7 Recommended Java Web Frameworks for 2018

As we move into 2018, web app frameworks continue be the figurative utility knives for web developers, buoyed in large part by the fact that ever increasing facets of our lives are tied into the digital world and we need devices and apps that allow us to manage them effectively. They are essential for the development of different web applications like web resources, web APIs, and web services, and can serve to relieve some the extraneous tasks by – among other benefits – promoting the reuse of code, a HUGE plus for developers for whom time is a precious commodity.

Here at 4GoodHosting, we’re a leading Canadian web hosting provider who – not surprisingly – strives to have our thumb on the pulse on trends in the web development world given the fact a great many of our customers are also the ones getting their hardhat on when it comes to building and maintaining websites.

Java continues to be one of – if not the – construction platforms of choice for web development, and we thought it would be helpful to this week have a look at some of the better Java web frameworks that are ideally lined up with what web apps are going to need to offer in the coming year.

Let’s have a look at 7 of them, with both pros and cons:

 

  • JSF (JavaServer Faces)

 

JSF is a net utility framework of Java, and it benefits greatly by being supported by Oracle. While it’s not the most ideal framework for Java development, it is easy to put to work because of documentation supplied by Oracle. Further, if EE environment Java is what you’re after then there will be no extra dependency on JSF. It enables a number of quality tools and rich libraries for expanding upon the complexity of an application. JSF uses server pages of Java and can support different technologies of Facelets and XUL.

Pros:

  • JSF is an important part of Java EE and will likely be a very ideal match for developers who use IDE software

Cons:

  • JavaServer Faces can be a little daunting to those without prior skills and experience with Java web development
  1. Struts

As its name might suggest, Struts is a framework designed for building the base of a web application. It is a set of interfaces and classes that work in conjunction for overcoming particular common hurdles when laying down the foundation of an app. It functions on an MVC (model-view controller) pattern. Struts also sports a net framework for numerous Java applications, and it has been strengthened by contributions from various supporting communities. In particular, it gets high marks for creating dynamic responses.

Pros:

  • Efficient with promoting internal organization architecture that allows better control and building of MVC-based applications.
  • I-18-N support is built in
  • Struts is constructed in extension validation and authentication
  • Allows for modular development and integration with additional components

Cons:

  • Framework is inflexible for the most part
  • Framework imposes set coding, designing and thinking
  1. Spring MVC

The Spring MVC framework is designed to be a layered J2EE/Java framework that easily integrates specially applied sciences. It is a good fit for a broad range of ingenuities. Following design and expansion, Spring MVC introduced a number of changes to become a full-scale framework Java for Internet applications. First in line with its advantages is a useful toolkit for development and configuration of web applications, and it’s a good choice for security projects too.

Spring is highly regarded among programmers for its thoroughly developed ecosystem. It has numerous add-ons, such as SOAP services, REST APIs, and security authentication.

Pros:

  • Spring is definitely near the top of the best Java frameworks
  • Enhanced modularity to improve the ability to read code
  • Test data through POJOs with a simplified injection
  • Use of DI (dependency injection) is made very flexible
  • Loose coupling among different modules

Cons:

  • Can be a handful for a newbie developer
  • Steep learning curve
  1. Hibernate

Many of you in the know reading this might have been wondering when Hibernate was going to make its appearance in the list. It is one the best Java web frameworks, essential being an object-relation mapping device for programming language within Java. It provides a mapping framework for a domain model (object-oriented) to one relational database. Hibernate can deliver solutions to object-relational impedance incongruity problems, doing so by substituting persistent and direct databases with high-level object controlling functions.

In addition, the fact it is a free software distributed under public 2.1 License of GNU Lesser General is a big plus too.

Pros:

  • Hibernate allows optimized communication with any database via tiny alternations in code
  • Like MySQL, Db2 or Oracle, Hibernate is DB independent
  • Ability to cache instrument to bug catalog with same queries
  • N+1 or Sluggish loading support
  • Risk of data loss is very minimized, and it requires less power

Cons:

  • Power outages can result in loss of data
  • Restarting can be especially slow at times
  1. Google Web ToolKit

Next up is the one the majority of you may already be familiar, due in large part to the massiveness of its provider. GWT (Google Web Toolkit) is an open source tool set that sets up web developers nicely for maintaining and creating complex JavaScript front-end applications. The entirety of your JavaSource can be built on a supported platform with integrated GWT Ant construct files.

The application is licensed under the Apache License 2.0 version, and Google Web ToolKit puts focus on reusable approaches to tasks that are common to web development, including cross-browser portability, internationalization, UI abstraction, bookmarking, history management, remote procedure calls and asynchronous operations.

Pros:

  • Impressively easy to learn
  • Ideal for creating significantly responsive web application that put more on the client side and less on the server side
  • Good variety of JavaScript libraries out there thus making developers appreciate the true power of GWT
  • Built-in IDE support to directly refactor Java cryptogram/code helps maintain solid design at all times
  • Ongoing project with regular update rollouts

Cons:

  • May not get all interfaces and functions due to the speed with which GWT evolves
  • GWT compilation is slow, and proprietary methods are required to define structure
  1. Play! Framework

Nothing’s better than when work is play, and while this framework doesn’t make development QUITE so enjoyable, it’s still pretty darn good. Play! framework makes it easy for you to build web applications with Scala and Java, being based on stateless, web-friendly and lightweight architecture. It is built on Akka and provides minimal and predictable resource consumption (threads, memory, & CPU) for highly-scalable applications.

The Play framework is especially friendly for developers needing to make changes to text editor and browser. It utilizes a fully asynchronous model designed to go along with Akka. Also, while being stateless it still scales predictably, and is a nice match for the needs of modern mobile and web applications.

Pros:

  • Improves overall productivity for nearly any developer
  • Quick reload for configuration changes, templates and java code
  • Designed on Netty and supports non-blocking I/O
  • 100% open source, with excellent function
  • Zenexity and Typesafe offer commercial support
  • Able to handle errors in dev mode for runtime and compile errors
  • Scala and Java use type-safe language, reliable and JVM performance to scale to various developers and users

Cons:

  • Essentially a functional rewrite of the Play 1
  • Constructed around I/O async with need to write code and execute later, leading to unidentified inner classes
  1. Grails

Grails gets the final nod on our list here today, being another useful Java Web Frameworks that excels with giving you the ability to multiply productivity towards convention-over-configuration, opinionated APIs, and sensible defaults. It assimilates smoothly with JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and gives you much more in the way of productivity while also providing powerful features like asynchronous programming, compiling time meta-programming, and working with run-time and domain-specific languages.

You can also interact and integrate with Java, Java EE containers, and JVM seamlessly.

Pros:

  • Ideal for dealing with medium or small-size project
  • Rapid development cycle
  • Variety of plug-ins
  • Easy to manage CSS
  • Dynamic configuration allows changes without needing to restart server

Cons:

  • Must work with runtime language
  • Problematic at times to work on multi-threaded application

Important Information on Meltdown and Spectre Security Flaws

 

Some of you may already be aware, but we figure it’s likely best to still put this piece of news out there. Arguably the largest security breaches ever affecting electronic devices were reported last week, on Jan. 2nd. Labeled as Meltdown and Spectre, these similar but slightly different security loopholes take advantage of security vulnerabilities in CPUs (central processing units) with hackers becoming allowed to access systems and read / copy highly-sensitive and private data, like passwords and more.

Here at 4GoodHosting, we believe that part of what makes us a premier Canadian web hosting provider is the level of accountability we have towards the wellbeing of our customers in as far as their online interests are concerned. That said, we understand that each of you are also everyday people using digital technologies to make your life better just like anyone else and so we make an effort to share information like this with you.

It seems that the consensus among web security experts is that these 2 security flaws are encompassing a new realm in security flaws, and may be indicative of worse things to come in the future. That’s not really cause for more concern than necessary, however, as the struggle between hackers and those charges with implementing effective protective measures has been going on for decades now.

It’s jus that it may mean a need to dig a little deeper in the pushback this time. Let’s get into the specifics of Meltdown and Spectre.

We’ll start by saying that as of 3 days ago there are no reported cases of this vulnerability being exploited on a large scale.

Facts on Meltdown and Spectre

Meltdown

To put it simply, meltdown is a hole in programming that allows unauthorized access to the memory of an operating system like Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux etc., as well as the programs that run on it. History, passwords and other sensitive information can be accessed and taken.

Spectre

Spectre makes it possible for hackers to pass through the security walls separating different applications. The most pressing concern here is that the greater number of security measures in place, the greater amount of potential access points there are. This equation makes it a much more difficult problem to address effectively.

Here’s a list of devices and programs that are affected:

  • Devices like post—2006 model iPhones, iPads, and Macs
  • Android phones
  • Operating systems: Microsoft Windows, Linux, iOS and macOS
  • Browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari
  • Processors: Intel, AMD most notably, and others (Meltdown)

Specific Concerns for Canadians Regarding Both

It’s a fact that the majority of personal computing devices run on Intel or AMD processors This includes your smartphone in the same way it does you computer or tablet.

At present, patches are being created (or have already been put into place). Apple has offered up patches for iOS 11.2, and macOS 10.32.2 to protect against Meltdown. An effective Safari patch is apparently on its way in the coming days.

Amazon is keeping pace, having already released the Meltdown patch for its AWS cloud computing services, which brings up another issue that should be seriously concerning – many are finding that these patches seem to cut processing speed.

Most of you are going to be displeased at the prospect of slower performance by 5% to 30% for certain tasks across patched devices and programs, and that’s what we’re being told to expect by more than few reputable sources. Of course, all of this is conjecture at this point.

Suggested Protective Measures

Most Canadian web hosting providers are always active with patching their servers as necessary, and as you’d expect that includes us here at 4GoodHosting. For anyone responsible for such measures on their own, we recommend a full kernel update and system reboot. Advanced system administrators can see to this by logging in to your Linux server via command line (SSH) and entering the following commands on CentOS and CloudLinux 6 and 7 operating systems:

  • yum update -y
    reboot

Other Ways to Stay Safe

Safeguard yourself more effectively against these new major security flaws by:

  • Making sure that you enable system updates on your devices and for all installed programs, even if that means checking any programs that do not feature the ability to enable auto-updates. Plus, check for updates daily over the next month or so.
  • Enable two-factor authentications (2FA) whenever possible on your devices, plus for password protected application.
  • Create new passwords immediately, and do so semi-regularly for the next 6 months. Password managers such as Lastpass can help make this much easier for you.

Happy to make you aware if you weren’t already, and we hope the storm passed quickly as it usually does. Until then, onwards and upwards with the continued day-to-day we say.

Feel free to ask us any questions you may have.

The Continued Importance of Content Marketing in 2018

We’ll start this week as we should – by wishing you all a Happy New Year for 2018 and hoping that the coming year is a prosperous one. When it comes to Internet marketing there are a number of truths that don’t change in the slightest no matter which pair of digits are at the end of a calendar year. The importance of smart content marketing is most certainly one of them, and as such it makes for a good refresher topic for us to hit the ground running with as January arrives.

Here at 4GoodHosting, we’re proud to be a top Canadian web hosting provider and we also enjoying seeing our valued customers have success with making themselves more visible to prospective customers of their own. It’s safe for us to assume that you’re already creating valuable content for your site, but are you doing so most effectively?

The aim is always to be nurturing the public with quality content – whether that’s with text, video or audio – in order to educate it, foster relationships and provide the types of necessary information that creates an informed consumer that will accredit a portion of their becoming informed to you on the way to becoming a loyal consumer.

Here’s the consensus most impressive and recent statistics on content marketing that will give you even more motivation to revisit your content marketing strategy.

Genuinely Informative, Well Written Blogs Generate Traffic and Leads

Creating, writing, and maintaining a blog related to your website or e-commerce site is always going to be priority number one for anyone who wants to increase traffic, but without a good supply of content for the consumer and the ability to write (and produce) quality materials for readers is an absolute must. There’s 2 sides to this equation, the knowledge / insight AND the ability to share it in attractive, readable form.

If you can cover both sides of it, great. If not, you need to connect with someone who can take care of that for you. That may become an expense, but it’s entirely worth it.

Look no further for proof than a Hubspot survey showing that companies that publish at least 16 posts a month have 3 and a half times more traffic than those who post 4 times or less per month. Companies that put up 16 posts or more are also able to generate 4.5 more leads than those who serve up only between 4 and 6 posts.

Looking at it elementally, a blog is intended to generate content that interests the public and is – ideally – then related to your market and products. You make the connection stylistically and indirectly, and writing skills do have a lot to do with that. With a good volume of traffic comes a greater number of visitors who have the makeup of potentially becoming a consumer.

It’s also important to consider leads. Visitors who demonstrate a clear interest in what you have to offer through a registration are essential for any business. Being in possession of submitted contact information means you can keep in touch with that individual until the time is right for your business team to offer one of your products or services. And with continued quality content, you increase the chances of this even further.

Bearing out that point – Survey information suggests that 47% of consumers only contact a sales representative after consuming between 3 and 5 brand content they are reviewing.

Quality Strategic Content Positions You Better on Google

We imagine there’s not even one business that doesn’t entertain hopes of being at the top of Google’s search pages. Not something easy to do, but content marketing is also a good tool to help you get as close to it as possible.

Consider this. Do you make an online survey before making a big purchase? Right, we do too and nearly everyone does. When a brand is presented among the first results, they’re more likely to choose it. Having quality content that informs, helps, and educates the user is one of the most important requirements for Google to position your site highly and make you increasingly visible to prospective customers.

Long story short – producing relevant content is the most effective tactic for making your site one of the highest ranked on Google.

Content Marketing is Increasingly Less Optional

It would be a mistake to think that producing brand content is something that only small businesses do as means of keeping up with the big players. Content marketing is a priority for everyone, and well it should be. Consider this next:

According to yet another Hubspot report, 53% of professionals tab blogging as their top priority for business development. Not that you likely to be convinced, but consider the following important points as well as the primary one of simply getting down to creating your content:

  • Content distribution
  • Creating more interactive content
  • Creating more visual content

Video Itself can be Valuable Content

Video has emerged as a very interesting and potentially powerful content format for brands, and many companies and professionals are now giving it more focus when it comes to their content marketing strategies.

Look no further than the ever growing popularity of product reviews on Youtube. It’s a fact that prospective buyers do put significant value on them, with a sort of ‘real person’ belief in what they’re seeing regarding the product and its quality and suitability.

Content marketing has proven to be an effective way to convey information to the customer before he or she buys a product, and similar data is indicating that the income of companies that use videos can expand up to 49% faster than those who do not create content in this type of media. 48% of companies want to invest more in YouTube and 46% also have plans for videos on Facebook, the most popular social media network for consistent disposable income and specific buying prerogatives.

Making your content marketing efforts more a priority is as good a new year’s resolution as any. We look forward to meeting all sorts of new customers throughout 2018, and never hesitate to be in touch regarding anything related to getting the most of out of your online presence.