Last Update November 1, 2020: We improved the overall article.
As a software architecture style comprising of best guidelines for the creation of scalable web services, REST(Representational State Transfer) has been used and recommended by novice as well as leading web developers residing in different corners of the world.
No doubt, the Java web application development world is loaded with numerous frameworks which can be used for creating brilliant RESTful services in Java, there are some frameworks which have been successful in creating a unique niche of their own.
Today, in this post, I’ll walk you through six finest frameworks that have proved as remarkable tools for the development of RESTful services in Java. So, let’s take a closer look at these high-end frameworks.
As a remarkable framework for developing RESTful web services, Jersey comes with a standard and highly portable JAX-RS API. As an open source framework, Jersey serves as a JAX-RS(JSR 311 & JSR 339) Reference Implementation.
Equipped with its own API, Jersey exposes multiple extension SPIs allowing you to extend its features and functions to suit your requirements in the best possible way. With Jersey, you get to use APIs which make it convenient for you to build RESTful web services via effective utilization of Java and Java Virtual Machine.
As a type-safe REST client for Java, Retrofit is basically a library which defines your API in the form of a clear Java interface, followed by automatically converting the same into a REST client.
Unlike a variety of frameworks used for creating best-quality RESTful web services, Retrofit comes with a well-formatted, completely searchable document which answers every question that’s been bothering you regarding the correct use and features of Retrofit.
Currently available in its version 2.0, Swagger is a simple yet very powerful framework that’s been loaded with API tools that allow you to create RESTful services with complete amount of ease. A Swagger-enabled API entails you to client SDK generation, interactive documentation and maximum discoverability.
Serving as a 100% open source software, Swagger’s tools and resources are a must-try for every web developer. Talking about Swagger tools, SDK Generators and Swagger Editor are the most talked about ones. Likewise, when it comes to Swagger resources, several Server Integration options allow you to pick your preferred languages and get started with the framework.
If you’re looking for developing remarkable ops-friendly and high-performance RESTful web services, Dropwizard is the Java framework you can’t afford to miss.
This framework pulls together mature, stable libraries from the incredible Java ecosystem and incorporates the same into a simple, light-weight package, allowing you to focus on creation of brilliant RESTful web services. One of the greatest advantages of Dropwizard is its out-of-the-box support for configuration application metrics, operational tools, logging and a lot more.
Spark is yet another impressive Java micro-framework which works as the right match for rapid development of web applications. Although this framework looks a lot similar to Sinatra, it offers tons of unique features which make it a preferred choice among web developers. As a simple and straightforward Java framework, Spark enables you to develop web applications without the need for configuring complex XML configuration.
If you’re a Java developer who doesn’t have the time or interest in learning a new programming language but are inclined on building a complex web application, then Spark can turn to be the best framework for you. As a tiny Sinatra-inspired framework for creating web applications, Spark serves as the right alternative for leveraging the benefits that are received from Sinatra-saving you from the hassles of learning a brand new programming language.
As a fully-certified and portable implementation of JAX-RS specification, RESTEasy is a framework that provides Java API for the creation of excellent RESTful web services over the HTTP protocol.
Some key features of RESTEasy include: Rich Interceptor Model, portable to every app-server/Tomcat which runs on JDK 6 or higher, client “Browser” cache, server in-memory cache, GZIP content-encoding, Asynchronous HTTP(Comet) abstractions for Tomcat 6, Servlet 3.0 and JBoss Web, Digital Signature and encryption support with DOSETA and S/MIME, Spring MVC integration and many more.
So, these were the very powerful JAVA Rest frameworks that serve as the right options for creating REST Based web services that are simple-to-use and come loaded with numerous features and functions.