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Top 10 Java Frameworks

Java is a mature, long-standing programming language that is widely used for the development of ERP systems, banking and finance systems, blockchain solutions and cryptocurrency exchanges, healthcare, and energy solutions as well as for the creation of mobile applications across multiple domains.

The most significant benefit of the Java language is that it is open-source and has a big and strong community of developers. Thus, many great frameworks were built on the basis of Java for the development of web applications, network applications, ORM, etc.

In this article we’ll look at the most popular Java frameworks that are widely used by software developers across the globe.

What Are Java Frameworks?

When forming their tech stacks for the next app-building project, software developers pay much attention to choosing the right framework. In the case of Java, there is a wide range of frameworks each used for a particular type of software. For example, there are frameworks for building web, mobile, desktop, and network applications, IoT solutions, microservices, REST APIs, and many others.

What Are Java Frameworks?

Java frameworks have a set of libraries that include a ready-made code frame, templates for a certain app type, classes, components, and various structures. Using these libraries, software developers can quickly create the basis for any Java app. Moreover, with the help of frameworks, Java developers don’t have to manage hardware and software infrastructure. Many frameworks have quick configurations that allow to set up the infrastructure within minutes and get down to code writing much faster.

Top 10 Java Frameworks

The choice of a Java framework for a software development project depends on many factors – the type of the requested software, a programmer’s skill level, languages and tools that are included in the tech stack alongside Java, personal software developer’s preferences, and much more. Therefore, it’s impossible to say which Java framework is the best.

Yet, there are frameworks that are more and less popular in the Java community. Here are the most used, time-tested, and robust Java frameworks for various software projects.

1. Spring Framework

Spring is an open-source framework mainly used for the development of enterprise applications both web and mobile. It includes different components like the Spring Core, Spring Web MVC, Spring AOP, Spring DAO, Spring context, Spring ORM, and Spring Web Flow. It can also be used with Kotlin and Groovy.

1. Spring Framework

Such companies as Netflix and eBay are using Spring for the development of their apps and systems.

The main advantages of Spring:

  • allows to write clean and accessible code;
  • lightweight and easy-to-deploy;
  • has XML and annotation-style configuration compatibility;
  • supports dependency injection.

The only drawback of the Spring framework is its complexity for beginners with no knowledge in Java programming. Some basic knowledge of Java is required to work with this framework.

2. Apache Struts

Struts is a free, open-source Java framework for developing compelling web applications. Struts can be easily integrated with other Java frameworks. For example, it can be used as a Spring plugin for dependency injection or as a Hibernate plugin for object-relational mapping.

The main benefits of Struts:

  • has a plugin-based architecture;
  • easy to set up;
  • flexible and easy to use;
  • faster time to develop.

However, in order to use Struts, the developer should know Java Servlet API as well as JSP (Java Server Pages). Otherwise, it might require some time to get familiar with the framework. The framework is not suitable for the development of small applications.

3. Grails

Grails is an open-source framework for Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It is built on top of Spring Boot and runs with Groovy programming language. It is compatible with JDK, Java EE containers, Hibernate, Spring, and Quartz.

3. Grails

Grails can be used for the development of all kinds of applications.  Such companies as Oracle, IBM, Netflix, Cisco, and Google are using Grails for application development.

The main benefits of Grails:

  • easy to set up and get started;
  • integrates easily with already written Java code;
  • has a huge number of plugins.

Grails is a good choice for time-sensitive projects as well as for startup projects. So if it is a small or medium-size project then Grails is a good fit. Grails’ simplicity also allows RAD development in real-time.

4. Hibernate

Hibernate – an object-relational mapping (ORM) Java framework mainly used for dealing with databases. Hibernate easily communicates with any database and is incredibly convenient when working with multiple databases.

The main advantages of Hibernate:

  • easy to scale;
  • simple to modify and configure;
  • alleviates converting data for multiple databases.

Hibernate simplifies application development and the way it interacts with the database. It is perfect for OOP-type projects that require high productivity and portability at the same time.

5. JSF (JavaServer Faces)

JSF is a Java-based web application framework developed and maintained by Oracle. Mainly used for the development of server-based applications and to simplify the development integration of web-based user interfaces. JSF is quite similar to Struts.

The main benefits of JSF:

  • has reusable UI components;
  • rich libraries;
  • helps improve productivity and consistency.

JSF is a great choice for web application development, however, a deep understanding of Java is required, otherwise, it would be too complex to use it due to the complexity of this framework.

6. Wicket

Wicket is a full-stack component-based web application Java framework provided by the Apache Foundation. The framework supports Java starting from its 11th version and Servlet API 3.1 or newer. Based on the recent Java and Servlet API releases, the framework allows building outstanding web solutions and ensures strong data protection with Content Security Policy.

6. Wicket

The framework utilizes pure Java and simply integrates with HTML, effectively separating markup and logic layer, and allowing unit testing of the front-end code.

Main Wicket benefits include:

  • implementation of reusable components for consistent and quick web application development;
  • use of POJO data models ensuring that Wicket components are general Java objects;
  • bundling components into reusable packages for adding custom CSS and JavaScript;
  • simple web application internationalization with the support of 25+ languages;
  • Ajax implementation for app updating in real-time;
  • secure URL handling, and more.

7. Dropwizard

This is a lightweight and simple-to-use framework for building web applications and RESTful web servers. Dropwizard works a