Java – Top 10 Java-based Web Frameworks for 2014-2015

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This article represents an analysis on Java-based web frameworks that emerged in the top 10 list this year 2014, and  worth consideration for your next project starting this year or next year (2015). I have done data analysis based on following:
  • Job openings (as of today) on a very popular website, indeed.com
  • Discussion threads (for this year) on a very popular Q&A based website, stackoverflow.com
  • Responses on a very popular social bookmarking website, reddit.com
Based on the analysis of top 10 frameworks, I have listed the top 5 frameworks which emerged as clear winner. Please feel free to comment/suggest if I missed to mention one or more important frameworks. Also, sorry for the typos.

Following are top 10 Java-based web frameworks that you would want to consider for evaluation when starting your next web development project using Java.

  • Spring MVC/Spring Boot
  • Grails
  • Dropwizard
  • Vert.x
  • Play
  • Spark
  • Vaadin
  • Ninja
  • Jodd
  • jHipster

In order to infer the adoption of above frameworks for enterprise software (web) development, I decided to adopt following methodologies:

  • Perform analysis related with job openings: One could infer the adoption of certain framework across different companies based on current job openings trends. I performed the analysis by taking job openings data from indeed.com.
  • Perform analysis on count of discussion threads this year: In the same way as above, one could infer the adoption of certain framework across different companies based on discussions/questions posted by developers on website such as stackoverflow.com

 

Data Analysis – Java Web Frameworks vis-a-vis Job Openings

Based on count of jobs posted on indeed.com (as of today) which includes the mention of the above frameworks, following is listed the frameworks that represents the frameworks that are getting used for enterprise software development.

  1. Spring MVC
  2. Grails
  3. Play
  4. Vaadin
  5. Dropwizard
  6. Spring Boot
  7. Vert.x

Others such as spark, jodd, ninja, jHipster could not find any job opening. Following is the frequency distribution of above frameworks vis-a-vis job openings.

java web frameworks job openings

Java Web Frameworks vs Job Openings

Out of above, Spring MVC stands tall as a winner, and the next two frameworks used mostly are Grails and Play.

 

Data Analysis – Java Web Frameworks vis-a-vis Discussion Threads

Based on count of discussion threads around the web frameworks that happened on stackoverflow.com till this point of time this year, one could infer the adoption of these frameworks across the developer community in general.

  1. Spring MVC
  2. Grails
  3. Play
  4. Spring Boot
  5. Vaadin
  6. Dropwizard
  7. Vert.x

Following is the frequency distribution of above frameworks vis-a-vis discussion threads.

Java Web Frameworks vs Discussion Threads

Java Web Frameworks vs Discussion Threads

Out of above, Spring MVC stands tall as a winner and the next two frameworks used mostly are Grails and Play.

 

Top 5 Java Web Frameworks to Consider

Based on above analysis, one could infer that following are top 5 Java-based web frameworks that could be considered for evaluation or adoption for your next project.

  1. Spring MVC
  2. Grails
  3. Play
  4. Spring Boot
  5. Vaadin

 

Following is listed high level details on the above mentioned frameworks:

Spring MVC

Spring MVC is the clear winner. The Spring Web MVC framework (often referred to as simply ‘Spring MVC’) is a rich ‘model view controller’ web framework. The Spring Web model-view-controller (MVC) framework is designed around a DispatcherServlet that dispatches requests to handlers, with configurable handler mappings, view resolution, locale, time zone and theme resolution as well as support for uploading files.

 

Grails

Next to Spring MVC comes Grails. Grails is an Open Source, full stack, web application framework for the JVM. It takes advantage of the Groovy programming language and convention over configuration to provide a productive and stream-lined development experience. That said, one could Java as well for web development as desired.

 

Play

Play is found to be used more with Scala than Java. As per the website, Play framework makes it easy to build web applications with Java & Scala. Play is found to be used more with Scala than Java. As per the website, Play framework makes it easy to build web applications with Java & Scala.

 

Vaadin

As per Vaadin website, Vaadin is a Java framework for building modern web applications that look great and perform well. They claim that Vaadin applications look and feel snappy and you’re able to create an instant wow effect. Based on Google Web Toolkit (GWT), Vaadin helps you write both app and UI using Java. Learn more about Vaadin on this page. Following diagram represents the server-side code required to present that output. The image is taken from vaadin.com website.

vaadin_code_on_server

 

Dropwizard

Dropwizard is a lightweight framework, light enough to get up and running quickly, however, still fall short of building a powerful backend. Dropwizard is a Java framework for developing ops-friendly, high-performance, RESTful web services. It pulls together stable, mature libraries from the Java ecosystem into a simple, light-weight package. It could be used as a backend with frontend based on AngularJS/Bootstrap as AngularJS has a great REST support.

 

Spring Boot

Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications. From web framework perspective, Spring Boot provides auto-configuration for Spring MVC that works well with most applications. Spring Boot comes with embedded Tomcat or Jetty and thus, do not require the deployment of WAR files. Spring Boot is for those who quickly want to get started with Web application.

 

Vert.x

Vert.x is a lightweight, high performance application platform for the JVM that’s designed for modern mobile, web, and enterprise applications. Following is a screenshot representing how you quickly you could create a server in Java.

vertx

 

Spark

As per Spark website, Spark is a simple and lightweight Java web framework built for rapid development. As per the website, the framework is most suitable for creating quick and smaller web applications. Spark has been popularly found to be used with AngularJS. Following represents the screenshot for code that would require you to get up and running with your hello world application.

spark

 

Jodd

As per the Jodd website, Jodd is set of Java micro frameworks, tools and utilities, under 1.5 MB. This is quite an interesting one. A framework of size 1.5 MB. Thats sounds real light-weight. 🙂 The framework some of the following utilities:

  • BeanUtil: Bean library, type introspection and type conversion tools
  • JDateTime: Date & time processing
  • Props: Properties processing
  • DbOom: ORM framework
  • Madvoc: MVC framework
  • Petite: Dependency injection container
  • Proxetta: Facilitates in AOP
  • Lagarto: HTML parser and DOM builder
  • Jerry: JQuery friendly HTML parser
  • HTTP: Provides Http client
  • Email: Email processing (sending & receiving emails)
  • Decora: Decoration framework for web pages based on templates
  • Json: Used for parsing JSON to objects and serializing objects back to JSON.
  • HtmlStapler: Takes care of packaging of web resources included by HTML page.

 

Ninja

The details regarding this framework can be accessed on their github webpage. Honestly, after I reviewed the page, it is not looking impressive at the outset from the way it is maintained. Its website, http://www.ninjaframework.org is not accessible which is a put-off for me. If anyone has got any experience with this framework, please shout out loud.

 

jHipster

New kid on the block, jHipster is a yeoman generator using Spring Boot and AngularJS.

Ajitesh Kumar
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