In a world where the metaverse and cryptocurrency have become the new normal, it’s understandable to question the relevance of Java web frameworks, and wonder if their popularity would still hold as we progress.
Well, the good news is that Java is still one of the most popular web programming languages in this modern day and age. According to a recent survey published by Stack Overflow, Java ranks no. #1 on the list of “most commonly used programming languages.”
And why wouldn’t it? Java is high performing, can be used for various projects, it’s simple to use, and it has consistently been a top choice amongst developers. The only question that remains is which is the best Java framework for specific use cases of web development? For example, small projects, large projects, interactive web solutions, projects with a slight learning curve, and so on.
If the same question has entered your mind, then stick around! This article explores the various types of Java frameworks for web development, and draws a comparison between multiple languages based on both available data and our expertise. We’ll review their features, pros, cons, and individual benefits.
Released in 2002, Spring is an open-source, component-based framework that was developed by Rob Johnson, and operates under the Apache 2.0 license. It was specifically created to reduce complications faced when building applications, such as those that were faced by EBJ (Enterprise Java Beans). Let’s take a look at some of the features offered by Spring.
Spring has a model-view-controller (MVC) framework that is specifically created to handle HTTP requests.
Here’s a small overview of how MVC works in Spring: Once a request is received from a client, it gets sent to URL Handler Mapping (aka controller). The controller then passes this request to the model, which then sends it back to the controller. The controller then responds to the request through view.
The benefit of using MVC is that it makes the entire process easy — you can easily debug issues (if you come across any), and the code is easy to navigate.
Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP) refers to the breaking down of program logic into distinct parts (aka modularization) to reduce crosscutting concerns (crosscutting concerns refer to the concern, that, if not centralized, will create issues with the whole application, e.g., concerns like security, transaction management, authorization, etc.).
Aside from that, it also allows you to maintain the code from one place. For example, if you’ve written code in five different places, you don’t need to edit code from those five places any time a client asks for a revision; you can simply edit the code from a centralized place. However, if you need to make edits in only one place, you can do that too.
Dependency Injection (DI) refers to the design pattern in Spring’s Inversion of Control (IoC). This function was specifically created to remove dependency in code. There are two ways to insert DI in Spring, and those are the setter method and the constructor method. This function is particularly useful when you have to connect multiple objects to make a task run, but don’t want the objects to be dependent upon each other.
Looking for developers who are well accustomed to the Spring framework and can use its multiple features in their favor? We have just the developers you need.
Vaadin is one of the most sought-after frameworks for Java web development. There’s obviously some potential in Vaadin, seeing as how this cross-platform framework has received investments from Micheal Widenius (the inventor of MySQL). Let’s take a look under the hood to understand a little more about this framework.
Vaadin is one of the rare frameworks that has two types of architectures you can use to build solutions: one is server side, and the other is client side. As per JavaPoint, Vaadin uses the client-side engine to get an output from the client, and it uses the server-side engine to respond to requests made by clients.
Different as these architectures may be, they both provide options for adding themes, developing widgets, etc. Moreover, you can use both to create web solutions from scratch. The Vaadin framework also uses Google Web Toolkit (GWT) to run faster. It has been known to be one of the fastest and most secure frameworks out there.
Vaadin uses Web Components to add graphical user interfaces (GUIs). These components are based on HTML specifications, and can be reused within your code to make the final version of your web solution more interactive.
There are four standards of web components that you can use (custom elements, shadow DOM, HTML template, and ES modules). You can also use the Vaadin web directory to find new components created by third parties.
Java Server Faces, also known as Jakarta Server Faces, Jakarta Faces, or JSF, is a framework developed by Eclipse Foundation that uses technologies such as Java or XUL. Its original author is Sun Microsystems, the same company that designed Java Virtual Machines (JVM). Presently, you can find JSF on GitHub.
Amongst its plethora of features, one thing JSF is widely known for is its user interface (UI) components. This is mainly because JSF’s architecture was designed to be a component-focused UI model design.
You can use XML files to access these components by clicking on “view templates” or “Facelet views.” There are two main types of JSF components: standard UI components and custom UI components.
By using JSF, you can also benefit from its other features such as expression language integration (that connects the web pages with application logic), Facelets technology (that helps create a view for JSF users), bean annotations (which help you validate tasks in Managed Bean by using annotations), templating (using the same templates for multiple uses), extensible architecture, and plenty more.
Struts, also known as Apache Struts or Jakarta Struts, currently operates under the Apache 2.0 license, as the name would suggest. Created by Craig McClanahan, the goal of Struts was to disrupt the way model, view, and controller interacted with each other; in other words, they wanted to implement the MVC model. Learn more about Sturt’s features here.
The reason for Strut’s invention was to get the model, view, and controller to interact separately, but with a centralized configuration.
That’s to say, the developers created a configuration file known as “struts-config.xml” that allowed all information received from the client to be deposited there. This information would then interact with the model, view, and controller separately to respond to the client.
The benefit of this file is that since everything is centralized, all information can be changed at the same time.
There are two types of beans that we speak of: bean tags and form beans. Form beans help store HTML data, which allows for simplified access to information and the ability to receive information from the client easily. Bean tags then allow the project to be categorized; thus, if you ever need to locate it, then that, too, can also be done with ease.
Grails is an open-source framework created by Graeme Rocher that allows object-relational mapping, integration with Java platforms, and access to robust tag libraries. Much like many other frameworks on the list, it, too, is licensed by Apache. Let’s explore this framework further.
Rather than focusing on a few key features in this section (as we did in the sections above), we’re taking a look at all of Grails’s features — because it has that many!
When it comes to choosing the framework for web application development in Java, picking a clear winner might be difficult, seeing as how all these frameworks have their own list of features and pros and cons. So, let’s take a look at them individually through the prism of which use cases their application would most likely be beneficial.
Looking for Java developers who can easily navigate all the above languages and assist you in choosing the best Java framework for your project? We have the expertise (and case studies to back our expertise).
EPAM Anywhere Business’ experience in using Java’s various frameworks for web development has been nothing but spectacular. In fact, we use Java on a day-to-day basis to serve our customers. Let’s take a look at a case study that displays how EPAM has achieved success for our client using one of the aforementioned frameworks.
EPAM worked with an industry leader in innovation management who wanted to reimagine and redesign their platform. The platform previously ran on legacy Python, but they were now looking to shift to increase scalability and improve stability. EPAM was also tasked with other requirements, like building a customizable UI, a customized version of the platform for each of their client’s individual needs, and integration of multiple solutions.
EPAM worked to redesign the platform, keeping the client’s requirements in mind. One of the important technologies we used was Spring’s MVC framework, aside from other technologies like MySQL database, Nginx web servers, Java-8 applications, and more.
The end result saw EPAM achieve all project requirements, and even provide further guidance, which allowed us to create a long-term partnership with the client.
The above case study is not the first instance where EPAM has used Java to present outstanding results to its clients. In fact, Java has been employed for some of our largest projects, such as an innovative application for properly utilizing pension-related investments for Switzerland’s Glarner Kantonalbank (GLKB), and accelerating digital transformation for a legal European-based network provider. Take a look at the case studies:
The point we’re trying to make is that this is not our first rodeo with Java or one of its frameworks. It’s a task that we do daily (and in a way that brings such great results for our clients, becoming part of our coveted case studies).
If you, too, wish to hire Java developers from EPAM to achieve the same level of success as our aforementioned clients, then get in touch, and we’ll quickly get back with a price estimation.
Want to work with EPAM developers? Tell us more about your project to get price estimates.