The Java CMS Trend

Content Management

Java was first introduced to the public in 1995. It is an object-oriented programming language mainly designed to minimize the implementation dependencies. Due to its platform independence, it has grown in popularity over the years. It’s the predominant language for enterprise applications, including enterprise websites, portals, mobile apps (Android), and other digital experiences.

In fact, according to Global News Wire, its international marketplace price value reached US$1.3 billion in 2019, and it is widely anticipated to attain US$2.8 billion by 2027. Java is very stable, and you can run the same code on the most recent version of JVM.  Thanks to Java’s popularity, there are plenty of Java CMSs and tools to support digital experiences using Java.

In this blog post, we’ll go over the concept of a Java-based CMS in-depth, including many aspects to consider while selecting Java CMS.

What is a Java CMS?

A Java CMS is simply a content management system that is built using the Java language and using Java-based technologies on the backend. This doesn’t limit the frontend application development languages or frameworks that may be used; in fact, some of the more modern headless CMSs are written in Java on the backend, but don’t require developers to ever write a line of Java code to build websites or apps.  A Java CMS is ideal at the enterprise level because of its rich history of support for developing modern web applications in a secure, scalable, and high performance manner. 

Benefits of a Java CMS

Java CMSs are robust tools with a myriad of potential benefits. Following are some of the vital benefits that a Java CMS provides.

Open Integration

Java CMS provides easy integration capability and is designed on open standards. Its primary goal is to become part of your online business ecosystem. It will have no limitations on your IT department’s development goals for future functionality.


Java CMS can check and handle memory management for developers and other management tasks. It is much more secure than many different programming environments because it is compiled into bytecode and runs directly on a JVM. As an enterprise solution, many Java platforms have been proven to meet the rigorous security requirements of major enterprises.


Java CMS platforms have supported libraries for different platforms like Windows, Linux, and macOS. Deployment is made a lot easier through a Java CMS. Due to the flexibility and scalability, it can meet the varied requirements of the deployment team.

Top Java CMS Platforms

There are around 24 Java CMSs in the market. Here are the top four Java CMSs in the market. For a Java developer, it is essential to have a standard platform to run the backend for many websites and other digital experiences. 

Crafter CMS

Crafter CMS is an open source, Git-based headless CMS designed for different types of digital experience apps and websites. It allows authors to create and manage content using multiple features like in-context editing, multi-channel preview, drag-and-drop page building. It provides developers with multiple out of the box APIs (REST, GraphQL, Javascript, Java), and also incorporates Groovy scripting into the platform to enable rapid Java-based development for integrations, creating new APIs, and building custom features. As a Git-based platform, it provides strong support for DevContentOps processes that streamline collaboration among developers, content teams, and IT ops. Its content delivery system follows a shared-nothing, stateless and serverless approach, so scalability is easy.


Magnolia is a Java Content Repository (JCR) standard-based CMS. As a JCR-based platform, it's based upon a database oriented architecture. It is available under an open-source license, and it provides strong content delivery capabilities. It follows W3 standards and incorporates a good amount of out-of-the-box functionality via modules. As a database-oriented system, it can be harder to manage content and code across environments, and elastic scalability can be a challenge.


dotCMS positions itself as a hybrid CMS built on Java technology that allows organizations to build dynamic websites, single-page apps and mobile apps. It provides a database-oriented content repository for content management and assets and can deploy them to multiple digital channels. It supports backend Java customization using OSGI, which can be quite cumbersome for development. As a database-oriented system, it can be harder to manage content and code across environments, and scalability can be more difficult.


OpenCMS is a traditional (not headless) CMS built in Java, and has a long history of use for mid-size websites. It provides a page editor, JSP support, Apache Solr integration, and W3C standards compliance. It may be downloaded and used for free under its open source license. As a database-oriented system, it can be harder to manage content and code across environments, and scalability can be a challenge.

How to Choose a Java CMS

Java is one of the most powerful development languages for an enterprise-grade CMS. It still tops the list when it comes to powering high performance, modern enterprise web applications. A Java CMS is the best choice for its agility, stability, and security.

Following are some of the critical factors that you should know if you are opting for Java CMS.

  • UI framework agnosticism: It should be UI framework agnostic, and it should allow the development team to choose its framework and UI tools that best fit. A robust set of APIs is a must, as is native support for modern Javascript frameworks like React, Vue, and Angular.
  • Fast development capabilities: It should enable developers to develop features and integrations faster, while collaborating with other teams throughout the organization. Allowing developers to use their own tools (IDEs, Git, etc.) facilitates productivity. Support for easy creation of APIs, integrations, and back-end services is helpful, especially using the Java-based Groovy scripting language.
  • Friendly content authoring: A CMS built on Java should provide the backend foundation for a strong enterprise solution, and support developer productivity, it should also provide robust and user-friendly content authoring, workflow, and publishing to the content teams. Support for DevContentOps processes that facilitate collaboration among the software and content teams should also be assessed.
  • Security, performance and scalability: Modern day Java and enterprise Java platforms (like the Spring Framework) provide robust security and performance. Don’t compromise this foundation with a CMS that introduces weakness when it comes to these factors. A modern Java CMS should incorporate stateless, serverless architectural principles, it should decouple content authoring from content delivery, and it should easily scale in the elastic cloud. 
  • Open source license: Open source CMSs generally are more robust, secure, cost effective, and offer various support options. 

Shortlisting Your Next Java CMS

When it comes to enterprise innovation, a modern Java CMS should be at the top of your list. Java CMSs like Crafter, Magnolia, dotCMS and others can empower enterprise developers, marketers and content authors, and operations teams to generate the pace of innovation your organization requires. Evaluate and measure your Java CMS candidates against your particular enterprise needs -- both short term and long term. For more information, Crafter Software has published this guide on how to choose a Java CMS.