List of Java frameworks

Java is one of the most used programming languages today for creating reliable, scalable, and secure systems. On top of Java, a variety of frameworks have been created over time to aid programmers in creating applications more quickly by offering pre-made parts, libraries, and best practices. We’ll examine some of the most popular and extensively used Java frameworks in this blog, which have transformed application development.

#1 Spring Framework

From its inception in 2002, Spring Framework has become one of the most popular Java frameworks. It offers wide-ranging structure support for developing java applications. The main feature of Spring is that it can be used for writing application object together, configuration management, transaction handling, and programmatically secure. 

Some of the key components of the Spring framework are:

  • Spring Core – provides dependency injection features
  • Spring MVC – builds web applications using model-view-controller pattern 
  • Spring Security – handles authentication and authorization 
  • Spring Data – simplifies data access with ORM frameworks like Hibernate
  • Spring Boot – provides rapid application development and easy deployment features

Spring follows loose coupling and separation of concerns principles to create easier to test and maintain code. It promotes use of interfaces and dependency injection to develop loosely coupled applications. The lightweight container provided by Spring handles wiring dependencies at runtime removing boilerplate code. The framework is designed with extensibility in mind and provides hooks to customize behaviors of components.

For Spring Boot, you can hire Java developers who can quickly setup projects, auto-configure components and libraries like database drivers based on the classpath, and create production-grade deployable artifacts. The goals of Spring Boot are to avoid complex XML configuration and make it easy to integrate Spring ecosystem projects.

Some key advantages of using the Spring framework are:

  • Improved testability and maintainability
  • Reduced boilerplate code
  • Integration with popular frameworks like Hibernate, Struts
  • Declarative transaction management
  • Broad community adoption leading to extensive documentation

The Spring framework is a great choice for developing enterprise Java applications due to its flexibility, integration capabilities, and wide adoption.

#2 Hibernate ORM

Hibernate ORM (Object Relational Mapping) is a popular open-source framework that handles mapping between Java classes and database tables. It is one of the most widely used ORM tools for Java applications. Hibernate simplifies database programming by handling object-relational impedance mismatch problems. 

Some key features provided by Hibernate are:

  • Mapping from Java classes to database tables using XML or annotations
  • Automatic table creation from domain model and mappings
  • Handling SQL queries behind the scenes
  • Caching and concurrency control
  • Transaction management

Hibernate handles database vendor-specific differences and complex mapping from Java to SQL data types. This database portability allows switching databases with minimal changes to application code.

The entity manager provided by Hibernate shields developers from using direct JDBC coded and handling connection management. JPA (Java Persistence API) support allows writing standardized ORM code. Hibernate implements the JPA specification along with useful extensions like native SQL queries, caching, and batch processing.

Some of the advantages of using Hibernate are:

  • Increased developer productivity due to simplified data access
  • Flexible object-oriented domain modeling
  • Database portability and independence
  • Automated table creation from domain model
  • Caching for performance gains
  • Maturity and widespread usage in Java ecosystem

With robust features for managing relational data, Hibernate is a great choice as an ORM solution for database-centric applications using Spring and Java.

#3 Struts Framework 

Java web applications can be created using Apache Struts, a free and open-source MVC framework. It permits the division of the presentation layer from the application logic layer. Other view technologies like JSP, Velocity, FreeMarker, etc. are integrated with Struts’ own Controller component.

Applications built with Struts operate on Servlet API-based servlet containers like Tomcat, JBoss, etc. It offers several different custom tags, interceptors, managed beans, and filters and is built on common Java technologies like JavaBeans, Servlets, and JSP.

Some key components of Struts framework are:

  • Action – Core controller component
  • Interceptors – Handle common concerns like logging, validation
  • Results – Determine view displayed after controller logic
  • Validators – Validate model data like form fields
  • Tags – Render HTML by accessing server-side data and logic

Typical flow in a Struts application is:

  1. Browser sends request to controller servlet
  2. Framework loads appropriate Action class based on configuration
  3. Action Servlet invokes process() method after interceptor chain processing
  4. Results returned from action determine view to render 
  5. Framework transfers control to view layer passing model data

Some benefits of using Struts framework are:

  • Clear separation of controller logic, model and views
  • Reusable interceptors and validation avoiding code duplication
  • Easy to test actions without UI layer dependencies
  • Large community support and available expertise  

Struts is a stable and full-featured MVC framework for standard Java web apps. It enforces good design principles and integrates well with other frameworks like Hibernate, Spring etc.

#4 JSF and Prime Faces

JSF (Java Server Faces) is a server-side MVC web framework that simplifies user interface development for Java EE web applications. JSF uses a component-based model and handles activities like rendering HTML, handling user events, validation etc. Prime Faces is a popular JSF component library that provides over 100 UI components for JSF.

Some useful PrimeFaces components are:

  • p:dataTable – Feature rich datatable component
  • p:chart – Interactive charts with various types like bar, pie etc.  
  • p:tree – Display hierarchical data 
  • p:fileUpload – File upload component
  • p:galleria – Image gallery component with transitions

JSF promotes separation of behavior and presentation. The behavior is handled via managed beans which contain properties, events, and methods. JSF pages have component tags which interact with beans to dynamically generate UI.

Some benefits of using JSF are:

  • Declarative UI development with HTML visual editor and drag and drop
  • Rich component library for ready made components
  • Event handler bindings avoid plumbing code
  • Navigation rules and managed beans provide clear separation between front end and backend
  • Integrated validation and internationalization
  • Integration with popular IDEs

JSF has a steep learning curve, but PrimeFaces makes the UI development easier. JSF is ideal for CRUD applications that require an HTML/Javascript based frontend and Java backend. PrimeFaces provides the components needed to quickly build the UI. JSF provides the framework to cleanly integrate the UI with backend Java application code.

#5  Jersey RESTful Web Services

As microservices and single page applications have become popular, RESTful web services that communicate over HTTP using JSON/XML have gained significant traction. Jersey is the JAX-RS (JSR 311) reference implementation for building RESTful web services in Java. It provides an API to simplify RESTful service creation using annotations and convention over configuration.

Some important Jersey features are:

  • POJO based resource development with annotations like @Path, @GET, @POST etc.
  • Content negotiation for handling multiple response formats like JSON, XML
  • Automatic WADL generation for documentation
  • Support for asynchronous services and client API
  • Integration with dependency injection frameworks like Spring and Guice

Jersey integrates with popular web servers like Tomcat, Jetty and application servers. It handles the low-level communication, parsing and object mapping.

Some benefits of developing REST APIs with Jersey are:

  • Rapid development using annotations
  • Easy content negotiation
  • Multiple environment support like servlets, serverless etc.
  • Pluggable features via extensions
  • Active open source community

Jersey makes it easy to expose backend application logic and data using REST without dealing with low level HTTP handling. With Jersey, you can quickly build services consumed by websites, mobile applications and IoT devices.

#6  Vert.x Toolkit

Vert.x is a polyglot toolkit for building reactive applications on the JVM. It provides verticles, light weight execution units that use event driven and non-blocking I/O model for high scalability. To leverage the full potential of Vert.X you should hire dedicated developers for your project. It supports Java, Kotlin, Scala and JavaScript development for writing polyglot microservices.

Some key Vert.x components are:

  • Event Bus – A publish-subscribe messaging bus for verticles
  • Async API – Non blocking API using callbacks and promises
  • Actor like Concurrency – Event loop concurrency model
  • WebSocket Support – Full duplex connections for real-time communication

Vert.x lets you build responsive and resilient applications that scale easily in modern cloud environments.

Benefits of using Vert.x include:

  • Polyglot programming enabling right language per task
  • High performance using nonblocking I/O 
  • Message passing using event bus
  • Asynchronous API avoiding callbacks
  • Simple concurrency model
  • Distributed event bus across nodes
  • Easy scaling on multi-core and cluster nodes

Vert.x combines a simple concurrency model with reactive programing techniques. It is ideal for building microservices that connect using event bus and communicate using WebSockets or REST.


Java has been the backbone of enterprise applications for over two decades. It provides cross platform portability, excellent tooling, and a robust ecosystem. The frameworks discussed in this post like Spring, Struts, Hibernate have greatly simplified Java development over the years. Recent additions like Jersey and Vert.x have opened the door to scalable, async and reactive designs. With a rich set of options to chose from, Java will continue to thrive as enterprise workhorse in foreseeable future.