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Survey Confirms JSF Remains Leading Web Framework

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In the past ten years or so few topics have caused as much impassioned debate as the question of what Java web framework to use. It's not too surprising then that JavaLobby/DZone recently ran a survey to see what the Java web framework usage landscape looks like today. You can take a look at the detailed results of the survey here. As the title of this blog entry suggests the results bode very well for JSF and in fact bode well for the MVC 1.0 specification targeted for Java EE 8 as well:

For those of us that understand something about how open standards and de-facto "standards" form it was only a matter of time before the obviously hyper-competitive server-side web framework space was going to consolidate/converge on some kind of market consensus. This survey clearly demonstrates that is exactly what is finally happening. JSF leads with 34.5% of the market share. That is great news for the JSF community and they deserve credit for it given most other Java web frameworks seem to implicitly choose JSF as their primary competitive target. Spring MVC follows very closely with 34.2%. This in my view is great news as this validates the need to standardize MVC 1.0 as an action-oriented approach to web frameworks. The MVC specification community should take note and pay close attention to the concepts proven out in Spring MVC. In addition the MVC specification has the implicit advantage of not being tied to legacy and starting from a clean slate to adopt what is proven and do better where it makes obvious sense. Other than the two front-runners market share drops pretty sharply for the rest.

I should note that the sample size for this survey is extremely strong at 1300+. While no survey is foolproof, this is probably the closest to getting at what is really going on in the Java web framework space. It is also note worthy that JSF has consistently been either number one or number two in such surveys in the past few years. OmniFaces lead Arjan Tijms pointed this out in a characteristically well written analysis on the JAX-RS expert group some months ago. I highly recommend the post for folks interested in JSF or Java web frameworks in general.

I know a segment of folks will have a tendency to dismiss the server-side Java web framework space with the hype around HTML 5/JavaScript rich clients like AngularJS. Fortunately DZone/JavaLobby ran an even broader reaching survey on the Java ecosystem. That survey measured server-side Java web frameworks against JavaScript client-side frameworks. The results were not made public yet but should be available soon. I don't consider myself a betting man but based on what I have observed during my popular talk on the topic of HTML5/JavaScript clients and Java EE 7 I have a few reasonably good guesses. Given the current hype I have no doubt JavaScript clients will make a strong showing. Indeed I would not be too surprised to also see that AngularJS already dominates the JavaScript client side framework space. However I think both the relative market share for JSF and Spring MVC will remain largely unchanged even in that survey. What's more likely is that the Java web frameworks that are already in a niche would join the marginal ranks of AngularJS's weaker JavaScript framework competitors. We will find out if I am right as soon as the results of the broader survey are published...

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Comments ( 2 )
  • guest Friday, October 9, 2015

    Grails is built on top of Spring MVC, so everyone who's using Grails is also a Spring MVC user, which would give Spring 39.3%.

  • Reza Rahman Friday, October 9, 2015

    Personally I think the survey made the right call separating Grails from Spring MVC and GWT from Vaadin, etc.

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