Java has long been considered one of the most popular coding languages for web developers, with a third of software developers reporting they used the language in 2022. And in order to take advantage of its greatest strengths, they typically use Java frameworks when creating web apps.
Created as templates to be used multiple times, Java frameworks reduce the amount of programming developers must do to develop from-scratch software solutions. Developers use the server-side programming language for a broad range of back-end development projects, including Big Data, Machine Learning, and Web and Android.
Why Use Java Frameworks?
Frameworks give structure to applications. For instance, by creating frameworks for testing, web applications, or ORM (object-relational mapping), developers can automate many processes and get accurate and consistent results. In short, Java frameworks simplify developers’ lives and allow them to focus more on business logic instead of common pieces of code used across a domain or application.
Top 10 Java Frameworks
Java frameworks are specific to the Java programming language and can include predefined functions that process, input, and manage hardware as well as interact with system software.
While there are numerous Java-built frameworks, these are the most commonly used for web and network apps as well as logging, testing, and ORM. As each has its distinct benefits and best use cases, we don’t tend to designate one as “better” than the other.
You’ll find open-source Spring at the top of many developers’ lists of Java frameworks for web apps. A recent survey found that Spring's share grew by about 4% in 2021, with 86% of developers saying they preferred it to other options. Designed to make programming Java easier, quicker, and safer, Spring focuses on simplicity, speed, and productivity, allowing developers to begin building web applications quickly and without fuss.
2. Apache Struts
A free, open-source framework used to create elegant, modern Java-based web apps, Struts makes creating maintainable, flexible, and extensible web applications based on standard technologies much more manageable. It relies on the MVC (Model View Controller) framework, and notable features include time-proven design patterns, integration with J2EE, and good tag libraries.
Also known as Hibernate ORM, the Hibernate framework simplifies the development of Java applications that interact with databases. Open-source and lightweight, it implements the specifications of JPA (Java Persistence API) for data persistence.
4. Apache Wicket
Introduced in 2004, Wicket uses models to both separate domain layers from view layers in applications and bind them together. Most often used by companies with 50 to 200 employees and one to ten million in revenue, it’s also preferred by major players like Blue Cross Blue Shield. Open-source and component-based, Apache Wicket makes developing web apps simple and enjoyable, making it a fast-growing favorite among developers.
5. JSF (Java Server Faces)
An MVC framework, Java Server Faces or JSF is the standard technology for building component-based MVC frameworks with reusable UI components for server-based applications. Like JSP (Java Server Pages), JSF gives developers access to server-side logic and data and allows them to drag and drop UI components so they can focus more on presentation layer specifics.
Used for developing ops-friendly, high-performance back-ends, Dropwizard features best-in-class Java libraries and components like embedded Jetty, JAX-RS, and JSON. Developers point to its quick project bootstrap, application metrics, and simplified productivity as just some of the reasons they love the framework. Companies like Apple, Oracle, and Expedia agree.
7. Grails® Framework
Developers who want to spend more time and effort on actual application requirements and less on framework configuring use Grails to streamline web development. Similar to Ruby on Rails, Grails favors high productivity and can do a number of things to improve business efficiency. Fast, extensive, and scalable, developers appreciate Grails’ ready-to-use environment and how it simplifies XML configurations.
8. Oracle ATG
ATG provides developers with a JavaBeans and JSP component development environment to assemble applications out of component “beans” by linking them together through configuration files. ATG Commerce provides an open, server-side environment for developers to build and deploy dynamic, personalized apps for the web and other communication channels, such as wireless devices and emails.
Slightly more conventional than other frameworks, Play makes it easy to build web apps with Java and Scala. Based on the MVC pattern, it’s an open-source framework similar to Ruby on Rails and Django. Features developers love include asynchronous processing, statically-typed language, and an extensive relational database.
An Apache open-source Java framework, Hadoop uses simple programming models to efficiently store and process bulk datasets across computer clusters, instead of one large computer. Used in industries as varied as fraud detection and social media analysis, Hadoop provides the cheapest, fastest, and smartest way to process and store large volumes of data. It’s a favorite of companies like eBay, Uber, Airbnb, and Shopify.
Zibtek has developed countless successful software projects using Java frameworks. Our design and development team is ready to share its ideas and vast knowledge to help you scale and transform your organization. Ready to learn more? Get in touch to schedule a meeting.