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Right now, in 2023, Java is the third most popular programming language in the world with more than 9 million Java developers worldwide (Python and C occupy the top 2 spots respectively). Java’s enduring success can be attributed to a few key factors:
In the 20+ years that Java has been around, many excellent Java frameworks have proliferated that allow programmers to efficiently build web and mobile applications, microservices, and REST APIs that run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). In this programming tutorial, we will look into several of the most popular Java frameworks for web development, and list the key pros and cons of each.
Practically all the Top Java Framework lists give Spring the coveted #1 spot. An open-source framework specifically meant for Enterprise applications, Spring took the development world by storm by introducing the concept of dependency injection and aspect-oriented programming features. Companies who use Spring include giants such as eBay, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Netflix.
Spring enables developers to create loosely coupled modules whose dependencies are handled directly by the framework. Spring is s a fairly extensive framework, covering a variety of features from security to configuration. Fortunately, Spring’s many features are not difficult to learn, thanks to a wealth of documentation and an extremely active community.
The configuration, setup, build, and deployment processes all require multiple steps – perhaps too many if you’re working on a smaller project. Spring Boot (a micro framework that runs on top of the Spring Framework) is a solution for this problem, as it allows you to set up your Spring application faster, with much less configuration. The Spring Boot framework was invented with quickness in mind, by greatly reducing the amount of configuration required for new projects.
Pros of Spring Framework:
Cons of Spring Framework:
Read: Top Online Training Courses and Bundles for Java
Apache Struts is a robust open-source framework for web application development. Having been around over 20 years now, it’s one of the oldest Java frameworks in use today! It follows the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architectural pattern and extends the Java Server Pages (JSP) API. In a traditional servlet-JSP approach, when the user submits a form, the information either goes to a servlet for processing or straight to next JSP. This can become problematic in complex applications as the “View” or presentation layer should ideally not have business logic.
Struts separate the View, Controller and the Model (data) and provides the binding between each through a configuration file struts-config.xml. The controller is an ActionServlet where you can write templates for the View and the user data is maintained using the ActionForm JavaBean. The Action object is responsible for forwarding the application flow. The View is maintained by a rich set of tag libraries.
Struts are easy to set up and provides much more flexibility and extensibility over the traditional MVC approach using servlets and JSP alone. Moreover, you can integrate Struts with other Java frameworks to perform tasks that aren’t built into the platform. For instance, you can use the Spring plugin for dependency injection or the Hibernate plugin for object-relational mapping. Struts also allows you to use different client-side technologies such as Jakarta Server Pages to build the front-end of your application.
Pros of Apache Struts:
Cons of Apache Struts:
Grails is an open-source, Groovy-based framework that is especially prevalent in the sphere of e-commerce shops. Developers tend to choose this framework because it lets them focus on the job without having to devote a lot of time on configuration. The Grails framework is also easy to get the hang of and use effectively in everyday work for the average Java professional.
Like Java, Groovy is an object-oriented language. Its syntax is also much like that of Java, both in style and that it compiles to JVM (Java Virtual Machine) bytecode. Grails is built on top of Spring Boot to make use of its powerful features like dependency injection. That, along with modern software development principles such as convention over configuration, opinionated APIs to enforce best practices, and sensible defaults all combine to make a winning framework.
Programmers can provide additional functionality to their applications by creating custom plug-ins. Many of these find their way to community sites where developers share their creations.
Pros of Grail Framework:
Cons of Grails Framework:
In this tutorial, we explored some of the top Java frameworks, including Spring, Struts, and Grails. We will be updating this guide in the coming weeks and months, so be sure to check back here in this tutorial often.