Top Frameworks in Java for Web Application Development

Sun Microsystems released Java on 23rd Jan 1996. And, Java celebrated its 24th anniversary in 2020. Its rank is constantly in the first position according to the TIOBE index.

In the journey of 24 years, Java has been a top general-purpose programming language for developing custom software. Many websites like ESPN, SnapDeal, Alibaba, etc use Java as their primary language for developing the applications.

If you are looking to develop a web application in Java, then you have to make the right decision to choose the appropriate web frameworks in Java. In this Java article, we will discuss some of the top Java frameworks along with their advantages and uses.

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What is a Java Framework?

A framework is a huge body of pre-written code. We need to add this code in our code to solve a problem. We can use a framework by inheritance, calling its methods, or supplying callbacks, listeners, or other implementations of the patterns.

A framework often dictates the structure of an application. Some frameworks provide much code so that we need to write very less in our application. Frameworks can be good or bad, depending on their ease of use.

A Java framework is specific to the Java programming language. We can use it as a platform for developing software applications, web applications, and Java programs.

This chart shows some top Java frameworks:

Top Java Frameworks

1. Java Spring Framework

Java spring framework

Spring Framework is a robust lightweight web application development framework. Its rank is at first place because it has the excellent capability to develop complex web applications that require high performance.

The core features of the Spring Framework enables Java developers to easily create enterprise-level applications.

There are many modules present in the Spring framework. Some of them are Spring MVC, Spring Core, Spring Security, Spring Transaction, Spring Boost, Spring ORM. These modules are useful in developing enterprise applications.

Now, let’s see the applications of Java Spring framework:

  • Web application development.
  • Creating any Java application
  • Enterprise Java (JEE)

Advantages of Spring Framework in java

  • Spring framework has a lightweight container that a user can trigger without using a web server or application server software.
  • It supports JDBC that improves the productivity of the applications by reducing the error.
  • Spring supports both Annotation-based and XML configuration.
  • Spring provides backward compatibility and testability of the code.

Some major companies that use Spring framework for application development are:

  • Netflix uses Spring boot
  • Yatra uses Spring MVC
  • Amazon
  • eBay

2. JSF(Java Server Faces)

JSF Framework

Oracle developed Java Server Faces (JSF) for developing enterprise applications, native applications, and web applications. It is useful to develop user interfaces for Java-based applications.

JSF is a stable component-based MVC framework. Its architecture distinguishes between application logic and representation.

JSF helps the developers to create user interfaces by dragging and dropping UI components and emphasize more on the presentation layer of their application without knowing client-side technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, in detail.

Uses of JSF
  • Developing Component-based UI frameworks.
  • Building native applications.
Advantages of JSF
  • JSF is an integral part of Java Enterprise Edition.
  • It provides excellent tools and rich libraries for developing applications.
  • JSF allows existing backend Java code to extend with a web interface without changing the base application by introducing a new framework.

3. Google Web Toolkit


Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is an open-source, free, popular web framework. It helps the developers to develop and debug Ajax applications using Java programming language.

It also helps a developer to create and debug Ajax applications in Java. We can also write complex browser-based applications using GWT, without having expertise in front-end technologies like JavaScript.

GWT provides many awesome features like cross-browser portability, history and management, internationalization, and bookmarking, etc. A lot of Google products such as AdSense, Google Wallet, and Blogger are built using GWT.

Advantages of GWT
  • It is open-source and completely free.
  • GWT is developer-friendly.
  • GWT supports reusability for common web development tasks.
    We can also use Google APIs to develop GWT applications.
  • GWT offers internationalization, cross-browser portability, UI abstraction, bookmarking, and history management.

4. Vaadin

Java vaadin

Vaadin is a web application framework that provides a great platform to develop streamlined Java applications. It enables developers to build custom web development services.

A big advantage of using the Vaadin framework is that it enables smooth communication between server and browser. Vaadin gives direct access to DOM from JVM. Vaadin Flow is a lightweight framework.

It handles routing communication between server and client and allows users to integrate Vaadin components to any IDE. It is a cross-platform framework, hence there is no need to migrate the code from one platform into a different platform.

To work with Vaadin, there is no need for a developer to know deeply about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Vaadin framework automatically translates the Java code into the markup.

Uses of Java Vaadin
  • Vaadin framework automates all the communication between the browser and the server.
  • It simplifies web application development.
Advantages of Vaadin framework in java
  • Vaadin provides a Drag and drop feature that simplifies the creation of single-page user Interfaces for Java applications.
  • Vaadin provides an Automatic server-client communication with WebSocket support.
  • It enables Data binding using MVC(Model-View-Controller) or MVP.
  • Vaadin provides a router with the nested route and parameter support.
  • It also Supports JVM languages like Kotlin and Scala.
  • It has built-in Spring support.

5. Java Hibernate

java hibernate

Hibernate is an ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) framework. This framework acts as a database for developing a stable framework for Java. Object-relational mapping connects data across two incompatible systems.

This framework provides better communication between relational database management systems and the Java programming language. It is useful when a user is working in a complex ecosystem and requires a seamless data flow.

Developers face a problem while working with an object-oriented language like Java. This problem is the Object-Relational Impedance Mismatch or Paradigm Mismatch problem. Hibernate provides us with a framework that overcomes these mismatch problems of Java.

The queries in Hibernate are just like HQL (Hive Query Language) SQL(Structured Query Language). This framework directly maps Java classes to corresponding database tables and databases tables to classes.

There is a file in Hibernate called hibernate.cfg.xml file which stores the information about mapping Java classes with database configuration.

Uses of Java Hibernate
  • It allows you to develop persistent classes using object-oriented concepts.
  • Hibernate enables users to communicate with any database using very small changes in the code. This bridges the gap between objects and relational databases.
  • Hibernate is an advanced ORM framework that lets us perform the database operation on Java entities.
Advantages of Java Hibernate framework
  • Hibernate is a powerful cross-database solution.
  • Hibernate is a scalable framework.
  • We can convert data easily using Hibernate.
  • Hibernate is configurable.

Some major companies that use Hibernate framework are:

  • Oracle
  • IBM
  • DELL
  • Accenture

6. Java Struts

Java struts

Struts is another enterprise-level framework. Apache Software Foundation (ASF) maintains the Struts framework. Struts framework is a fully-featured Java web application framework that allows the developers to create an easy-to-maintain Java application.

There are two versions of the Struts framework: Struts 1 and Struts 2.

Developers introduced Struts2 to overcome the problems of Struts 1 and to make it more flexible and extendable. All the companies prefer using the Struts 2 framework because it is the upgraded version of Apache Struts.

Uses of Struts Framework
  • The Struts 2 framework enables us to develop an MVC-based web application.
  • Struts framework uses and extends the Java Servlet API to help developers to adopt the MVC architecture.
Advantages of Java Struts
  • This framework documentation is for active web developers and there should be a working knowledge about how to build a Java web application.
  • This framework reduces the development time and makes easy management of the application.
  • It provides a centralized configuration. This means that rather than coding information into Java programs, we can represent many Struts values in XML or property files.
  • We can integrate Struts with other Java frameworks to perform tasks that are not built on the platform.

Major companies that use Struts framework are:

  • Infosys
  • Accenture
  • NexGen Technologies

7. Grails

Grails is a dynamic framework for Java. Groovy JVM programming language coined this framework. Groovy JVM is an object-oriented language for the Java platform which intends to enhance the productivity of the developer.

The syntax of Grails is compatible with Java, and is compiled to JVM (Java Virtual Machine) bytecode. This framework works with Java technologies, including Java EE(Enterprise Edition) containers, Spring, SiteMesh, Quartz, and Hibernate.

Uses of Grails
  • Grails is a very developer-friendly framework as it comes with detailed and easy-to-read documentation.
  • We can also build our own plugins and include the Grails IDE support for different platforms.
  • Most e-commerce sites use the Grails framework.
Grails Advantages
  • This framework utilizes Groovy language as its coding standard. As Groovy is similar to Java, programmers think it is easier to begin with Grails.
  • Grails has an easy to use object mapping feature.
  • It promotes reuse of code between different Grails applications by modularizing the application in the form of plugins.
  • Grails provides flexible profiles.

8. Play

java play framework

Play is a reactive web and mobile framework for developing highly scalable Java applications. It helps to develop lightweight and web-friendly Java and Scala applications for desktop and mobile and desktop interfaces.

Many people often compare it with powerful frameworks of other languages, like Django for Python or, Ruby on Rails for Ruby, etc.

Play is a unique Java framework because it is not dependent on the Java EE standards. Instead, it removes all the inconveniences of traditional Java web development. The Play framework is built upon Akka Toolkit.

It truncates the creation of distributed and concurrent applications on the Java Virtual Machine.

Uses of Play Framework
  • Developing web applications that demand content creation.
  • Developing Java and Scala applications
Advantages of Java Play
  • It offers features like convention over configuration, error messages in the browser, etc.
  • Play supports non-blocking Input/Output which is necessary for high-performance applications.
  • Play framework provides more flexible and failure-tolerant results.


Finding the most suitable frameworks in java according to the requirement is more challenging than knowing about them. After reading this article, you might have got a clearer vision of which java frameworks will suit your application development.

We have discussed the top frameworks of java with their uses and advantages.

It is up to you to decide which framework to choose. You can choose them according to features, applications, ease-of-use, documentation, support. So, select the appropriate framework that can meet your requirements.

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