There are several Java Web Frameworks available for Java web developers to use in the design and development of any website application. However, it’s without doubt that the average Java web developer desires to work with the best Java web framework, PERIOD!
And as we all know, developers are often encouraged and empowered by more comfortable and faster ways to develop and deploy their Java web applications.
Conveniently, a Java web framework provides a rapid development and component re-use approach that achieves results. However, given the number of Java web development frameworks available, it’s worth taking a brief moment to review and determine which ones can stand the test of performance.
In this article, we’re going to review the top 10 Best Java Web Frameworks and how they stack up among each other. But first, let’s define a web application framework.
Ready? Let’s GO!
What Is A Web Application Framework
A web application framework (WAF) or web framework (WF) is a software framework. It is essential for the development of different web applications, such as web resources, web APIs, and web services. Web framework can alleviate the overhead linked to everyday activities performed during web development.
For instance, various web frameworks offer libraries for template frameworks, libraries for easy access to database and session administration. They frequently promote the reuse of code. They may target development and design of dynamic websites. They apply to static websites.
Top 10 Best Java Web Frameworks
If you want to learn about the best Java web frameworks, here are the 10 Best Java Web Frameworks that are available for your Java website development needs right now.:
1. Spring MVC
The Spring MVC framework is designed as a layered J2EE/Java framework integrating specially applied sciences. It is appropriate for a broad range of ingenuities. After its design and expansion, Spring MVC embraced numerous changes to become a full-scale framework Java for Internet applications. It offers a useful toolkit for development and configuration of web applications. You can use it for your security projects. Spring is famous among programmers for its well-developed ecosystem. It has numerous add-ons, such as SOAP services, REST APIs, and security authentication.
Spring is one of the best Java frameworks, and it has various qualities:
- Enhanced modularity to improve readability of code
- Simplified injection to test data through POJOs
- Flexible use of DI (Dependency Injection)
- Loose coupling among different modules
Along with pros, here are some cons of Spring web MVC framework:
- MVC can be a bit difficult to implement for a newbie
- Makes the learning curve steep
Spring MVC provides you with array of features such as:
- Reusable business code, no need for duplication. Use existing business objects as command or form objects instead of mirroring them to extend a particular framework base class.
- Adaptability, non-intrusiveness, and flexibility. Define any controller method signature you need, possibly using one of the parameter annotations (such as @RequestParam, @RequestHeader, @PathVariable, and more) for a given scenario.
- Customizable binding and validation. Type mismatches as application-level validation errors that keep the offending value, localized date and number binding, and so on instead of String-only form objects with manual parsing and conversion to business objects.
- Clear separation of roles. Each role—controller, validator, command object, form object, model object, DispatcherServlet, handler mapping, view resolver, and so on—can be fulfilled by a specialized object.
- A simple yet powerful JSP tag library known as the Spring tag library that provides support for features such as data binding and themes. The custom tags allow for maximum flexibility in terms of markup code.
- Powerful and straightforward configuration of both framework and application classes as JavaBeans. This configuration capability includes easy referencing across contexts, such as from web controllers to business objects and validators.
- A JSP form tag library, introduced in Spring 2.0, that makes writing forms in JSP pages much easier.
- Customizable handler mapping and view resolution. Handler mapping and view resolution strategies range from simple URL-based configuration, to sophisticated, purpose-built resolution strategies. Spring is more flexible than web MVC frameworks that mandate a particular technique.
- Beans whose lifecycle is scoped to the current HTTP request or HTTP Session. This is not a specific feature of Spring MVC itself, but rather of the WebApplicationContext container(s) that Spring MVC uses.
- Flexible model transfer. Model transfer with a name/value Map supports easy integration with any view technology.
- Customizable locale, time zone and theme resolution, support for JSPs with or without Spring tag library, support for JSTL, support for Velocity without the need for extra bridges, and so on.
2. JSF (JavaServer Faces)
JSF stands for Java Server Faces and is a net utility framework of Java, and it got Oracle’s support. This framework may not be the best framework for Java development, but it is easy to utilize because of documentation supplied by Oracle. Moreover, if you want EE environment Java, there will be no extra dependency on JSF. Tools and rich libraries become a beautiful magic wand that may back you up to the complexity of an application. JSF uses server pages of Java and can support different technologies of Facelets and XUL.
- JSF is an important part of Java EE and as such convenient for developers who use IDE software
- JavaServer Faces is broad to comprehend without prior skills and experience Java web development
JSP has many features some of which are:
Java Servlet Extension: As an extension of the Java Servlet specifications, JSPs have all the features of servlets such as expression language, implicit objects, predefined tags, etc.
Power: JSPs are internally generated Servlets and, as such, consists of byte code, which gives it robust performance as well as security and platform independence.
Easy-of-Use: you already know – JSP is easy to learn, understand, and use!
Flexibility: JSP developers can use defined custom tags or framework based tags within their JSP code.
Portal: the JSP code is processed and executed on the server-side by the Java web application container such as Tomcat. As such, this makes them independent of the browser.
Struts makes the list our list of Best Java Web Frameworks for 2018. Struts is a Framework to develop the base of the web application. This framework is a set of interfaces and classes that co-operate to solve the problems of a particular type. It functions on MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern. Struts 2 is equipped with a net framework for numerous Java applications. It is the result of mixed effort from various supporting communities. Unlike conventional functions of the internet, it can create dynamic responses.
- Provides internal organization architecture to control and build MVC based application for the web application
- Built-in support for I-18-N
- Struts is constructed in extension validation and authentication
- Allow modular development and integration with additional components
- Framework is not flexible
- Framework imposes coding, designing and thinking
Let’s look at some of the awesome features of Struts 2:
Implementation is straightforward: ServletContainer is not tightly coupled together with the Action classes. Likewise, an Action class does not require the ‘execute’ method implemented. Most importantly, there is less dependency on the core Struts library. Furthermore, the Action class can be a simple POJO if you choose. Similarly, a simple POJO can be used as an ActionForm.
The mechanism for Type conversion: OGNL support Type conversion in Struts 2. On the contrary, in Struts 1, the String type is mostly used for all the properties. So now, with Struts 2, you can have these properties as any type.
OGNL Use: OGNL is an elegant expression language used by Struts 2. JSTL is not as flexible or powerful as OGNL. And in case you’re wondering what OGNL means, it stands for Object Graph Navigation Language. OGNL support for AJAX implementation in User Interfaces is a very positive feature. Also, Struts 2 supports AJAX-enabled tags, which is a great thing.
Support for strong validation: Xwork validation framework is supported. Client-side and server-side validation are easy to do via Xwork. As a Java web developer, you can do manual validation with the support of the Validate() method.
The view is decoupled from Action classes: Struts 2 allows the associated of one view with multiple Action classes.
View components (Ready to use): Availability of form tags that are style sheet driven will reduce your coding efforts and form validation mechanisms.
Configuration files have intelligent defaults: Struts 2’s configuration files’ default values eliminates the need for developers to perform unnecessary extra configuration settings.
While talking about the best Java web frameworks, Hibernate ORM can’t be ignored. Hibernate is an essential object-relation mapping device for programming language Java. It offers a mapping framework for a domain model (object-oriented) to one relational database. Hibernate can solve the object-relational impedance incongruity problems by substituting persistent and direct database with high-level object controlling functions. It is free software distributed under public 2.1 License of GNU Lesser General.
- Hibernate enables you to communicate with any database by making tiny alternations in code
- MySQL, Db2 or Oracle, Hibernate is DB independent
- Caching instrument to bug catalog with same queries
- N+1 or Sluggish loading support
- Low risk of data loss and it requires less power
- If power goes off, you can lose all your data
- Restarting can be extremely slow
5. GWT (Google Web Toolkit)
- GWT is easy to learn
- Great to use in creating significantly responsive web application with heavy lifting on client-side and decrease load on server-side
- Built-in IDE support to directly refactor Java cryptogram/code to maintain a good design at all time
- Google develops GWT, and this project has a bright future
- GWT is a fast evolving project, and numerous versions are floating around. You may not get all interfaces and functions
- GWT compilation is slow, and you have to use proprietary method to define structure
6. Play! Framework
Play framework makes it easy for you to build web applications with Scala and Java. It is based on stateless, web-friendly and lightweight architecture. It is constructed on Akka and provides minimal and predictable resource consumption (threads, memory, and CPU) for highly-scalable applications. The play framework is friendly for developers to make changes with text editor and browser. Play utilizes a fully asynchronous model designed on the top of Akka. Furthermore, although being stateless it scales predictably. Play was designed for needs of modern mobile and web applications.
- Dramatically improves the productivity of any developer
- Quick reload for config changes, templates and java code
- Play is designed on Netty and supports non-blocking I/O
- It is an open source, and everything works well under the hood
- Zenexity and Typesafe offer commercial support
- Play can handle error in dev mode for runtime and compile errors
- Scala and Java use type-safe language, reliable and JVM performance to scale to various developers and users
- Play 2 is basically a a rewrite of the Play 1
- It is built around I/O async that means writing code to execute later. You will end up with unidentified inner classes
Vaadin framework and elements are open source Apache licensed Java web application projects with an active worldwide community. As you already know, the Apache Software Foundation is a non-profit organization that actively provides support for the Apache Community of Open Source software projects. You can view their list of supported projects here.
Another good thing Vaadin got going for it is that you can choose to extend it with Google Web Tools (which is covered in this article). In addition, you can use Ajax along with with its techniques and methodologies to build applications that can run on browser-side to ensure interactive and rich user experience.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting the exceptionality and simplicity of Vaadin’s user-interface (UI). It’s easy to use and will have you developing and deploying awesome applications for the web in little of no time. Check out 5 Important Things To Know About Vaadin 10 for more information on Vaadin Framework.
- Server-side programming only
- Layout, listeners and component types are available
- Plug-in support
- Easy integration with the Spring framework
- Multi-window support is not available
Grails is another useful 10 Best Java Web Frameworks on the Java platform meant to multiply the productivity of Java web developers towards convention-over-configuration, opinionated APIs, and sensible defaults. It assimilates smoothly with JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and enables you to immediately become productive while providing powerful features, including asynchronous programming, Compile-time meta-programming, run-time and domain-specific languages. You can transparently and seamlessly inter-operate and integrate with Java, Java EE containers, and JVM.
- Grails is ideal for dealing with medium or small-size project
- Offers a rapid development cycle
- Offers a variety of plug-in to make your job simple
- Documentation is easy and impressive
- Setup process is simple, and you will be able to build app in one hour
- Simple GORM and it works wonderful
- See changes by hitting refresh button
- Easy to manage CSS
- Dynamic configuration feature to change configuration without restarting your server
- You have to work with runtime language
- It can be problematic to work on multi-threaded application
Apache Wicket is also known as Wicket, and it is among the 10 Best Java Web Frameworks. It is an open source, server-side, component oriented and Java application framework. If you are using Wicket, there is no need to have distorted HTML pages. The Java framework require the insertion of special syntax to HTML code which is easy for for website designers. Wicket espouses HTML templates with the use of namespace that follows XHTML standard.
- Code is scripted in Java
- Zero XML configuration files
- No back-button problems
- POJO-centric programming
- Easy create bookmarkable pages
- Testability of constituents
- Development can be confusing in general
- Event-based design may increase chances of code mess
- Easy to set up
- Install an isolated container
- Special thread in the Vert.x container
- Vert.x offer simple methods and objects for non-blocking
- Can be difficult to scale with some hardware
- Can be confusing to choose a language