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Top Open-Source Frameworks and Tools For Java Web Application Development?

Being one of the most popular and long-established programming languages, Java can also boast of a considerable quantity of open-source development tools. They are easily accessible, provide the opportunity to monitor the source code, allow code editing based on the project goals, and offer suggestions for improving code quality.

Efficient and useful open-source frameworks are one of the reasons why Java is a preferred choice for many software developers. In this article, we’ve gathered the top 11 Java-based open-source tools and frameworks for building robust, high-quality applications for businesses of any scale.


Eclipse is one of the most comprehensive integrated development environments (IDE) created specifically for handling large-scale projects. The IDE has a deep understanding of a written code, the project this code belongs to, and the code dependencies on other projects and libraries. As a result, the IDE improves software developers’ productivity by offering such features as auto-completion, structure-based searching, incremental compilation, automatic code formatting, integrated debugging, and many others.

Apart from great code structuring, Eclipse also provides a wide set of features that effectively extend the functionality of the IDE. Some include several programming language support tools (including C++, Python, and PHP), a rich set of debugging and code quality tools, and Eclipse UI enhancements for more comfortable work. Also, Eclipse has a diverse choice of collaboration tools that allow software developers to work together on a project, e.g. version control systems, code review tools, and issue tracking systems.

IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ IDEA is another IDE widely used for Java development. The IDE has many versions and some of them are open-source and, therefore, are provided for free. For example, IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition is a free version that includes all the basic features for JVM and Android development.

The Community Edition is a good choice when it comes to more standard Java development in comparison to Eclipse. It supports several programming languages such as Java, HTML, and Kotlin as well as three frameworks – Android, JavaFX, and Swing. Although the Community Edition is often considered to be the first step to moving to the full-fledged paid Ultimate Edition, many software developers opt for Community Edition when they require building some functionalities for their projects.

NetBeans IDE

NetBeans is an IDE developed by the Oracle family. It’s a seasoned IDE that dates back to 1996 and which was specially designed for Java development needs. Today, it’s considered a popular IDE for academic and research purposes, therefore, such big organizations as Boeing, NASA, NATO, and others use NetBeans in their work.

NetBeans IDE

Many software developers use NetBeans as an alternative to Eclipse for building desktop, mobile, and web applications. NetBeans provides complete support for latest Java technologies and also works with other programming languages including C/C++, PHP, JavaScript, and HTML. The IDE also offers an extensive set of plug-ins and tools from seamless integration with databases, to code validation and reporting on issues, to integration with Spring Boot and Spring frameworks, and many others.


JUnit is a handy open-source unit testing framework for Java. It helps software engineers perform test-driven development when building their applications as well as simply deploy them. The tool easily integrates with popular Java IDEs, and also runs with widely-used Java automation and deployment tools such as Maven, Ant, Gradle, and Jenkins.

Many Java developers use JUnit as they can write code and run tests much faster while preserving code quality at a high level.


Maven is a useful project management tool that helps systemize Java projects. It stores all the project-related documents in one place, providing quick access to them. Moreover, the tool works based on the convention over the configuration software development paradigm, enforcing a standard way of building applications. This way, software developers can build a solid viable code structure for the requested solutions from the start.

With the Maven tool, it’s simple to set up projects and start software development in seconds. It also provides superior dependency and repository management. It’s simple to add new dependencies in the project with Maven, avoiding the necessity to manage a large number of JAR files.


Another popular tool for Java web development is Hibernate. Hibernate is a popular framework aimed at mapping object-oriented domain models to relational databases.

When using this framework, software developers can significantly shorten the development time in comparison to using standard Java database connectivity (JDBC). That’s because Hibernate provides a new level of abstraction for objects in the code so that software developers don’t have to consider how these objects are related to their data sources. This makes it easy to address, access, and manipulate these objects in the code.

With Hibernate, software developers can make their Java code look more cleaner and readable by removing much of the boilerplate code used in JDBC API.


Spark is a lightweight microframework used for building web applications in Java. Spark is widely used in web development as it offers many advantages for building quick and effective Java web applications.

The framework provides developers with easy-to-use APIs for working with large datasets. It has sets of higher-level libraries for supporting SQL queries, data streamlining, machine learning, graph processing, and more. It’s expressive and un-opinionated – this makes the framework extremely flexible as it provides software developers with much freedom in decision-making when they code.


Jenkins is an open-source server-based system used for code building, testing, and deployment. It’s a super-flexible and simple-to-use solution that helps software developers automate many routine operations.

Jenkins is written in Java programming language and it’s platform independent so it simply runs on OS X, Windows, or Linux. Also, Jenkins easily fits into any existing tech architecture due to an extensive variety of plugins. This makes Jenkins a popular solution for diverse software development projects.


Groovy is a dynamic typing language with static typing and static compilation capabilities. It runs on Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and is simply compatible with Java. It has an easy-to-learn and clear syntax which helps software developers write and read program code much faster in comparison to Java.

When building their software, many companies add Groovy to their project tech stacks as it provides greater flexibility than Java and offers special, easily upgradable features to applications.
Comparison between Java and Groovy


Spring is one of the most popular full-fledged Java-based frameworks used for building enterprise-level software. The framework has a huge ecosystem that continues