7 Recommended Java Web Frameworks for 2018

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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.


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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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


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

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