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10 Most Popular Java Frameworks That You Must Try

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 28 Aug, 2021
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In today’s technology-driven world, we all can see how frequently tech advancements are coming into the existence and subsequently how old tools & technologies are becoming obsolete and uncompetitive. But the case is not the same with every single technology as JAVA is one of those few technologies out there that is enjoying a strong position in the tech world for more than 2 decades!


As per various standard reports, Java is still among the most popular and demanded programming languages. One of the major reasons behind such immense popularity of Java is that it has a wide range of applications such as in Android Development, Web Applications, Desktop Applications, Scientific Applications, etc. In short, if you’re looking forward to building a career with Java then you can surely go ahead without giving a second thought. However, what you need to know is, to create a worthwhile Java project, you need to know about working with the Java Frameworks.  

What is a Java Framework? – A Java Framework is a tool that provides you with pre-written Java code that can be reused for creating an application – it saves a lot of time of yours as in these frameworks you’re not required to code multiple times for a single task. Also, you’re not required to worry about other issues like security issues, making database connections, etc. In simple words, with the help of Java frameworks, there is no need to do coding from scratch while creating a project. There are numerous popular Java frameworks available that you can consider.

Here, in this article, we’ve compiled a list of several most popular and demanded Java frameworks, based on various crucial factors and stats, for the year 2021. So, let’s get started now:

1. Spring  

Spring is a lightweight, open-source, and quite popular Java framework that is used by developers to create enterprise-level web applications conveniently and efficiently. You need to know that this modular framework can be used to develop any layer of the project and along with the loosely coupled modules here, dependencies are managed by the framework itself rather than being dependent on the libraries in the code. Spring provides you with a lightweight container and it can be triggered without using an application or web server. Moreover, Spring is compatible with XML configurations and also it is capable of establishing JDBC connections. Various renowned companies like Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. use Spring for their respective platforms.  

Some of the prominent features of Spring are listed below:

  • Dependency Injection
  • Supports Backward Compatibility
  • Supports both – XML and annotation-based configuration
  • YAML Support
  • Better documentation and an active community

2. Hibernate

Hibernate is an ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) Java framework that conveniently maps an object-oriented model to the relational database. In simple words, it makes communication better between Java and relational database management systems. Hibernate can be easily connected with various popular databases like Oracle, MySQL, and others. Also, numerous enriching tools like Hibernate console, Mapping editor, etc. make things a bit more easy for Java developers. Hibernate allows you to do complex data manipulation with minimal or less coding. Moreover, the framework is completely open-source and used by various renowned Companies like Dell, Oracle, IBM, etc. use Hibernate for their respective platforms.  

Some of the prominent features of Hibernate are listed below:

  • Hibernate Query Language (HQL)
  • Easy to Customize and Configure
  • Supports Persistence APIs
  • Lightweight & High Performance  
  • Better Scalability

3. Struts

Apache Struts is an open-source Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework that is primarily used to create enterprise-level Java web applications. As of now, Struts has its versions – Struts 1 and Struts 2, among which the latter one is being used more by the developers due to extended functionalities. It is basically designed to inherit and extend the Java Servlet API properties and features to make things easier for the developers. One of the significant features of Struts is that it can be conveniently integrated with other frameworks as well. Various renowned companies like Infosys, Accenture, etc. use the Struts framework in their tech stacks.

Some of the prominent features of Struts are listed below:

  • Configurable MVC Components
  • POJO Based Actions
  • Reduced Development Time & Effort
  • Supports Creative Themes and Templates  
  • Better Documentation & Community Support

4. Java Server Faces (JSF)

Java Server Faces (JSF), developed and maintained by Oracle, is another component-based MVC web framework that has reusable UI components to create enriching user interfaces for server-based applications. In this stable framework, there is actually the encapsulation of various client-side technologies such as HTML, CSS & JavaScript. And with the help of drag and drop UI components, developers can handle the frontend part efficiently doing much coding. Moreover, Java Server Faces allows the integration among the back-end code and user interface smoothly and conveniently. Some of the renowned companies that use Java Server Faces (JSF) in their tech stacks are – Insoft, GameDuell, etc.  

Some of the prominent features of JSF are listed below:

  • Component-based UI Framework
  • Cross-framework Compatibility
  • Excellent Tools and Libraries Support
  • Inbuilt AJAX Support
  • Templating & Bean Annotations

5. Grails

Another popular Java framework in this list is Grails. Grails is an open-source Java framework that is based on the MVC (Model-View-Controller) design pattern. Though, Grails is actually written in Groovy language – it seamlessly can run on the Java platform and is completely compatible with the syntax of Java. You need to know that Grails is being used in the development of a large number of e-commerce websites available over the web. Furthermore, Grails is comparatively easier to learn, come up with easy documentation, and is strongly recommended to beginners. Various renowned companies like LinkedIn, Greencode, etc. use Grails for their respective platforms.  

Some of the prominent features of Grails are listed below:

  • Gentle Learning Curve
  • Seamless Java Integration
  • Support Various Customized Plugins
  • Built-in Support for RESTful APIs
  • Compiled to JVM Bytecode

6. Google Web Toolkit (GWT)

Google Web Toolkit, GWT is an open-source Java framework created by Google. One of the significant features of this framework is that it converts the Java code into JavaScript code. Along with the Java-to-JavaScript Compiler, other major components of the GWT framework are GWT Development Mode, JRE emulation library, and GWT Web UI class library. Other than that, Google Web Toolkit is quite easy to use and comes up with several enriching features like browser history management, unit testing integration, Google APIs support in GWT applications, and many more. Various renowned products of Google including AdSense and AdWords are heavily relying on this GWT framework.

Some of the prominent features of GWT are listed below:

  • Dynamic and Reusable UI Components
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility  
  • Full-featured Java Debugging Support
  • Highly Developer-friendly
  • Simple RPC Mechanism

7. Vaadin

Talking about Vaadin, it is basically an open-source platform that is used to develop web applications and consists of the Java web framework along with a set of web components, application starters & tools. Vaadin allows client-server communication in a completely automated manner. As a developer if you’re looking out for a framework that can allow you to focus more on application specifications and core development and the UI part can be effectively handled by the framework itself then Vaadin would be the right choice for you. Some of the popular companies using Vaadin in their tech stacks are – Rockwell Automation, JPMorgan Chase, Dell, etc.

Some of the prominent features of Vaadin are listed below:

  • Lightweight Framework with Better Documentation
  • Web Components Integration
  • Built-in JavaBeans Validation with Annotation
  • Built-in Spring Framework Support
  • Data Binding

8. Wicket

Apache Wicket, created by Jonathan Locke, is another component-based Java web framework that is widely used by Java developers. Wicket is primarily known for its POJO model i.e., where each component is Plain Old Java Object. These components include buttons, forms, links, pages, images, behaviors, etc. While working with Wicket, there is no need to learn configuration files. Other than that, Wicket has all real Java objects and is quite secure as well. It would be easier for you to learn Wicket if you’re already familiar with JSP. Meanwhile, the framework is being used by various popular companies like Deloitte, doubleSlash, etc.

Some of the prominent features of Wicket are listed below:

  • Lightweight and Fast Framework
  • POJO Based Actions
  • Zero XML Configuration Files
  • Configurable MVC Components
  • Theme and Template Support

9. Blade

Going down with the list, here comes another popular Java framework, Blade! It is an extremely lightweight Java framework that is based on Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture and is widely used to develop web applications. You need to know that the source code here is as minimal as less than 500kb. One of the key features of Blade is Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) and Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) also. The framework allows you to create templates for all the requirements in addition to a master template. Some of the popular companies using Blade in their tech stacks are Stormcatch APIs, Spookies, and a few others.

Some of the prominent features of Blade are listed below:

  • Lightweight and Modular Framework
  • Embedded Jetty Server  
  • Support for Plugin Extensions
  • Support REST Style Routing Interface
  • Gentle Learning Curve

10. Play

Last but not least, there is another popular Java Framework, Play. It is a lightweight open-source framework that is used to create web applications using Java and follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. Play supports the convention over configuration approach. The framework is highly flexible and makes it easier to create high-performance applications due to the asynchronous processing. Though Play is created in Scala – it is compatible with other programming languages also that are compiled to JVM bytecode like Java. Meanwhile, the framework is being used by various popular companies like Samsung, LinkedIn, and many others in their tech stacks.

Some of the prominent features of Play are listed below:

  • Integrated Unit Testing
  • Modular Architecture
  • Native Scala Support
  • High-Performance Applications
  • Hot Code Reloading

So, these are some of the most popular Java frameworks that you can consider in the year 2021 based on your project requirements and preferences. These frameworks will surely make Java development much easier for you!!

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