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13 Hot Free and Open Source Java Microframeworks

One of the types of software that’s important for a web developer is the web framework. A framework “is a code library that makes a developer’s life easier when building reliable, scalable, and maintainable web applications” by providing reusable code or extensions for common operations. By saving development time, developers can concentrate on application logic rather than mundane elements.

A web framework offers the developer a choice about how to solve a specific problem. By using a framework, a developer lets the framework control portions of their application. While it’s perfectly possible to code a web application without using a framework, it’s more practical to use one.

This article examines the best Java microframeworks. Micro means the framework is small, with little or no tools and libraries. Microframeworks are designed with extensibility in mind. They provide an essential set of features and rely on extensions to do the rest. Microframeworks have the advantage of making no or fewer decisions for you, making it easy to start development.

When it comes to web development, there are a wide range of Java microframeworks to choose from. The choice actually helps you find the right tool for the job. Here’s our pick of the finest open source microframeworks.

Best Free and Open Source Java Web Microframeworks

Let’s explore the 13 Java microframeworks in more detail. For each program we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

Java Web Microframeworks
Spring BootCreate Spring-powered, production-grade applications and services
KtorAsynchronous framework for creating microservices, web applications and more
JavalinSimple web framework for Java and Kotlin
DropwizardJava framework for developing RESTful web services
SparkSimple expressive web framework for Java
QuarkusKubernetes native Java stack tailored for OpenJDK HotSpot and GraalVM
JoddSet of micro-frameworks and developer-friendly tools and utilities
RapidoidHTTP server and modern Java web framework / application container
ArmeriaBuild any type of microservice leveraging your favorite technologies
RatpackSimple, capable, toolkit for creating high performance web applications
JoobyModern, performant and easy to use web framework for Java and Kotlin
HelidonSet of Java libraries for writing microservices
PippoMicro web framework in Java that should aims to be easy to use and hack

Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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