size
- Inbuilt security features like Cross-site request forgery
- Support for plugin extensions and web jar resources
- Lack of mobile app richness
- Heavy documentation
Furthermore, Blade has good documentation and supports the simple synchronization of data with the website.
Grails is a Groovy-based java web application framework. A groovy programming language is an object-oriented programming language for the java platform that aims to enhance developer productivity.
Grails work perfectly with most of the java related tools and technologies like Java development kit or JDK, Java EE containers, Spring, Hibernate and Quartz.
Good points about Grails
Compiled to Java Virtual Machine
Detailed documentation and step by step guide
A plugin library
- Runtime language and error-prone
- Not good for multi-threaded application
- Groovy is must
- The integration process is complex
Hibernate is a stable object-relational mapping java framework. It is quite popular for efficient database communication as it makes it much easier and highly organized. Moreover, it is easy to configure and customizable.
Furthermore, Hibernate has only one limitation. When you start this ORM framework, it takes time to get back to the place you were working.
Good points about Hibernate
- Developed for RDBMS
- The latest version supports NoSQL database
- Has developers tools like Mapping editor, Hibernate console
- Many APIs to learn
- Does not allow multiple inserts
- Not suitable for small projects
JavaServer Faces (JSF)
JavaServer Faces is a java based web application framework intended to simplify development integration of web-based user interfaces. JavaServer Faces is a standardized display technology, which was formalized in a specification through the Java community process.
Moreover, it is based on the MVC software design pattern and has an architecture that clearly defines a distinction between application logic and representation.
Good points for JavaServer Faces
- Create custom tags to a particular client device
- Build user interfaces of reusable components
- Use XML instead of Java for view handling
- Lack of flexibility
- Minimum Ajax support
- Steep learning curve
The Play framework is a high-velocity web framework for Java and Scala that permits a highly productive workflow, but it doesn’t sacrifice scalability. Play features a “just-hit-refresh” workflow that permits a rapid development cycle.
The compilation and application reloading happens behind the scenes. Play is built for the modern web by being non-blocking, RESTful by default, and having built-in asset compilers for modern client-side technologies like Typescript, CoffeeScript and LESS.
Built upon Akka Toolkit, the play framework abridge the creation of concurrent and distributed applications on the Java virtual machine. Its user interface is simple and intuitive.
Good points for Play
- Hot reload for all Java code, configurations, and templates
- Open-source with a large community to contribute
- Compile and runtime error can be handled well
- Supports non-blocking I/O which is crucial for high-performance apps
- Steep learning curve
- Extensive documentation
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