The Best Java Frameworks to Use this 2023

May 31, 2023

The Best Java Frameworks to Use this 2023

Competition is high this 2023, and businesses need to keep up with the latest technology trends for today and the future. This is why developers are constantly on the lookout for the most popular Java frameworks that can keep them ahead of the game.

Hence, it is essential to choose a Java framework to help you stay ahead of the curve. With so many available options, selecting the right one is not always easy.

What is a Java Framework?

Frameworks are like toolkits that make it easier for developers to build software applications. They provide a set of pre-built components and functionalities, so developers don’t have to start from scratch.

Java frameworks are specifically designed for building applications using the Java programming language. They simplify development tasks and follow best practices, making it quicker and more efficient to create Java-based projects. Basically, Java frameworks are handy helpers for Java developers to get things done faster.

Web applications are not built all the same quote

Now that you know what it does, choosing a popular Java framework is the next challenge. It will determine the success of developing modern Java web applications, so make sure to pick one with the best features.

We’re here to make this process simple for you! We have compiled a list of 10 of the best Java frameworks for developing web applications this year.

10 Best Java Frameworks this 2023

Web applications are not built all the same. Each is unique and requires different features. That’s why it’s important to choose the best framework that suits your specific needs.

Here is a list of 10 of the best Java frameworks for web applications:

1. Spring

The Spring framework is a highly versatile Java framework that simplifies the development of enterprise-grade applications. It was first released in March 2004 and has gained immense popularity since then, earning the reputation of being the “framework of frameworks.” Spring is an open-source, lightweight, and loosely coupled Java application framework.

Developers favor Spring for its speed, simplicity, and productivity, making it easy to create enterprise-level web applications. Spring MVC and Spring Boot have modernized Java, making it reactive and cloud-ready, enabling the development of high-performance, complex web applications.

Major tech giants like Netflix, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft utilize Spring for their projects.

Key features:

  • Supports JDBC (Java Database Connectivity), which improves productivity and reduces errors
  • Supports modularity and both XML and annotation-based configuration
  • In the Spring framework, the Dependency Injection (also known as Inversion of Control) and Beans simplify web development.

2. Google Web Toolkit (GWT)

Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a popular open-source Java framework widely used by developers worldwide to build and optimize complex browser-based applications. It allows for the productive development of high-performance web applications without requiring expertise in front-end technologies like JavaScript or responsive design.

Developed by Google, GWT (pronounced “gwit”) is used for creating sophisticated Java-based web applications. Its capability to transform Java code into customized JavaScript code sets it apart from other popular Java frameworks.

Numerous Google products, including AdSense, Google Wallet, and Blogger, have been developed using GWT, highlighting its usage and effectiveness in real-world applications. You can find a guide on creating a basic GWT application on the project website: Getting Started Building a GWT App.

Key features:

  • GWT simplifies the usage of Google APIs
  • Supports reusability of Java code
  • Provides support for internationalization and localization, including features such as UI abstraction and cross-browser compatibility

3. Apache Struts

Apache Struts, an open-source Java framework under the Apache Software Foundation, has been a trusted choice for over 20 years. It simplifies Java Platform Enterprise Edition ( Java EE) web application development by adopting the Model-View-Control (MVC) architecture and leveraging the Java Servlet API properties. With XML-based configuration files, Java developers can centralize settings, reducing web application development time.

Following the convention-over-configuration principle, Apache Struts provides sensible defaults and standardized practices, enhancing development efficiency while maintaining code readability. Thus, it is a valuable framework for building enterprise-level Java web applications.

Key features:

  • Comes with plugins to support REST, AJAX, and JSON
  • Can be easily integrated with other popular Java frameworks like Spring and Hibernate
  • Includes POJO-based actions and offers a Centralized Configuration
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4. Hibernate

Hibernate is a widely used Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) tool for Java. It offers a framework that maps an object-oriented domain model to a relational database, making it easier to work with databases in Java applications.

What sets Hibernate apart is its powerful Hibernate Query Language, which facilitates the mapping process between the ORM and the relational database. This feature has contributed to the popularity of Hibernate among developers.

The Hibernate framework is trusted by major companies like Platform, DAILY HOTEL, IBM, and Dell, who incorporate it into their technology stacks to manage database interactions in their applications effectively.

Key features:

  • Comes with functionalities required for ORM, making it a lightweight Java framework
  • Supports lazy loading and two levels of caching
  • Provides an automatic table generation feature

5. JavaServer Faces (JSF)

JavaServer Faces (JSF) is a free web application framework maintained by Oracle. Like Struts, JSF simplifies the creation of user interfaces for server-side applications by utilizing reusable UI components that can be assembled on a page. It’s a component-based MVC framework that focuses on the presentation layer, enabling web developers to create UIs through drag-and-drop functionality easily.

JSF has been standardized through the Java Community Process as part of Java Enterprise Edition. Due to its standardization, JSF is favored by development teams seeking increased portability across platforms by adhering to published standards.

Key features:

  • Java Server Faces allows you to add a web interface using the existing backend Java code.
  • Provides rich libraries and several tools to create elegant UIs
  • Uses XML instead of Java for view handling and offers an API for representing and managing UI components

6. Play

Play is a unique Java framework that prioritizes convention over configuration, making web application development easier. It follows the MVC design pattern and emphasizes a stateless, web-friendly, and lightweight architecture.

Written in Scala, the Play framework offers both web and mobile application development capabilities. Its goal is to address issues commonly faced in traditional Java web development, such as slow software development cycles and excessive configurations. It is a powerful framework that shares similarities with architectures like Django, Ruby on Rails, and ASP.NET but does not strictly adhere to J2EE web standards.

Key features:

  • Enables developers to create simple JAR files
  • Provides cool features such as hot code reloading and error messages in the browser
  • Nonblocking Input/Output is well-supported for high-performance applications
Grails website screenshot

7. Grails

Grails is a dynamic, open-source framework written in the Groovy programming language that runs on the Java platform. It demonstrates strong compatibility with Java syntax and can seamlessly collaborate with various other Java frameworks and technologies, including Java EE containers, SiteMesh, Spring, Quartz, and Hibernate.

Adhering to modern software development principles, the main objective of the Grails framework is to be a high-productivity framework by adopting the “coding by convention” paradigm of programming languages. This approach provides developers with a standalone development environment and abstracts away much of the configuration details, simplifying the development process.

Key features:

  • Suitable for Rapid Development with its feature-rich plugin system
  • Easy to use object mapping feature
  • There is no need for XML configuration
  • Offers flexible profiles

8. Dropwizard

Dropwizard is a lightweight Java framework known for its speed and ease of use. It has pre-integrated libraries like Jetty, Guava, Jersey, Jackson, and Metrics, making advanced configurations, security, and performance tasks seamless. Developers can focus on building their business logic without unnecessary complexity.

The framework is ideal for building microservices and facilitating rapid prototyping. It is operations-friendly, open-source, and supports external libraries, offering flexibility and customization options for Java developers. Even beginners can quickly create high-performance RESTful web applications with Dropwizard.

Key features:

  • Has a quick project bootstrap
  • Supports various open-source and independent libraries
  • Supports monitoring using the metrics library

9. Vaadin

With Vaadin, developers can leverage a server-side architecture to build interactive and dynamic web interfaces. This open-source Java web framework boasts an active community that empowers developers to create complex and dynamic web applications using pre-designed UI components.

The framework allows direct access to the Document Object Model (DOM) from the Java virtual machine, enabling efficient manipulation of UI components. Vaadin’s flagship product, Vaadin Platform (formerly known as Vaadin Framework), enables the implementation of HTML5 web user interfaces using the Java programming language. The framework also offers a lightweight counterpart called Vaadin Flow, which efficiently handles routing and client-server communication.

Key features:

  • Can seamlessly integrate with other frontend JavaScript technologies like React, Vue, or plain JavaScript
  • Enables you to use the MVC framework and MVP for data binding
  • Supports built-in Spring framework

10. Wicket

Last but not least, Wicket is a straightforward Java web framework that you should watch out for this year. It follows a component-oriented structure, requiring knowledge of only Java and HTML without the need for XML or configuration files.

The framework’s key feature is its POJO (Plain Old Java Object) model, where components are simple Java objects that leverage object-oriented programming principles. Wicket provides a collection of reusable packages containing components like images, buttons, forms, links, pages, containers, and behaviors, allowing developers to customize them as needed.

If you have previous experience with Java server faces, working with Wicket becomes even easier.

Key features:

  • Secures your Java web applications with Content Security Policy
  • Offers various result types, tags, themes, and templates
  • Zero XML configuration files
a group of developers working together

Hire Java Developers from StarTechUP!

Getting familiar with the best Java frameworks is only the first step toward a successful project with Java. To maximize the efficiency of your development process, you need an experienced team of Java developers to help you bring your project to life.

StarTechUP is one of the leading software development agencies in the Philippines, offering high-quality services and creating tailor-made solutions for businesses around the world. Our expert teams have comprehensive knowledge of various Java frameworks and are dedicated to delivering innovative projects that exceed expectations!

We also offer mobile development, UI/UX design, and DevOps services to add more value to our clients. If you want these services at a low cost but high quality, then we might be what you’re looking for!

Contact us today to find out how we can help!

About the author: Andrea Jacinto - Content Writer

A content writer with a strong SEO background, Andrea has been working with digital marketers from different fields to create optimized articles which are informative, digestible, and fun to read. Now, she's writing for StarTechUP to deliver the latest developments in tech to readers around the world. View on Linkedin