At present, Java is more popular than other programming languages. It is also a programming language which is used widely by developers for building desktop GUI application, web applications, web services, and mobile apps. But the developers still need robust frameworks, IDEs and development tools to write the applications in Java rapidly and efficiently. Each developer also has the option to choose from many Java frameworks, IDEs, and development tools according to his specific needs.
Overview of 10 Widely Used Java Frameworks, IDEs, and Development Tools
1) Spring MVC
Spring is one of the mature and popular Java web frameworks available in the market. In addition to supporting the model-view-controller (MVC) software development paradigm, Spring also simplifies common programming tasks like database integration, web services creation, and security. The programmers also have the option to use Spring Boot to create Java web applications that can be deployed without dealing without complex XML configurations. Spring Boot further comes with some production-ready features like health checks, metrics, and externalized configuration. The most recent version of the framework further comes with a command-line tool that allows programmers to run Groovy scripts, and prototype web application quickly using Spring.
2) JavaServer Faces Technology (JSF)
Oracle has developed JavaServer Faces Technology (JSF) as the official Java EE web framework. The framework developed through the Java community process helps programmers to create server-side user interfaces rapidly. It allows users to create websites rapidly by keeping the presentation layer separate from application logic. The developers can even use the JavaServer Faces UI component tags to connect the application logic and presentation layers of the project without writing any additional code. The members of the community also provide new JavaServer Faces APIs regularly to simplify the Java web application development process.
Vaadin makes it easier for programmers to write server-side components of single-page web applications in Java. The developers can also use Vaadin to develop web UIs with HTML. They can further take advantage of the robust Vaadin Elements containing a variety of customized HTML elements for business applications. They can even use components like charts, data grids, and a combo box to extend the Google Polymer library. The tools provided by Vaadin Pro further help developers to make their web applications more interactive and mobile-friendly, along with reducing coding time significantly.
4) Google Web Toolkit (GWT)
Grails is a version of Ruby on Rails for Java platform written in Groovy programming language. The programmers can integrate Grails seamlessly with the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). They also have the option to extend and enhance the framework by either creating custom plug-ins or using existing plug-ins. At the same time, they can also avail of several advanced features provided by the framework including NoSQL support, integrated ORM, asynchronous programming, and compile-time meta-programming. The users can also take advantage of domain-specific languages to effectuate querying, validation and markup rendering.
6) Play Framework
In addition to being an MVC web framework, Play is also designed with features to simplify the development of web services. The framework further supports multiple JVM-based programming languages including Java and Scala. Features like stateless services and asynchronous I/O make Play different from other Java web frameworks. The users can further take advantage of the code refresh feature of the framework to check the impact of changes made to the code instantaneously without rebuilding or restarting the whole project. Play further enables programmers to avail of a wide variety of plug-ins, testing tools, and IDEs while helping developers to build scalable web applications.
As a modern and lightweight framework, Dropwizard helps developers to build and deploy both Java web applications and web services. It further focuses on the glue between various components to provide an integrated development experience to programmers. The latest version of Dropwizard further takes advantage of the new features included in Java 8 to enhance the application’s compatibility and security. It further allows programmers to monitor and assess the behavior of the code in a production environment using Metric libraries.
The open-source IDE is written in Java, and designed with features to simplify the development of a variety of Java applications. It supports major platforms like Windows, Linux and OS X. The users can easily customize Eclipse according to their specific needs by using a wide range of plug-ins and extensions. They can even avail of a set of useful features provided by Eclipse including Windows Builder, XML Editors and Tools, Maven Integration, Git Team Provider, Mylyn Task List, and Code Recommenders Developer Tools.
The open-source IDE is written in Java and enables developers to build desktop, web and mobile apps with Java. In addition to being cross-platform, NetBeans also supports an array of programming languages in addition to Java. The users can further build a variety of Java applications efficiently by availing the robust features provided by NetBeans including quick and smart code editing, GUI development tools, static analysis tools, debugger, and profiler. Also, NetBeans makes it easier for programmers to update their existing applications to Java 8.
Despite being a lightweight IDE, JSource comes with features to facilitate cross-platform application development with Java. It is also developed fully with the Swing component. the source is also designed with features to help programmers to create, edit, compile and run a variety of Java files efficiently. However, it supports syntax highlighting for several programming languages in addition to Java. The Java programmers also have the option to integrate JSource with other widely used Java frameworks and development tools.
On the whole, Java developers have the option to choose from many frameworks, IDEs and development tools. But each tool may not complement all needs of each project. Hence, the developer must pick the right Java development tools according to the requirements of individual projects. He can even consider combining these frameworks, IDEs and development tools to enhance the functionality and performance of Java applications.