When comparing Play 2 vs ActFramework, the Slant community recommends Play 2 for most people. In the question“What are the best Java web frameworks?” Play 2 is ranked 4th while ActFramework is ranked 5th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Very fast and easy to install, it is a revolutionary framework
Pro Great resources
With some basic starting tutorials and a fleshed out documentation, there will be no need to go asking others for help, there should be enough for a developer to find a solution.
Pro Asynchronous requests
Everything with Play has been built with asynchronous requests in mind. This will result in the application not blocking results while waiting on other operations. With this implemented your application can be developed with multiple threads in mind without worrying about hanging on one request before it completes another.
Pro Rapid application development
All error checking and testing done in the browser only needs a page refresh to show the latest updates. This is huge, allowing the ability to code in real-time and make quick edits. Without it the develop would need to reboot/recompile the entire application to test with new data.
Pro Supports Scala
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.
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.
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 backword-compatible
Applications that have been written in Play 1 will not be supported in Play 2 as the core of the framework was rewritten in Scala. This includes plugins that were working in Play 1 as well.
Con Becoming a Scala framework
As Play continues to develop and mature it seems as if it is becoming less of a Java framework as the core has been rebuilt in Scala. This may deter adopters.
Con Steep learning curve
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 Functional testing support still under development
Developers are still working on innovative functional testing support for Act.
Con Documentation is still being written
Act's documentation is still under development.