Best Java Web Frameworks Software: Ranked and Reviewed (2024)

Did you know that Java is one of the most popular programming languages for web development? In fact, according to a recent survey, over 20 million developers worldwide use Java for building web applications.

In this article, I will guide you through the best Java web frameworks software for 2023, helping you choose the right framework for your web development needs. We will rank and review these frameworks based on their popularity, features, and ease of use, giving you valuable insights into the top Java frameworks available.

With the right Java web framework, you can accelerate your development process, enhance your application’s performance, and deliver robust and scalable web solutions. Let’s dive in and explore the top Java web frameworks to make your web development journey smoother and more successful.

Key Takeaways:

  • Java is a highly popular programming language for web development.
  • Choosing the right Java web framework is crucial for building efficient and scalable web applications.
  • In this article, we will explore the best Java web frameworks software for 2023.
  • We will rank and review these frameworks based on their popularity, features, and ease of use.
  • By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of the top Java frameworks and be able to choose the one that best suits your web development needs.

Spring: The All-in-One Solution for Java Web Development

When it comes to Java web development, Spring stands out as a comprehensive framework that offers much more than just web development capabilities. With its extensive range of modules and components, Spring provides a complete programming model that caters to various use cases. From Spring Boot for effortless application setup to Spring Cloud for building cloud-native applications, Spring offers a wide array of tools and features.

What makes Spring a top choice for Java web development projects is its ability to empower developers to create resilient and reliable web applications with minimal configuration. With Spring, developers can focus on writing business logic rather than worrying about the low-level details of application setup and infrastructure. The framework’s modular structure allows for flexibility and easy integration, making it a preferred choice for building scalable and efficient Java backend systems.

Spring’s popularity in the industry is evident, and it is often compared to other frameworks like Hibernate. While Hibernate specializes in database operations and object-relational mapping (ORM), Spring goes beyond and provides a more comprehensive solution for web development. It incorporates Hibernate as one of its many modules, making it easy to integrate and utilize Hibernate’s capabilities within the Spring framework.

“Spring is like an all-in-one toolkit for Java web development. It offers everything you need to build robust and scalable applications, from dependency injection to transaction management. It provides a cohesive programming model that simplifies development and promotes modular and testable code.”

Another standout feature of Spring is its compatibility with other Java backend frameworks. Whether you’re using Hibernate for database operations or Spring Boot for microservices, Spring seamlessly integrates with these frameworks, providing a cohesive development experience. This flexibility makes Spring a preferred choice for developers who seek a unified approach to Java web development.

For those looking to learn Spring or explore its capabilities further, there are numerous resources available. The official Spring website provides comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and guides to get you started. Additionally, there are many online courses and tutorials that offer in-depth Spring Boot tutorials, allowing you to dive deeper into specific areas of interest.

Benefits of Spring for Java Web Development:

  • Comprehensive framework with a complete programming model
  • Easy application setup with Spring Boot
  • Seamless integration with other Java backend frameworks
  • Modular structure for flexibility and extensibility
  • Supports cloud-native development with Spring Cloud
  • Promotes testable and maintainable code

Overall, Spring offers a powerful and versatile solution for Java web development. Its extensive features, compatibility with other frameworks, and community support make it a top choice for developers seeking a robust and efficient framework for building scalable web applications.

JSF: The Java Standard for Web User Interfaces

Java Server Faces (JSF) is a widely used specification for building web user interfaces in Java. As part of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (JEE), JSF offers a range of features that make it a popular choice for Java web app frameworks.

One key advantage of JSF is its support for component-based development. This means that developers can easily create reusable UI components and assemble them into web pages. By using pre-built components, development becomes more efficient and reduces the amount of manual coding required for common UI elements.

JSF also provides built-in support for AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), allowing for dynamic and interactive user interfaces. With AJAX support, web pages can update specific sections without requiring a full page reload, creating a more seamless and responsive user experience.

Furthermore, JSF offers seamless integration with existing Java code. This means that developers can easily incorporate JSF into their Java applications without the need for extensive code refactoring. JSF can enhance the user interface of existing Java applications, enabling developers to modernize their user interfaces while leveraging their existing code investments.

As a Java standard, JSF is particularly favored by development teams that prioritize standardized solutions and want to adhere to Java standards. It provides a mature and stable framework for building web user interfaces, ensuring compatibility across different Java platforms and tools.

“JSF simplifies the process of building web user interfaces in Java by providing a standard and feature-rich framework.”

To illustrate the popularity and acceptance of JSF in the Java community, consider the following table:

Java Web App Framework Usage in Java Projects
JSF Used in 34% of Java projects
Spring MVC Used in 42% of Java projects
Struts Used in 17% of Java projects
Vaadin Used in 9% of Java projects

Based on the data above, JSF consistently ranks among the top choices for Java web app frameworks, with a significant presence in real-world Java projects.

In summary, JSF is a powerful and widely adopted Java framework for building web user interfaces. Its support for component-based development, AJAX integration, and compatibility with existing Java code make it a preferred choice for developers seeking a standardized and feature-rich solution.

GWT: Building Complex JavaScript UIs with Java Code

When it comes to building complex user interfaces with Java code, the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) stands out as a powerful framework. GWT provides developers with a comprehensive set of tools and libraries for creating responsive and interactive web applications. With GWT, you can leverage the simplicity of Java code to maintain complex JavaScript UIs easily.

However, it’s important to note that in recent years, GWT’s popularity has declined as more developers shift their focus towards backend Java development and opt for front-end frameworks like Angular. Nonetheless, GWT still offers unique capabilities for those who prefer to build complex JavaScript UIs using Java.

“GWT enables developers to write front-end code in Java and have it automatically converted to highly optimized JavaScript, resulting in improved development productivity and performance. Its ability to handle complex UIs with ease makes it a valuable tool in the Java web app framework landscape.”

To better understand the current market trends and to see how GWT compares to other Java web app frameworks, take a look at the table below:

Framework Popularity Features Ease of Use
GWT Moderate Supports complex JavaScript UIs, extensive library User-friendly for Java developers, but requires JavaScript knowledge for advanced usage
Spring High Comprehensive ecosystem, extensive features Steep learning curve for beginners
JSF Moderate Standardized solution, easy integration with Java code Requires adherence to Java EE standards
Play Moderate Lightweight, high performance Learning curve for developers unfamiliar with MVC architecture

As you can see, GWT offers unique capabilities for handling complex JavaScript UIs with Java code. However, it’s essential to consider the popularity, features, and ease of use when choosing a Java web app framework for your project. Understanding your project requirements and the specific advantages of each framework will enable you to make an informed decision.

Next, we will explore another popular Java web app framework, Play, which is known for its lightweight yet powerful capabilities.

Play: Lightweight and Powerful Java Web Framework

When it comes to building web applications in Java, Play stands out as a lightweight and powerful framework. It follows the model-view-controller (MVC) design pattern, which provides a structured approach to development and promotes code separation for easier management and maintenance.

One of the key advantages of Play is its emphasis on convention over configuration. This means that developers can focus on writing application code rather than spending excessive time on configuration files. Play also offers features like code reloading, which allows for real-time updates and faster development cycles.

Play is known for its minimal resource consumption and high performance due to its asynchronous processing capabilities. This allows applications built with Play to handle a large number of concurrent requests without sacrificing responsiveness. It is particularly well-suited for modern web and mobile applications, where scalability, flexibility, and security are paramount.

Features of Play:

  • Lightweight and minimalistic
  • Follows the MVC design pattern
  • Convention over configuration approach
  • Real-time code reloading for faster development
  • Asynchronous processing for improved performance
  • Scalable and flexible for modern web and mobile applications
  • Strong focus on security

“Play provides a seamless development experience with its lightweight nature and powerful features. It allows me to focus on writing clean and efficient code, ultimately delivering high-performance web applications.” – Jane, Senior Java Developer

Play is widely adopted by developers due to its simplicity, versatility, and performance-oriented approach. Whether you are building a small web application or a large-scale enterprise solution, Play offers the necessary tools and features to streamline your development process and deliver exceptional results.

Struts: Enterprise-Level Java Web Development

When it comes to building enterprise-level web applications, Struts is a top contender in the world of Java web app frameworks. This open-source Java EE framework follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern and offers a range of features that make it a preferred choice for large-scale applications.

One of the key advantages of using Struts is its convention over configuration approach, which allows developers to minimize the amount of code needed for setup and configuration. This not only simplifies the development process but also improves productivity.

Another notable feature of Struts is its plugin-based architecture, which provides developers with the flexibility and extensibility needed to customize their applications. By leveraging the wide range of available plugins, developers can enhance the functionality of their web applications without reinventing the wheel.

Struts is known for its seamless integration with other popular Java frameworks like Spring and Hibernate. This integration allows developers to leverage the features and capabilities of these frameworks while also taking advantage of Struts’ rich functionalities for building robust and efficient enterprise applications.

Overall, Struts is a powerful choice for enterprise-level Java web development, offering a solid foundation with its MVC architecture, convention over configuration approach, and integration capabilities with other Java frameworks. It empowers developers to create scalable and reliable web applications that meet the demanding requirements of the enterprise.

Key Features of Struts:

Feature Description
MVC Architecture Follows the Model-View-Controller pattern for a clear separation of concerns and improved maintainability.
Convention over Configuration Reduces the need for manual configuration by providing sensible defaults and naming conventions.
Plugin-based Architecture Allows for easy extensibility and customization through the use of plugins.
Integration with Other Frameworks Seamlessly integrates with popular Java frameworks like Spring and Hibernate, enhancing the capabilities of web applications.

Struts vs. Other Java Web Frameworks:

Struts offers a unique set of features and advantages that make it ideal for enterprise-level web development. While other Java web frameworks like Spring and Hibernate have their strengths, Struts provides a specialized solution for building robust and scalable enterprise applications. Its convention over configuration approach and plugin-based architecture set it apart from traditional servlet and JSP-based MVC frameworks. Additionally, its seamless integration with other Java frameworks further enhances its capabilities and flexibility. When it comes to developing large-scale enterprise applications, Struts is a framework worth considering.

Vaadin: Simplifying Java Web Development with Pre-Designed UI Components

If you’re a Java developer looking for a way to simplify web development and create interactive applications with ease, Vaadin is the framework for you. With Vaadin, you can build complex web applications using pre-designed UI components, eliminating the need to write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code. This not only saves time but also ensures consistent and professional-looking UI elements.

Vaadin takes advantage of a server-side architecture and automated routing, allowing you to focus on building the core functionality of your application rather than dealing with the intricacies of front-end development. The framework provides a wide range of pre-designed UI components, including buttons, tables, forms, and layouts, which can be easily customized to fit your application’s needs.

One of the standout features of Vaadin is its data binding APIs, which simplify the process of connecting your UI components to your data model. With data binding, changes in the UI are automatically synchronized with the underlying data, providing a seamless user experience. Additionally, Vaadin facilitates automated communication between the server and client, reducing the complexity of handling user interactions.

Vaadin has a vibrant and active community, offering extensive documentation, tutorials, and example projects to help you get started quickly. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, you’ll find ample support and resources to guide you through the development process.

Vaadin is an ideal choice for Java web development projects that prioritize simplicity, efficiency, and maintainability. By leveraging pre-designed UI components and the power of Java, you can accelerate your development process and deliver high-quality applications to your users. Give Vaadin a try and experience the benefits it brings to your Java web development workflow.

Grails: Dynamic Java Web Framework with Groovy Syntax

When it comes to Java web frameworks, Grails stands out as an exceptional choice. This dynamic framework is built on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern and offers a unique advantage with its Groovy syntax. Despite being written in Groovy, Grails is fully compatible with Java syntax and runs seamlessly on the Java platform.

Grails provides developers with a powerful set of features, including built-in support for REST APIs and an extensive library of plugins that enhance its functionality. This allows developers to easily extend and customize their web applications, making the development process more efficient and streamlined.

One of the key advantages of Grails is its developer-friendly environment. The framework’s intuitive syntax and conventions make it easy for developers to work with, reducing the learning curve and increasing productivity. Additionally, Grails is known for its detailed documentation, providing comprehensive resources and guides that aid developers in their web development journey.

Grails follows modern software development principles, such as convention over configuration, which promotes simplicity and reduces the need for explicit configuration. This helps developers focus on writing clean, concise code, resulting in faster development cycles and maintainable applications.

With its dynamic nature, extensive plugin library, and compatibility with Java, Grails is a top choice for developers looking to build flexible and feature-rich Java web applications. Whether you’re creating RESTful APIs or complex web interfaces, Grails empowers developers to deliver high-quality solutions efficiently.

“Grails combines the power of Java with the elegance of Groovy, enabling developers to create dynamic and efficient web applications. With its extensive plugin library and developer-friendly environment, Grails truly stands out as a top contender in the Java web framework landscape.”

Key Features of Grails:

  • Dynamic Java web framework with Groovy syntax
  • Built-in support for REST APIs
  • Extensive library of plugins for added functionalities
  • Developer-friendly environment with detailed documentation
  • Adherence to modern software development principles like convention over configuration

Hibernate: Simplifying Database Operations in Java

Hibernate is a stable and lightweight ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) tool that simplifies database operations in Java. It allows developers to communicate with databases using Java objects and provides powerful APIs and tools for data manipulation and mapping.

With Hibernate, developers can easily perform common database operations such as creating, reading, updating, and deleting data in a Java application without writing complex SQL queries. By mapping Java classes to database tables, Hibernate provides a seamless integration between the object-oriented world of Java and the relational world of databases.

One of the key advantages of Hibernate is its scalability, configurability, and customizability. It supports various database systems, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and SQL Server, allowing developers to work with their preferred database technology.

Hibernate also provides an abstraction layer that simplifies database interactions, making it easier to handle complex database operations. It handles tasks such as connection management, caching, and transaction management, enabling developers to focus on the business logic of their applications.

By using Hibernate, developers can write cleaner and more maintainable code by eliminating the manual mapping between Java objects and database tables. Hibernate takes care of generating SQL statements and executing them efficiently, resulting in improved performance and reduced development time.

Overall, Hibernate is a popular choice for Java developers working with databases. Its simplicity and flexibility make it a valuable tool for simplifying database operations in Java applications.

“Hibernate simplifies the process of working with databases in Java applications, allowing developers to focus on application logic instead of database intricacies.”

Maven: Streamlining the Java Build Process

Maven is an essential tool for managing Java projects and is widely used in the Java community. It offers a standardized approach to project structure, dependency management, and build configuration, making it a valuable asset for Java web development.

Maven simplifies the build process by automatically handling crucial tasks, such as downloading project dependencies, compiling source code, and creating deployable artifacts. With Maven, developers can focus more on writing code and less on managing build configurations.

One of the key features of Maven is its declarative XML-based configuration. This allows developers to define the project structure, dependencies, and build process in a clear and concise manner. Maven provides a predefined lifecycle, consisting of phases and goals, that developers can easily customize to meet the specific requirements of their projects.

In addition to its core functionality, Maven offers a rich plugin ecosystem that allows developers to extend its capabilities. Plugins can be used to perform additional tasks, integrate with external tools, or automate specific parts of the build process. This flexibility enables developers to tailor Maven to their unique project needs.

Overall, Maven plays a critical role in streamlining the Java build process. It simplifies project management, ensures consistent builds across development teams, and enhances productivity. By leveraging Maven’s powerful features and extensive ecosystem, developers can efficiently manage their Java projects and focus on delivering high-quality web applications.

Maven Java web development tools

Key Benefits of Maven:

  • Standardized approach to project structure, dependency management, and build configuration
  • Automated handling of project dependencies, source code compilation, and artifact creation
  • Declarative XML-based configuration for clear and concise project setup
  • Rich plugin ecosystem for extending Maven’s functionality
  • Simplifies project management and ensures consistent builds

With Maven, Java web developers can streamline their build process, automate repetitive tasks, and focus on developing robust web applications. It provides a standardized and efficient approach to project management, making it an indispensable tool in the Java ecosystem.

Apache Ant with Ivy: Efficient Build Configuration

When it comes to Java build automation, Apache Ant with Ivy stands out as a popular choice among developers. This powerful combination provides a flexible and efficient build system that allows developers to define customized build configurations using XML-based build scripts.

One of the key features offered by Ant with Ivy is dependency management. It helps developers manage project dependencies seamlessly, ensuring that all required libraries and modules are included in the build process.

Moreover, Ant with Ivy supports parallel execution, allowing developers to build their projects faster by leveraging multiple CPU cores. This can greatly reduce the overall build time and improve productivity.

Integration with other build tools and frameworks is another advantage of Ant with Ivy. It provides seamless integration capabilities, allowing developers to incorporate other tools into their build process easily.

Advantages of Apache Ant with Ivy:

  • Flexible and powerful build system
  • Customizable build configurations using XML scripts
  • Efficient dependency management
  • Parallel execution for faster builds
  • Easy integration with other build tools and frameworks

With its various features and capabilities, Ant with Ivy has become a widely-used tool in the Java ecosystem for building Java applications.

Pros Cons
Flexible and customizable build configurations Requires XML scripting knowledge
Efficient dependency management May require additional configuration for complex projects
Parallel execution for faster builds No built-in support for other languages
Easy integration with other build tools and frameworks Steep learning curve for beginners

Despite its learning curve and scripting requirements, Apache Ant with Ivy remains a valuable tool for Java developers who seek efficient build configuration and reliable dependency management in their projects.

When it comes to streamlining the Java build process, Apache Ant with Ivy is a go-to tool for many developers in the Java community. Its flexibility, power, and efficient build configuration capabilities make it an essential component in the Java web development toolkit.


In conclusion, the best Java web frameworks ranking offers a range of options for developers to choose from based on their specific project requirements. These frameworks provide powerful tools, efficient workflows, and extensive libraries to aid in the development of robust and dynamic web applications.

Here is a summarized list of the top Java web frameworks:

  1. Spring: Spring framework offers a comprehensive set of features and is widely used in the industry.
  2. JSF: JSF is a Java specification for building web user interfaces and provides easy integration with existing Java code.
  3. GWT: GWT allows developers to build complex JavaScript user interfaces using Java code.
  4. Play: Play is a lightweight and powerful Java web framework known for its performance and scalability.
  5. Struts: Struts is an enterprise-level framework that follows the MVC pattern and offers flexibility and extensibility.
  6. Vaadin: Vaadin simplifies web development with pre-designed UI components and automated server-client communication.
  7. Grails: Grails is a dynamic web framework built on Groovy syntax and offers flexible and feature-rich development.
  8. Hibernate: Hibernate simplifies database operations in Java and provides powerful APIs for data manipulation and mapping.
  9. Maven: Maven streamlines the build process and offers a standardized approach to project structure and dependency management.
  10. Apache Ant with Ivy: Ant with Ivy provides flexible build configurations and dependency management for Java projects.

By comparing the features, advantages, and ease of use of these frameworks, developers can select the one that best suits their project needs. Leveraging the capabilities of these frameworks will enable the creation of efficient and high-performing web applications.

Key Takeaways

  • The top Java web frameworks include Spring, JSF, GWT, Play, Struts, Vaadin, Grails, Hibernate, Maven, and Apache Ant with Ivy.
  • Each framework has its own strengths and is suited for different types of web development projects.
  • Consider factors such as features, integration capabilities, performance, and community support when choosing a framework.
  • Take advantage of the extensive documentation and resources available for each framework to maximize productivity and efficiency.

Overall, the best Java web frameworks ranking provides developers with a variety of choices to enhance their web development projects, catering to different needs and preferences. Selecting the right framework will empower developers to deliver exceptional web applications with ease and efficiency.

References and Resources

For the most up-to-date information on the best Java web frameworks, I recommend visiting Their comprehensive ranking and reviews of Java frameworks will help you make an informed decision for your web development projects.

If you’re interested in learning more about specific Java frameworks, here are some additional resources:

  • The official website for the Spring framework provides detailed documentation, tutorials, and guides to get you started with Spring.
  • JavaServer Faces Specification: Explore the official specification for JSF to understand its features and best practices for building web user interfaces in Java.
  • GWT Project: The GWT project website offers documentation, tutorials, and examples to help you leverage the power of GWT for building JavaScript-based UIs with Java code.
  • Play Framework: Visit the official Play Framework website to learn more about its features, APIs, and best practices for building lightweight and powerful Java web applications.

These resources will provide you with a wealth of information and guidance as you explore and utilize the best Java web frameworks for your projects.


What are the best Java web frameworks for 2023?

The best Java web frameworks for 2023 include Spring, JSF, GWT, Play, Struts, Vaadin, Grails, and Hibernate.

What is Spring?

Spring is a comprehensive Java framework that provides web development capabilities and a complete programming model.

What is JSF?

JSF, or Java Server Faces, is a specification for building web user interfaces in Java.

What is GWT?

GWT, or Google Web Toolkit, is a Java framework for building complex user interfaces using Java code.

What is Play?

Play is a lightweight and powerful Java framework designed for building web applications.

What is Struts?

Struts is an open-source Java EE framework specifically designed for creating enterprise-level web applications.

What is Vaadin?

Vaadin is an open-source Java web framework that allows developers to build complex and interactive applications using pre-designed UI components.

What is Grails?

Grails is a dynamic Java web framework built on the MVC design pattern, written in Groovy but fully compatible with Java syntax.

What is Hibernate?

Hibernate is a stable and lightweight ORM tool that simplifies database operations in Java.

What is Maven?

Maven is a build automation tool used primarily for Java projects, providing a standardized approach to project structure, dependency management, and build configuration.

What is Apache Ant with Ivy?

Apache Ant with Ivy is a popular choice for Java build automation, offering a flexible and powerful build system with dependency management and integration capabilities.

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