What is Java framework? And How it helps programmers

If you want to build a web or complicated web applications, this will waste the time when coding from the beginning to the end. So Java frameworks are the best solution to create web applications or software. In this article, BAP will introduce the basic understanding of Java framework, and recommend some famous frameworks on the market as well.

1. What is Java Framework?

java framework

What is Java Framework? – Source: Christ Bateson

Java framework is considered as a framework made up of code, library in order to minimize the effort of developing applications that provide the features like model, API. There are many Frameworks for Backend, Front end, Mobile application, and Website. But the most famous are Web and mobile Framework.

Furthermore, Java Frameworks look like materials that programmers are able to use to build their application, or software. Which means that developers will take the available designs and put it steps by steps to create the final products.

These frameworks don’t require highly high skills, so programmers still can generate the qualified products. Different frameworks will be used for different applications, or software. And the responsibility of programmers is to know which frameworks will fit with their software or applications.

2.What is Java library ?

This is not the new term and very popular as Framework. Library is a set of built-in functions and classes that developers can apply in the process of forming the applications, or software. Moreover, each function, class in the library has its own usage and is used to serve a specific job.

Whether or not you use the library, it doesn’t affect the completion of the project that you are programming, as Library doesn’t play the key component. However, when you can understand how to use the library, you can upgrade the quality of software, or applications.

3. Difference between Java framework and library 

What is the java framework?

Difference between Library and Java framework – Source: Hot Reloader

When a library is a collection of classes and functions, then Java Framework is a set of programming libraries. Combined with many other tools for effective web development including compiler/interpreter, command line tools,….

There are some differences between Java Framework and library:

  • For Java Framework, the code blocks in the framework will send requests to the programmer’s code.
  • For Java Library, programmers’ code blocks send requests to the library’s code.

Specifically, the Library works like the client/server model, it means that the client sends a request, the server receives the command and responds to the result. Once using the Framework, this relationship is reversed. Taking a PHP framework like Laravel as an example, the code in the Framework will send a request to the programmer’s application code with the design principle “Inversion of control”.

4. What is the Java web framework?

Web Framework is a software framework designed so as to support the development of web applications including web services, web resources, and web APIs, providing the necessary functionality to create a Web application

Using Java web app framework, programmers can develop thousands, tens of thousands of lines of code written by professional engineers, even newbees of programming will be able to develop Web applications in the short-term time. Building an application according to the Web Framework, programmers can easily add various functions, and prevent network attacks without writing a large amount of codes.

5. Top 10 popular Java web app frameworks on the market

5.1 Spring

java framework trends

Spring MVC is one of the oldest Java Web Frameworks, and people trust it most. Until now, it is still being utilized and constantly changing, developing more changes along with Java.

As for software engineers, it provides a great toolkit for web apps development and shaping, as well as enhancing accompanying security features. This is a really large Web Framework that allows you to complete any potential task or projects.

Thanks to their modularity, the tools will help you write a lot of clean and accessible code. There’s also a huge amount of documentation, and the active community helps you out if you have any questions about what to do or how something works.

Thanks to their modularity, the tools will help you write a lot of clean and accessible code. There’s also a huge amount of documentation, and the active community that helps you out if you have any questions about this software.

However, the major minus of this is its complexity, and if you are newbies of Java Web Development, Spring will not be the best choice for you, because you must have experience and knowledge in advance.


  • A source of documentations
  • A lot of people use it
  • Allow you write codes and access it with ease


  • Newbies need to have more knowledge of Java

5.2 Struts

java web app framework

Struts Java Framework – Source: InfoTech News

Struts is a free and open source framework for creating simple Java apps. It is mainly used to generate the foundation for web apps, and works on the pattern MVC (Model-View-Controller).

However, if you use Struts, you will find that the framework is not very flexible and using it means you need to get used to the set of the coding and design rules of web apps. This will be a huge minus for those who are accustomed with certain methods, and Struts wants you to use their own set of rules as well.


  • Free and open source
  • It works very fast
  • People are easy to test new codes


  • There are rules
  • This is complex framework
  • Not flexible

At present, Struts launched the new version called Struts2. This is not only the next version of Struts 1 framework model, it is a complete upgrade of the Struts architecture, simplifying the previous Struts framework such as minimizing the configuration file or using annotations to replace configuration files

Struts was published by Craig McClanahan, and Apache supported it from May, 2000. In June , 2001, Struts 1.0 was released and then the Struts 2.5.20 version was announced on 14/01/2019 that has been called Struts 2. This version is the combination of Webwork Framework and Struts 1. Moreover, Struts Framework is supported by 2 main components which are View and Controller. These model components were not assisted a lot before, because Strut Framework aimed at connecting or retrieving to processing components. And now, this is evaluated more the Struts1 with the prominent points:

  • Using both annotation and minified XML configuration file
  • Using the new Object Graphic Notation Language (OGNL) to replace for JSP’s EL
  • Using single taglib so as to replace 4-5 tanglib sets in Struts1 Framework and JSTL 1.1. In JSP.
  • Tag support: Struts2 has improved new forms and tags to help developers write less code
  • AJAX support: Struts2 recognized the takeover of Web2.0 technologies, and integrated AJAX support into the product by creating AJAX tags that have function looking like Struts 2 tags.
  • Easy Integration: Integrating Struts2 with other frameworks like Spring, SiteMesh, which is easier than ever.

With some above functions, Struts2 is evaluated more than Struts1 from Programmers.

5.3 Hibernate 

java web framework

HIBERNATE Java Framework – Source: Twitter

Hibernate is a very popular Web Framework in terms of quality and various options as well. Hibernate is a place for object-relational mapping, which means that it transforms data between two disproportionate systems, and let them work together through other object-oriented programming languages. Apparently, in this case, the language here is Java.

So, you can use Hibernate to work with existing databases, optimize the web app code. It is extremely convenient and useful if you have to deal with a lot of databases that are difficult to use or be incompatible.

Besides, the speed and the ability to work with a lot of data, Hibernate is very easy to scale no matter how big of small your software is, or how more or less users apply. If you are designing a piece of software for 10 to 20 users, or hundreds of thousands of users, Hibernate is the perfect choice.

Furthermore, Hibernate is easy to edit and you can do anything with it. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of Hibernate is that restarting the Web Framework and then coming back will take a lot of time and be slow; even if the power is turned off by mistake, you get risk losing data.


  • The framework works so strongly
  • Easily transform data
  • The speed of software is high
  • Easy-to-scale
  • Easy-to-edit-and-control


  • The ability of Restart is slow
  • Highly getting risk of data


java web application framework

Grail Java Framework – Source: Spieker Point

This is  famous for a very flexible web framework used in Java Virtual Machine and equipped with powerful tools such as asynchronous programming, along with specific domain and runtime languages.

One of the advantages of Grails is that it works on all project sizes and has a plethora of plugins allowing for a smooth and fast project, as well as easy testing.

If you follow the Grails documentation, setup will be extremely simple and you will get the product done in no time. This makes Grails become one of the easiest web frameworks to use. It also supports many different IDEs, such as Eclipse and Textmate, two options that are very popular with Java Developer.


  • Easy-to-set-up
  • Over 900 plugins
  • Great documentation
  • Easy-to-use
  • Work for all projects’ scales


  • Developers must use Runtime language of Microsoft.

5.5 ApacheWicket

java library recommended

ApacheWicket Java Framework – Source: Soft tech Methodology

ApacheWicket is supported by the Apache Software Foundation that is a Web Framework for simple web apps development. Furthermore,  It is open source, server-side, and every code on this Web Framework is scripted in Java, making it easier to scripting or changing necessarily.

Wicket’s only downside is that the development process is quite difficult due to the complexity of the Web Framework. If you agree with it,  then Wicket is the first choice.


  • Support Java and HTML
  • Easy to maintain code
  • Easy to test certain components in code
  • Build up simple pages and apps
  • A lot of material and supports


  • Development process is complicated
  • Taking a lot of time to understand the framework

5.6 Blade 

java framework development

Blade Java Framework – Source: Bypeople

Framework launched in 2015 and it is very simple for developers who can apply in any projects, and they also master it within 1 day.

Based on Java 8, Balde, a MVC Framework that provides a RESTful-style routing interface, making web APIs cleaner and easier to understand as well as synchronizes with website data.


  • Simple, small capacity (less than 500kb), and clearly code structures.
  • A wide selection of components
  • Support various file configurations
  • Support CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) and XSS (Cross-site scripting) protection.
  • Support for plug-ins and webjar resources
  • The server supports embedding jetty and sample tools


  • Complex dependency tool
  • Lack of mobile applications
  • The documents are heavy

5.7 Play

java workflow framework

Play Java framework – Source: Youtube

This is a very simple and easy-to-use Web Framework. It’s designed to make changes quicker and easier, reducing the pressure on you.

Thanks to the seamless and easy-to-use UI, not to mention the many features used to optimize the resources on your computer  like CPU, RAM,.. to help you easily scale the software you are coding. It is designed for developers who develop modern web and mobile apps.

Play is built on Akka toolkit that is an open source toolkit and commonly running on Java Virtual Machine. And it comes with the same basic tools and features, but works in a more user-friendly way allowing you to code , design and test the apps that you are developing. Many developers have been loyal to it, and they talked about how it has improved their productivity thanks to its simplicity and ease-to-use.

In terms of weaknesses, the current latest version is Play 2, and the 2 versions are actually slightly different. Currently, Play doesn’t really need to change much, and whether or not Play is the best Web Framework based on the future.


  • Productivity is improved
  • Easy workflow
  • Flexible tools
  • Everything works fine from the moment that you start
  • Effective resource management unit
  • Easy to scale software


  • It has less upgraded versions by the time.

5.8 Vaadin 

java framework ranking

Vaadin Java Framework – Source: Medium

Vaadin is open source, also created by the Apache Software Foundation that is a company specializing in building tools for programming languages like Java, C ++. Hence, this is a very powerful, useful Java framework that you can use right away.

Vaadin is very useful for programming web applications and server-side rather than client-side, as opposed to traditional solutions with Java and JavaScript. All of this means you can create beautiful and interactive web interfaces.Moreover, you can extend the Vaadin framework with Google Web Tools, as well as with Ajax and its techniques and methods. Making Vaadin apart from most Java frameworks is the UI due to its simplicity and ease of use, helping you get jobs done faster.

However,  this framework makes it very easy to make your whole code incredibly large and complex.


  • Many plug-ins
  • Supported by Apache
  • Various documentation
  • It has information on the forums
  •  Allows you to create the beautiful interfaces
  • It can use Google Web Tools and Ajax.


  • Code will become long and complicated

5.9 JHipster

java framework popularity

JHipster Java Framework – Source: Vocon-IT.com

JHipster is a Java framework released in 2013, combined with Spring Boot and two of the most popular Front-end frameworks including Angular and React in one handy app builder. With JHipster, you can quickly create Java-based web applications and microservices.

In addition, Spring Boot allows you to create Spring-based applications with ability to work with minimal configuration. JHipster combines it with Angular, React, and Bootstrap on the client-side to give you a full-stack architecture.

Also, JHipster allows you to choose between two different architectural styles. Firstly, you can choose a monolithic architecture in which the user interface and back-end are combined into an only application. Secondly, you can use the microservice architecture to divide it into two parts that are front-end and back-end. JHipster also integrates with a number of tools and many options for client and server-side coding, bundling with different DevOps tasks. After all, it’s no coincidence that top brands like Adobe, Siemens, Bosch, HBO and either Google use JHipster.


  • Easy to use Bootstrap for any projects with a lot of preconfigured technologies.
  • Adapting the best methods and newest trends in back-end as well as front-end developments.
  • Applying cloud-native principle with Docker and Kubernetes.
  • Managing users’ activities such as log-in, logout, and monitoring them immediately as well.
  • You can choose technologies for your project on this framework.


  • To work with JHipster well, programmers must understand various technologies.
  • REST responses are returned from endpoints that always don’t meet business’s requirements.
  • It is not all options that are available at the same level

5.10 JavaServer Faces (JSF)

java framework changes

JSF Java Framework – Source: DLPNG

JavaServer Faces is supported by Oracle, so it produces a super long and complicated document. When reading all information, you will understand that you can use this framework to create anything you want in Java.

Unfortunately, this is not the easy framework to use, nor the fastest. However, the biggest advantage of JavaServer Faces is the huge resources that Oracle provides. Oracle has been at the forefront of the industry for many years, making it reliable and reputable.


  • Supported by Oracle, so people can place trust in.
  • Containing the huge amount of beneficial documentation
  • Standard tools for applying
  • Various libraries
  • It’s convenient when using for IDE


  • Quiet complicated
  • Programmers must have experience
  • The speed of it is fairly slow

Above, this is the basic knowledge of Java framework that you can reference in order to develop web applications or software with the best result.

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