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Top 5 Open Source Java Frameworks in 2020

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25 years and Still Ruling the software industry, over the years Java has ranked the top three most popular programming languages in the world with numerous applications including back-end development projects, Big Data and Machine Learning projects, and obviously, Web and Android development. Now if you are a developer and searching for tools that help you to develop software solutions easier, faster and better then don’t worry, Java is always there for you with a large number of frameworks which can provide you simply best solutions for any domain like web-development, app development, cloud computing, machine learning, big data, IT and more.


The basic principle of a framework is to “break the wheel” and make developers’ life easier by helping them focus on business logic rather than worrying about common pieces of code.  Frameworks come with a set of prewritten code that you can append to your own to create custom solutions to problems by calling its methods, inheritance, listeners, or other implementations of the patterns. Now, if you want to build your next project in Java, then you should use a proper Java web framework. But are you confused about choosing the right one? then this article will clear all your doubts by giving you a list of the most popular Java web frameworks for web development.

1. Spring

It is the true leader of the Java frameworks which makes Java quicker, easier, and safer to use. Spring is very popular for its speed, simplicity, and productivity which helps Java developers to create enterprise-level web and mobile applications with complete ease. Spring makes Java modern, reactive, and cloud-ready which made it the world’s most popular Java framework. Spring MVC and Spring Boot are very popular among developers to build high-performance complex web applications.  If you are a Java developer then you should have the Knowledge of Spring. Spring is used by many tech-giants, including Alibaba, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and more.

  • Build almost any application imaginable using spring’s flexible and comprehensive set of extensions and third-party libraries,
  • Safely deploy entire microservices-based architectures into the cloud, in record time using combine Spring Boot with Spring Cloud’s rich set of supporting libraries, servers, patterns, and templates.
  • Start a new Spring project in seconds, Spring deeply cares about performance with, fast startup, fast shutdown, and optimized execution by default.
  • It has a track record of dealing with security issues quickly and responsibly. Continuously test and report vulnerabilities and also monitored third-party dependencies very closely. Provides regular updates to keep your data and applications as safe as possible.
  • It has an enormous, global, diverse community to help you anytime with resources quickstarts, guides, videos, meetups, support, or even formal training and certification to get you to the next level.

2. GWT

Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is an open-source Java framework developed by Google and used by thousands of developers around the world for building and optimizing complex browser-based applications. This framework is used for the productive development of high-performance web applications and client-side development like Javascript with less knowledge in  JavaScript because it converts Java code into JavaScript code which is a very useful feature of GWT. Popular Google products like AdSense, Google Wallet, and AdWords are written and using this framework extensively.

  • GWT contains powerful tools for creating optimized web applications.
  • Compiles Java source code into optimized, stand-alone JavaScript files that run on all major browsers including android and iPhone mobile browsers also.
  • Easy to make beautiful UIs with little knowledge of front-end scripting languages to focus on business logic and increase productivity.
  • Compatible with the Eclipse IDE, Maven and Junit.
  • Extensive widget libraries allow you to write AJAX applications in Java.
  • Debug AJAX applications easily in your favorite IDE.

3. Hibernate

It is a stable, open-source object-relational mapping(ORM) Java framework which easily communicates with any database incredibly and is very convenient when working with multiple databases. It is a light-weight java ORM, used to overcome the several limitations of JDBC and is very helpful If you’re always working with relational databases. Working with Hibernate is very easy and fun using the APIs and the query language. It also has several useful tools like Mapping Editor, Wizards, and Reverse Engineering which makes working with Hibernate more pleasant.  A large number of big companies use Hibernate in their tech stacks, including Platform, DAILY HOTEL, IBM, and Dell.

  • It is very light-weight and easy to scale, modify, and configure.
  • Low risk of data loss and capable of manipulating complex and strong data with less coding.
  • Perfect for OOP-type projects which require high productivity and portability at the same time.
  • Specially developed for RDBMS but the latest version supports NoSQL database also.
  • Awesome Command-line tools and IDE plugins to make your experience easier and pleasant.

4. Struts

Apache Struts is a free, open-source, MVC framework for creating elegant and modern enterprise-level Java web applications. It favors convention over configuration and helps to reduce overall development time by successfully organizing Java, JSP, and Action classes. This framework ships with plugins to support REST, AJAX, and JSON and can be easily integrated with other Java frameworks like Spring plugin for dependency injection and Hibernate plugin for object-relational mapping.

  • Flexible and easy to use and is based on MVC design pattern.
  • Integrates with other Java technologies via plugins and Works well with REST, JSON, and AJAX.
  • Supports creative themes and templates and complete development task faster-using struts.
  • Bring what you’re already working with and extend capabilities to those already in Struts.
  • Drastically reduced development effort and time required, allowing you to make more applications rapidly.

5. JavaServer Faces (JSF)

JavaServer Faces is a Java-based web application framework developed and maintained by Oracle technology which simplifies building user interfaces for JavaServer applications. It is mainly used for the development of server-based web applications by assembling reusable UI components in a page. JSF is quite similar to Struts and was developed by Oracle as a part of the Java Enterprise Edition 7. It is a component-based MVC framework to simplify the development integration of web-based user interfaces. The main idea behind JSF is to encapsulate various client-side technologies and focus more on the presentation layer to allow developers to create UI  just drag and drop, without knowing any of these technologies in-depth.

  • Rich libraries and reusable UI components,
  • Back end developers have plenty of front end tools to use without too much coding,
  • Jsf helps to improve productivity and consistency,
  • Enrich the user experience by adding Ajax events for validations and method invocations.
  • It provides an API to represent and manage UI components and instead of using Java, JSF uses XML for view handling.
  • Clear architecture distinguishes between application logic and representation.

Java frameworks are like the best friend of developers which makes their task easy and fast. After reading this article now you can choose the most suitable one depending upon your project requirements. Here I tried to list the most promising and useful frameworks but there is also some brilliant Java Framework available in the market and among them, some honorable mentions are Grails, Play, Vaadin, Spark, and Blade. 

Last Updated : 07 Aug, 2020
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