JAXenter survey results are here

Technology trends 2018: Here are the top frameworks

Hartmut Schlosser
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Now that we’ve revealed the top programming languages, it’s time to focus on the frameworks to watch (and use!) in 2018. We’re also going to look at how the frameworks performed in the past couple of years to see if they’ve gained momentum or flopped.

Over 1.000 participants from 85 countries and a massive amount of data: this is the result of the latest JAXenter survey which aimed to find out which technology topics will be especially important for you in 2018. There were 10 topics included in the survey and your answers helped us paint an accurate picture of this year’s technology trends. Now that we’ve revealed the top programming languages, it’s time to focus on the frameworks and UI toolkits to watch (and use!) in 2018.

We’re also going to look at how the frameworks performed in the past couple of years to see if they’ve gained momentum or flopped. Let’s begin!

Web frameworks

At first glance, JavaScript frameworks are clearly the most popular web frameworks this year, with superstars such as React, Angular, and Node.js taking the lead. The fourth position is occupied by Spring MVC from the Java ecosystem, followed by yet another JavaScript shooting star, namely Vue.js.

Although this says a lot about JavaScript web frameworks, it doesn’t say enough about the trends. Let’s have a look at how these web frameworks performed in 2016 and 2017.

Web frameworks rated as “interesting” and “very interesting”

Angular may have won people’s hearts in 2016 but last year, React managed to outshine it. What’s interesting is that the trend seems to continue this year; there’s already a slight improvement from last year.

Java frameworks are having a bad year; Spring MVC and the two Java EE frameworks MVC and JSF seem to be on the losing side, and the situation isn’t getting any better for Vaadin, Wicket and Play either.

Application frameworks

The situation is less nuanced here; Spring Boot is the clear winner.

Although Eclipse MicroProfile is a newcomer that only managed to gather votes from less than 15 percent of the respondents, it’s worth keeping an eye on it to see if and how the percentage changes in the years to come.

Let’s have a look at how these application frameworks performed in 2016 and 2017.

It’s safe to say that none of the application frameworks recorded any gains. Spring Boot has lost some points but this has not affected its reign. Akka scored 41.8 percent and ReactiveX, Vert.x and Lagom seem to have the same number of fans. The losers in this particular case are Dropwizard and Ratpack, which have failed to impress respondents this year.

UI toolkits

HTML5 is the clear winner, with a whopping 77.4 percent, followed by Bootstrap and Web Components.

Let’s have a look at the Java UI toolkits.

People’s interest in JavaFX has decreased a bit but it’s still ahead of Swing and SWT. Swing recorded a slight gain of 0.5 percent, which is pretty surprising since we’re talking about the predecessor of JavaFX.

It should be noted that starting with JDK 11, JavaFX will be available as a separate module, decoupled from the JDK. Oracle wrote in a white paper that JavaFX new fixes will continue to be supported on Java SE 8 through March 2022 and announced that they are “working with interested third parties to make it easier to build and maintain JavaFX as a separately distributable open-source module.”

If you want to read more about the decision to decouple JavaFX from the JDK, check out this article by Johan Vos in which he weighs in on the news and explains why it makes perfect sense to move the development of JavaFX to an open system.

JavaScript world

JavaScript frameworks are clearly the creme de la creme this time so let’s have a closer look at how the situation has changed in the past three years.

One trend stands out from the crowd and that’s the newly-found cohesion in the JavaScript universe. React, Angular and Node.js clearly satisfy people’s expectations and HTML5 and Bootstrap are also solid. We’re keeping an eye on Web Components.


That’s it for now! Next week, we’re analyzing the trends in software architecture. If you missed the top programming languages, you can find them here


This year’s survey was our most comprehensive to date — a huge thank you to everyone who participated! Most of the respondents (94.9 percent) were male but if we want to see the glass half full, the percentage of women who participated in the Technology Trends survey has grown bigger. This is no excuse and we do acknowledge the elephant in the room (a.k.a. the diversity problem in tech)  but we hope next year’s ratio will be even better.

If you’d like to have a look at our Women in Tech interview series or participate (drop us an email at [email protected]), here is the latest example.

The results also show that the number of young participants has increased. Last year, 20 percent of the respondents were under 31 years old, this year the percentage has increased considerably (28.9 percent, to be more exact). However, the bad news is that the percentage of people aged 50 and older has decreased (from 9.8 percent in 2107 to 8.5 in 2018).


Hartmut Schlosser
Content strategist, editor, storyteller - as online team lead at S&S Media, Hartmut is always on the lookout for the story behind the news. #java #eclipse #devops #machinelearning #seo Creative content campaigns that touch the reader make him smile. @hschlosser

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nitesh singh
nitesh singh
3 years ago

how can i comes to know everything about react js

3 years ago

I’m sorry, but i missed the point of put backend frameworks like JavaEE/Spring together with frontend frameworks like React/Angular in the same chart.
Ok, Angular/React is not “frontend only framework” as of JavaEE (specially JSF) and Spring is not a exclusive backend framework. But in a real project with database access (most of projects) you don’t solve your problems only with Angular or React

3 years ago

By the way, nice article!!
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