You may have heard this before- Java is old but not outdated. The language, despite being over 2 decades old, is still the de-facto language for creating enterprise-scale applications. Yes, that is where its strength lies- complexity and scale. After all, Java is by no means the simplest or the fastest but then no other language perhaps better handles scalability than it does.
The obvious question is that How is the language inherently built that way or is there something more than meets the eye? The answers is- both. While the language is indeed built from ground-up to incorporate and execute complex functions seamlessly at highest possible scale, it is actually by deploying frameworks that developers manage to bring forth such capabilities in applications. Now the problem is, Java developers have traditionally relied on MVC framework and that does deliver exceptionally fine results for most of the applications but web applications are a different story.
With the rise of service-oriented architecture, Java application development too has to shift through its traditional choice of tools and embrace more suitable frameworks that better incorporate the responsiveness and accessibility that is expected from these applications.
And while we accept that when it comes to software development, the preferences of developers far outweigh the quality of tools themselves, there are a few factors upon which every choice of the framework must be based:
- It is best if the framework is open source and is OSI approved
- It must be fast and capable of building prototypes
- It should seamlessly integrate with other containers and tools.
- Having support for service-oriented architecture and other micro-services is a must.
- Having support for twelve-factor app development methodology is a big plus.
Adding or removing hardware in a single operating system on demand can increase the complexity and cannot be considered as vey cost-effective. To handle this, Java can be combined with frameworks like Hadoop mapreduce that combines scalability and parallelism. How good would it be if we split the programming logic into several components and then re-combining these nodes of that application? It will not only make the application scalable but will eventually improve the overall performance of this application.
Now building upon the perceived importance of framework and the qualities they must possess, these are the frameworks that Java developers trust the most when it comes to adding scalability to their applications:
This is unequivocally the most popular framework among both developers and Java development companies, due to its full-scale MVC support, as well as flexibility to adapt to consistently changing requirements. The framework is easy to configure, has all the features that developers need, and is powerful and efficient-enough to easily design and deploy stand-alone apps.
No, this is not the Apache Spark we are talking about. It’s a different, highly sophisticated framework that which possibly supports just one backend i.e. Java 8. If you are okay with that, you can leverage its full set of features and simplicity that enables developers to create applications in relatively lesser lines of code than it would otherwise take. It is also designed to support the much popular REST web services.
It is another full-scale MVC framework that supports REST web services. One of the key benefits of this framework is that it supports immediate code refresh. That is, you won’t have to repeat the tedious cycle of compiling and running every time you make a minor change in the code. Also, since it also supports Scala, those developers can also leverage its features to boost their productivity.
As the name suggests, this framework is specifically designed for rapid application development. So if you need to quickly deploy Java web applications and use REST web services this is the framework you need to use.