When comparing Play Framework vs ActFramework, the Slant community recommends ActFramework for most people. In the question“What are the best web frameworks to create a web REST API?” ActFramework is ranked 10th while Play Framework is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose ActFramework is:
You never restart while you're working on your Act application. Act's hot reload feature is fast and stable, it makes you feel like dealing with scripting language frameworks like Django or NodeJs. Watch this [video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68Z-jTL6fDg) and feel it.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Asynchronous Core
Pro Interoperable with Java
It's like Java, but more Haskell-y.
Pro Play is an extensive ecosystem
Play uses Akka for concurrency, Scala for a templating engine, Netty as a client-server framework and SBT (Simple Build Tool) for building. And they all come out of the box.
Play also comes with the option to scaffold your applications. Play is an all-embracing ecosystem designed to increase developer productivity and shorten development times.
Pro Good documentation and a great community
Play has quite a large community which provides numerous tutorials and videos related to developing with Play.
The Play official documentation covers many things, such as the framework itself but also specific stuff such as Akka, SBT and Netty.
There are also many big companies that base their main sites around Play, one of them is LinkedIn which provides third-party documentation on a regular basis.
Pro Simple for beginners
Play is very simple to get started. The documentation is very helpful for beginners and advanced users alike and the official website has a great "Getting Started" tutorial to begin developing with Play.
Pro Readable code
Play framework's convention over configuration methodology makes most Play projects have a very similar structure. This means that the code written for the framework is very readable. This enables a developer to switch between applications without having to relearn the ecosystem for every project. The built-in templating system also helps with code and makes it possible to have a very low count of lines of code.
Pro Good Websocket Support
Pro Can use Java, one of the most widely known languages
Java is one of the most widely known languages, so people coming from that background can jump right in and not have to learn a new language syntax.
Pro Hot reload
You never restart while you're working on your Act application. Act's hot reload feature is fast and stable, it makes you feel like dealing with scripting language frameworks like Django or NodeJs. Watch this video and feel it.
There are two aspects of performance: how quick a developer can deliver a feature and how fast the app is running on the product server. Act is designed to deliver excellent results in both aspects. With unbeatable developing experience, Act makes it very easy to release a feature; on the other side Act is very fast in runtime. Check out this 3rd party benchmark result.
Act is built as a stateless framework. It supports horizontal scale.
Act is built as a secure product. It provides built-in CSRF/XSS prevention mechanism. And act-aaa makes it very easy to implement Authentication/Authorization/Auditing in your app.
Pro Superb RESTful support
Act makes creating RESTful service a kids game. It features AdaptiveRecord (allows front end to drive the data structure), JSON response control (just declare the fields you want to present or hide) and RESTful URL routing with path variables.
Pro Easy to deploy
ActFramework is not a servlet framework and there are no requirements on containers/app servers. It has a small package size (a helloworld distribution package size is less than 20 MB), a small memory feet print (a helloworld app heap usage is less than 20MB) and a fast boot up speed (a helloworld app starts in less than 3s).
Act's view architecture is very flexible and support using multiple view engines in your app. The default template engine is Rythm, a very developer friendly and powerful template engine. Act also support other templating solutions including freemarker, velocity, thymeleaf, and mustache via plugins.
Pro Configuration for multiple environments
Act supports load configuration from a common dir and then overwriting it from a profile dir. Makes it very easy to manage configurations in different environments (e.g., dev, uat, sit, prod) Watch this video to see the innovative way Act delivers its configuration support.
Pro Concise and expressive
Act does not require you to put Annotation when it is able to infer the intention from other parts of the code, i.e., you don't use
@RequestParam to tell Act the binding parameter name. And you don't need a
ModelMap to bind variables to render argument names. Act has sophisticated byte class scanner to detect the variable names to do bindings automatically.
Pro Comply to standards
Act's IoC is built on top of Genie, a fast dependency injection library that fully supports JSR330, and Act's validation solution is built on top of JSR303. Act is NOT an odd framework to most Java developers. Unlike Play1.x, ACT applications follow the standard maven project structure and it is very easy to integrate other Java libraries.
Pro Database access
Act's DB layer is extremely easy to use. It supports SQL databases (through ebean orm) and MongoDB (through morphia). Using multiple datasource can never be that easy with Act's DB layer. Go here for more information on this.
Pro Fast and flexible routing
You can configure your routing in either Spring MVC/Jersey style with annotation or Play style with route table or a combination of both. Act's routing supports RESTful URL path variables, optionally validated with regular expressions.
Con Not as many resources to learn
Other languages and frameworks have countless tutorials, books, moocs, etc. Java and Play does not have nearly as much.
Con Backward incompatibility
The jump from Play 1 to Play 2.x caused a lot of confusion. While it is important to have some kind of evolution, sometimes it causes backward incompatibility which can create some problems. It makes tutorials or modules made for the old version obsolete. This can make it hard for beginners to find useful resources. The template engine which used Groovy now uses Scala.
Con Functional testing support still under development
Developers are still working on innovative functional testing support for Act.
Con Incomplete microservice support
Although Act is built to be a great framework that supports microservice development, it lacks some of the key features at the moment, like sending requests to other microservices from within the app, service governance, and messaging handling.
Con Very small community
As of February 2017, Act is a brand new framework (even though the project started at the end of 2014). Community is still forming.
Con Documentation is still being written
Act's documentation is still under development.