If you have an interest in web development, you’ll come across the first hurdle many people in this field face: choosing exactly how to develop your websites. There are several programming languages, frameworks, and programs for web developers to utilize. Java web development is one option.
One of the most important things to decide when it comes to web development is which programming language to use. Among one of the most popular languages for web design is Java. Below is a guide to Java web development for those who want to start their career in this growing field.
What Is Java Web Development?
Web development is a process that encompasses all aspects of creating a website. A web developer may be responsible for client-side or server-side development. Some developers work in design while others focus on the functionality of a webpage.
The various hats that web developers wear mean there is a lot to learn when it comes to web development. However, it doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. As long as you start with the right tools and put in the effort, anyone can create a web application using Java.
Why Use Java for Web Development?
Java is one of the most popular programming languages around. In addition to a large amount of support, Java allows its users to create applications that are fast and customizable. The programming language shares similarities to other popular languages, such as C and C++. However, some key differences separate them.
While Java is object-oriented like C languages, it still has non-objective features due to it supporting primitive data types. Java is also highly-versatile. Developers use the programming language for mobile apps, desktop apps, and, of course, web apps.
A significant feature of Java is, in comparison to some C languages, Java code is easier to maintain. This is due to Java preventing developers from doing commands that could lead to poor programming. Certain things, such as memory access violations, don’t occur, meaning you avoid situations that cause your program or application to crash.
How to Become a Java Web Developer: A Step by Step Guide
There are several ways to develop Java web applications. Some people learn to do so through online courses and others go to school to develop these skills. In fact, some people even participate in short-term coding bootcamps to quickly gain the skills necessary for professional work as a Java programmer.
Step 1: Learn Java, HTML, and CSS
When starting your journey in web development, the first step is to learn the appropriate programming languages. Of course, with Java web development, your goal is to learn the Java programming language. However, you must also learn CSS and HTML.
HTML and CSS are vital components of any website. HTML is what makes a web page to begin with. When you’re writing code in Java, it becomes an HTML document for web browsers. An understanding of an HTML document’s structure is one part of web development that you must learn, no matter what programming language you use.
CSS, on the other hand, is what determines the style of a page and what it looks like. Things such as the colors you use, the fonts, even the layout of the page itself are all aspects of the CSS of a website. CSS is also what helps with making a webpage more responsive. Through CSS rules, it is possible to determine what a website looks like on the desktop and use an entirely different set of rules for mobile users.
While HTML defines what the content of your webpage is, CSS determines the way it looks. You create your web page and its content through Java. When using all of these elements together, it is possible to create any web page you wish.
Step 2: Choose Your IDE
When programming, one of the first things to do is choose your integrated development environment (IDE). This is a robust software that makes web application development and other programming projects much easier. Among the IDEs for Java out there today, below are some of the most popular.
Among the IDEs to use for Java, NetBeans is one of the best. Made by developers for developers, this IDE helps make coding as efficient as possible. The support allows developers to create web applications on the enterprise level, along with desktop and mobile applications.
This IDE also works on Windows, Linux, Mac, and even Solaris. From analysis to coding, design, debugging, testing, and deployment, NetBeans tackles it all in one convenient software.
Other plugins are also available for this IDE to make it even more robust, able to better identify errors in your code, and give you more resources for development.
Eclipse is a Java IDE and serves as one of the three best out there for Java. Eclipse comes with an assortment of tools that speed up the development process, which includes modeling, reporting, testing, and charting functionality.
In addition to an IDE with a long list of features, Eclipse also has a collection of libraries and packages, and interfaces with third-party solvers to further the efficiency of your development.
IntelliJ IDEA is the last of the three most popular Java IDEs out there today. This IDE has several features, such as data flow analysis, smart completion, static member completion, cross-language refactoring, and detecting duplicates.
IntelliJ IDEA supports Java app development and a long lost of Java frameworks, which makes it accessible to a long list of additional packages and library collections to further reduce the amount of work that goes into creating a website.
Step 3: Choose Your Java Web Frameworks
When it comes to web services and development, there are several tools out there to make your job much easier. These tools are frameworks. Frameworks are a collection of packages and libraries that make programming faster.
Not only do frameworks allow you to code and debug conveniently, but these programs also come with a list of features to reduce the amount of repeat code you write, find errors, and even predict code you write to help with speeding up the process.
There are several frameworks out there to choose from. Below are just a few to help you start your Java web development journey.
Spring is a web application framework that most Java web developers use. Spring comes with an assortment of features, which include great security tools for protecting your website. Due to its popularity, this framework comes with a great deal of documentation, making it easier to learn.
Hibernate is a framework that has a significant impact on the way we look at databases. This framework maps Java classes to database tables. Hibernate helps solve major problems concerning Java Database Connectivity (JDBC). Typically, JDBC does not support database migration, which means that some aspects may not work.
Through Hibernate, it is possible to couple the code with the database. This allows web developers to make code that is independent of the database.
If you’re new to web development, Grails is one of the best frameworks to learn. Grails is easy to learn and a full-stack framework for those who are new to programming.
This framework uses the Groovy programming language, but it works with Java. In fact, you can even integrate Java code with the framework and have a combination of Groovy and Java programming in your application with no issue.
ATG is a framework for those that want to create web applications in web commerce. This framework supports various B2C and B2B applications, no matter how huge and complex they are.
If you are just starting in web development and only working on small applications, this framework may be costly. However, if you have an interest in creating e-commerce sites, then ATG is a great framework to help with the development of your site.
Play is a Java framework that uses the MVC pattern. This open-source framework is similar to other popular ones, such as ASP.Net, Ruby on Rails, and Django. Asynchronous processing allows for better performance in your web applications and it uses reactive principles, which means no containers or states.
Conclusion: Create Complex Websites with Java Web Development
Once you have a certain level of familiarity with Java programming, your IDE, and a few frameworks, you can start creating complex web applications. Keep in mind that creating a website is no easy feat.
Not only must you have a strong understanding of the Java programming language, but you must also be familiar with HTML, CSS, and the IDE you use in order to incorporate all of the features you wish to see on your website.
There are other aspects of web development, such as performance, stability, and security that all come into play as you gain more experience with creating web applications.
However, the first and most important step is to start. As you gain more experience and knowledge, you’ll be able to create amazing web pages that have all the details you or your client desires. With Java web development, it’s possible to create any site you wish, no matter how complex.