Framework in JAVA

Introduction

Framework in JAVA has been derived from the literal meaning of the work. According to the Oxford Dictionary, framework is defined as ‘an essential supporting structure of a building, vehicle, or object’. Framework defines the basic structure that acts as the supporting body of something big. Frameworks in JAVA act in a similar fashion where your code is supported by a few predefined classes and methods. Prominence is given to the original code that can extend several features from the framework to assist in proper functionality.

What is a framework in JAVA?

As defined in the JAVA documentation by Oracle, ‘Frameworks are large bodies (usually many classes) of pre-written code to which you can add your code to solve a problem in a specific domain’. In simpler words, frameworks provide users with several classes on which they can base their code to make larger applications. Once you extend a particular framework to your code, you will be able to involve the various actors of the framework classes including calling methods, inheritance, supplying “callbacks”, and using public fields.

Difference between a library and framework

The two terms refer to different concepts in JAVA however, in some special cases, certain large libraries are often termed as frameworks due to the immense number of classes and packages that they provide. A framework works out the fundamental structure of your code while a library provides you with components that you will have to assemble on your own. A simple analogy would be that frameworks bring cooked food to the table and all you need to do is add salt, pepper, and other tasters to make it tasty while a library provides you with the ingredients and you can cook the dish any way you want.

Why do we need a framework?

Java Developers have designed a list of frameworks keeping in mind various conventional ways in which different applications are created. These pre-written lines of ready-made code can enhance the performance capabilities of the program that you are designing and prevent common errors from occurring. Most importantly, these tried and tested snippets of code save a lot of time and provides better clarity.

What are the top JAVA Frameworks?

  • Spring – Spring is one of the most commonly used frameworks that provides comprehensive programming and configuration models for JAVA code.
  • Hibernate – This is a mapping model that draws relations between object-oriented domains and relational databases.
  • Cocoon – Also known as Apache Cocoon, it uses the principle of pipelines and separation of concerns to develop web-based applications.
  • Struts – This framework derives from Java Servlet API and delivers a Model, View, Controller (MVC) architecture.
  • Google Web Toolkit – Set of tools that are used to manage web-based JavaScript applications.
  • Java Server Faces – JSF controls and maintains display techniques of applications.
  • Grails – This is another structural tool that uses the Groovy programming language.
  • Vaadin – Vaadin is mostly used to develop modern web applications and has a large component library.
  • Blade – Blade is a high-performance framework that is relatively new (introduced in JAVA 8).
  • Drop Wizard – Drop Wizard is an intuitive framework that helps in fetching relevant JAVA libraries for an application.
  • Play – It is a modern and highly productive Java application framework that has a user-friendly architecture.

Advantages of using Frameworks

As mentioned before, Frameworks give you a foundation and a structure to build on. You can think of it as dictating your application to make it more readable. Therefore, you can easily extend methods and variables from frameworks to perform various functions. It also saves a lot of time and energy that would normally go behind code duplication.

Which Framework to use for a JAVA Application?

The various kinds of frameworks are listed above. There is no guide to using a framework for a particular scenario. You will need to understand the factors involved in your code and what your application demands. After correlating those nuances will you find one particular framework to be of perfect match or a mix of two or more.

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