Enterprise Java

Synergizing Spring Boot and React for Web App Success by Using Hilla Framework

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, creating clean, maintainable, and efficient business applications is a paramount goal for organizations seeking to stay competitive and agile. Two technologies that have emerged as cornerstones in achieving this goal are Spring Boot and React. Spring Boot provides a robust and scalable backend framework, while React offers a dynamic and responsive frontend library. Together, they enable developers to build powerful web applications that meet the demands of modern business.

However, in a world where speed to market and rapid application development are key, there’s a need for tools and frameworks that can expedite the process without compromising code quality. This is where the Hilla framework comes into play. Hilla is a cutting-edge solution that seamlessly integrates with Spring Boot and React, empowering developers to create clean and maintainable business apps faster than ever before.

In this article, we will embark on a journey through the realms of Spring Boot, React, and the Hilla framework, exploring how they can be harmoniously combined to streamline the development of business applications. We will delve into the principles of clean code and best practices, uncovering how these technologies, when used in synergy, not only accelerate development but also ensure that your applications remain maintainable and scalable over time.

1. What is Hilla?

Hilla is a revolutionary framework designed to simplify and optimize the development of web applications built on top of Spring Boot and React. It serves as a bridge between these two powerful technologies, offering a wide array of features and tools that enhance the developer experience and accelerate project delivery.

1.1 Streamlining the Development Process

1. Code Generation

One of the standout features of Hilla is its code generation capabilities. It automates a significant portion of the repetitive and boilerplate code that developers often have to write when building Spring Boot and React applications. With Hilla, you can generate the foundation of your application, including controllers, services, repositories, and React components, with just a few commands. This drastically reduces the time spent on setting up the initial project structure and allows you to focus on implementing business logic and user interfaces.

2. Consistency and Best Practices

Hilla promotes adherence to best practices and coding standards throughout your project. It enforces consistent naming conventions, project structure, and coding patterns, ensuring that your codebase remains clean and maintainable. By adhering to these standards, your team can collaborate more effectively, and newcomers to the project can quickly get up to speed without encountering unexpected code quirks.

3. Seamless Integration

Integrating Spring Boot and React can sometimes be a complex and error-prone task. Hilla streamlines this integration by providing out-of-the-box support for handling data flow between the backend and frontend. It simplifies API requests, state management, and data validation, making it easier to build responsive and interactive web applications.

4. Real-time Collaboration

Hilla incorporates real-time collaboration features, allowing developers to work on the same codebase simultaneously. This is especially valuable for distributed teams or remote work setups. With live code synchronization, multiple team members can make changes and see updates in real time, fostering a more collaborative and efficient development environment.

5. Automated Testing

Testing is a crucial aspect of software development, and Hilla doesn’t leave this behind. It offers automated testing utilities and integrations with popular testing frameworks for both Spring Boot and React. This ensures that your application remains stable and bug-free as it evolves.

2. Bridging React and Spring Services

With Hilla, the arduous task of managing endpoints and deciphering intricate queries becomes a thing of the past. Developers can now seamlessly invoke Spring Boot services directly from their React client, effortlessly retrieving precisely the data they need. This breakthrough is accomplished by making use of Hilla’s powerful @BrowserCallable annotation, which extends the Spring @Service annotation. This direct communication approach streamlines data exchange, ensuring that the frontend receives precisely what it expects without any unnecessary overhead.

Let’s dive into how this works. First, you incorporate the @BrowserCallable annotation into your Spring Service class, like so:

Spring Service with @BrowserCallable Annotation:

public class ProductService {
    public List<Product> getAllProducts() {
        // Fetch products from the database or an external source

    public Product getProductById(String id) {
        // Fetch a specific product by ID

Using Hilla-Generated TypeScript Types in React:

function ProductList() {
    // Product type is automatically generated by Hilla
    const [products, setProducts] = useState<Product[]>([]);
    useEffect(() => {
        // Call the Spring service method to fetch all products
    }, []);

    return (
        <ProductTable products={products}></ProductTable>

In this example, we have a ProductService Spring service with @BrowserCallable annotation, which enables direct calling from the React frontend. The React component ProductList utilizes the generated TypeScript types to invoke the getAllProducts method and display the product data.

Another Spring Service Method:

public class OrderService {
    public List<Order> getRecentOrders() {
        // Fetch recent orders

Using Hilla-Generated TypeScript Types in React for Orders:

function RecentOrders() {
    // Order type is automatically generated by Hilla
    const [orders, setOrders] = useState<Order[]>([]);
    useEffect(() => {
        // Call the Spring service method to retrieve recent orders
    }, []);

    return (
        <OrderList orders={orders}></OrderList>

In this second set of examples, we introduce an OrderService Spring service with a different method called getRecentOrders. The React component RecentOrders uses the generated TypeScript types to fetch and display recent order data.

These examples showcase how Hilla’s @BrowserCallable annotation simplifies the interaction between React and Spring services, enabling developers to make direct, type-safe calls to backend methods without the need for manual REST endpoint declarations. This approach significantly streamlines the development process, making it more efficient and error-resistant.

2. Achieving Data Validation and Type Safety Consistency

Let us see how Hilla maintains data validation consistency between the backend and frontend.

Hilla’s exceptional feature lies in its ability to uphold data validation consistency throughout the entire application stack. Instead of defining data validation rules separately for the backend and frontend, Hilla streamlines this process. When you specify data validation rules on the backend, Hilla automatically generates corresponding TypeScript validation rules for the frontend. This dual-purpose approach not only boosts developer efficiency but also guarantees that data integrity is maintained consistently, regardless of where data is processed.

For instance, consider a scenario where a field in a Java class is annotated with @NotBlank, indicating that it should not be empty. Hilla ensures that this validation rule is seamlessly carried over to the React frontend.

Here’s how this works in action:

Java Backend Validation Rules:

public class Product {
    @NotBlank(message = "Product name is required")
    private String name;

    @DecimalMin(value = "0.01", message = "Price must be greater than 0.01")
    @DecimalMax(value = "10000.00", message = "Price cannot exceed 10,000.00")
    private BigDecimal price;

    // Getters and setters

Hilla useForm Hook in TypeScript:

function ProductForm() {
    const { model, field, submit } = useForm(ProductModel, {
        onSubmit: ProductService.saveProduct

    return (
            <TextField label="Product Name" {...field(model.name)} />
            <PriceField label="Price" {...field(model.price)} />
            <Button onClick={submit}>Save</Button>

Here, we use a scenario involving a product form. The TypeScript ProductForm component utilizes the Hilla-generated TypeScript model based on the Java backend validation rules for the name and price fields. Hilla ensures that the validation rules defined on the Java backend are automatically applied to the corresponding form fields in the React frontend, maintaining consistent data validation rules across the entire application stack. This consistency helps prevent data inconsistencies and provides a seamless user experience while streamlining development efforts.

3. Hilla: Streamlining Full-Stack Development and Future-Proofing Apps

Hilla emerges as a game-changer, offering a comprehensive toolkit to streamline the entire process. Its pre-built UI components, meticulously crafted for data-intensive applications, empower developers to create robust and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly. From data grids to forms and select components, Hilla covers it all, ensuring that your application’s frontend is both dynamic and efficient. What sets Hilla apart is its commitment to real-time capabilities, simplifying complex tasks like WebSocket management with support for reactive endpoints. Security is a top priority, as Hilla seamlessly integrates with Spring Security, guaranteeing robust access control and data protection. Furthermore, Hilla’s stateless design means that your application remains efficient even as user demands grow. Notably, this framework not only streamlines current development but also future-proofs your app. It ensures seamless integration of all components, making updates, and transitions between versions straightforward and hassle-free. With Hilla, full-stack development is a breeze, offering efficiency, security, and adaptability for the long term.

4. Wrapping Up

In conclusion, Hilla represents a significant leap forward in the world of full-stack development. Its pre-built UI components, real-time capabilities, and robust security integration make it a versatile and powerful tool for building data-intensive applications. Hilla not only enhances the current development process but also future-proofs your applications, ensuring smooth updates and transitions. As user demands continue to evolve, Hilla’s stateless design ensures that your application remains efficient and adaptable. With Hilla at your disposal, you can confidently embark on full-stack development projects, knowing that you have a framework that streamlines development, prioritizes security, and guarantees long-term success.

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