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  • JAVA Web Frameworks Spring MVC, JSF, Grails, Struts 2, GWT - Pros and Cons

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    Undoubtedly Java is the most demanded programming languages in the world today. A JS framework provides a solid foundation on which a programmer can build programs. It includes predefined classes and functions that are used to manage the hardware devices, interact with system software and process input, thereby making the life of a developer a lot easier. A web application javascript framework is designed to support the development of dynamic websites, web services, web resources and web applications. In this article, I have scooped the information about top 4 Java web frameworks.


    Spring MVC - Java Web Framework


    After more than 10 years since its first release, Spring MVC framework is still ahead of the competition. With the passage of time, it expanded to embrace a complete MVC framework and kept evolving to turn into a full-scale Java framework. Designed as a layered J2EE/Java framework which integrates specially applied sciences, the framework is widely accredited in offering the software engineers a complete toolkit for web application configuration, application development and for security projects. Known for its well-developed ecosystem, it offers a number of add-ons to choose from, right from SOAP web services, REST APIs to security encryption and authorization.  



    • Lightweight container with enhanced modularity
    • Can be deployed across various platforms
    • Flexible Dependency Injection use
    • 3-way Configuration including XML, Java and annotation config
    • Eased injection to test data via POJO’s



    • Comes with a steep learning curve
    • Bit difficult to implement for a novice
    • Spring applications take the time to deploy than JEE applications.


    JSF - Java Web Framework


    Oracle supported JSF is a net utility Java framework intended to ease development integration of the web based UI. Although this framework is not the best in the world in terms of quick Java development it is easy to utilize as the documentation is offered by Oracle. It is a standardized display technology that boasts of rich tools and libraries which let you pave through even in the high complexity of an application. JSF specification lets you enable reuse and extension of the standard user interface components. It reduces the pains to create and maintain applications that run on the Java application server and renders application UI on a target client.  Not only this, it offers easy data transfers and provides reusable UI components.  



    • More productive and consistent thanks to its ability to create reusable components
    • Great vendors (IBM, Oracle, JBoss, etc.) backing the JSF implementation like EJB
    • Ready to use components like Apache, Infragistics, Richfaces, etc.
    • Convenient for developers, especially those who use the IDE software


    Disadvantages of JSF

    • Steep learning curve
    • Bookmarking facility is not considered
    • Not scalable
    • Primitive Ajax support
    • Lacks flexibility
    • Broad to comprehend without prior Java web development experience and skills


    Google Web Toolkit - Java Web Framework


    Google Web Toolkit or the GWT is an open source development tool set that enables the developers to build and optimize complex JS front-end applications. Its primary goal is to offer productive development of high-performance web application without the developer having the immense expertise in JavaScript, XMLHttpRequest or browser quirks. To define its credibility, many of the Google’s own products including AdSense, Hotel Finder, Wallet, AdWords, etc use GWT.     



    • Easier to learn
    • Built in IDE support to refactor Java code
    • Let’s you build responsive web applications with heavy lifting on the client-side and reduced chattiness with the server-side
    • Smooth migration from a typical web application to a GWT application iteratively
    • Comes with built-in browser back button support even while using AJAX



    • Advantageous only for the Java developers. Developers with PHP or .NET background have nothing new to learn
    • With a number of versions around, hard to get all functions and interfaces, thanks to fast evolving GWT
    • Slow compilation and requires the use of proprietary method to define structure


    Grails - Java Web Framework


    Grails is an Open Source Java Web Framework meant to multiply the productivity of the developer with opinionated, sensible defaults and Convention-over-Configuration APIs. It smoothly integrates with the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) enabling you to be immediately productive whilst offering powerful features that include Compile-time meta-programming, asynchronous programming, and domain-specific languages. Grails come updated with powerful view technology, integrated NoSQL / ORM support, plugins and Spring-powered dependency injection. You can easily integrate and interoperate Java, Java EE, and JVM containers.  



    • Grails offer a quick development cycle
    • Ideal for small-size and medium project dealings
    • Variety of plugins to choose from
    • Easy and impressive documentation
    • Change configuration without restarting your server



    • Might get a hard time working with runtime language
    • GORM might turn problematic if you are working on a multi threaded app
    • Complicated Integration process
    • Delayed runtime due to interpreted languages


    Struts 2 - Java Web Framework


    Apache’s Struts is an open source, free, MVC framework for developing modern Java web applications. It comprises a set of classes and interfaces that work together to develop a base of a web application. It is functional with a net frame for a number of Java applications and is the result of mixed efforts from a number of support communities.


    To amplify even more on the Struts Java framework, I thought of sharing the insights about the successor of Struts 1, Struts 2. This framework is best suited for the engineers working to develop contemporary Java EE web apps. With Struts 2, the Apache Software Foundation has enabled the developers with an amazing tool for developing web-facing, enterprise-ready applications and optimizing the entire development process from beginning to the end and even the after go-live maintenance. If you work tirelessly hard over high-load systems like broadcasting portals, this is a perfect choice for you.   



    • No thread-safety issues
    • Dependency Injection leads to simpler testing
    • It can use "Object Graph Navigation Language" (OGNL)
    • Servlet contexts of Struts 2 framework are represented as simple Maps  
    • It supports manual validation via the validate method and also contain the Sub Framework validation



    • Difficult to perform migration as it is completely different from Struts 1
    • Struts 2 comes with a very limited documentation
    • New users might find it little difficult due to it’s poorly managed documentation  
    JAVA Web Frameworks  Spring MVC, JSF, Grails, Struts 2, GWT - Pros and Cons

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