ZK Framework

The best open source Java framework for building enterprise web and mobile apps

Stay true to your Java roots and effortlessly keep up with the ever-evolving front-end technology

ZK aims to combine the simplicity and security from its server-centric architecture, and the beauty and dynamics from the evolving client-side technologies.

The shadow components can easily turn Bootstrap templates and off-the-shelf HTML pages into dynamic web pages with MVVM data binding in Java. Data-handler and client-side command binding makes it extremely easy to integrate and reuse any 3rd party Javascript widgets or libraries in the most beloved Java way, while allowing you to still enjoy the equally important server-side integration and security.


Shallow learning curve

ZK brings the simplicity of desktop programming to Java Ajax development, thanks to its event driven and component based patterns.

All events, server push, system events and user activities alike, are encapsulated as generic events to be handled generically. All components are LEGO-like building blocks which allow developers to compose an Ajax UI with ease.

In addition, ZK provides a markup language - ZUML, making the design of rich user interfaces as simple and fast as authoring HTML pages. No programming is required.


Server centric, no exposed business logic, light footprint

The client side implementation of ZK is based on jQuery, but all business logic is stored at the server meaning increased security for your application. This is a major concern for Ajax Enterprise applications based on Java.

If developers wish to use the client, ZK provides the ability to use JavaScript directly. Developer's can construct their java web applications primarily at the server but use JavaScript at the client to tweak their applications.

ZK provides a Load on Demand mechanism resembling a class loader to speed up loading of the JavaScript at start up. Additionally only the required JavaScript code for the Java Ajax application is loaded at the client ensuring a light client footprint.


Modern. Elegant. Diverse.

ZK comes with a modern and elegant design, allowing you to create beautiful applications in no time. In addition ZK offers a variety of more than 20 ready-to-use themes to fulfill different requirements; from business to consumer; from public portal to intranet, there is a best theme for you.

Switching between themes is extremely easy. With the help of cookies, you can easily empower your end users to choose and save their desired themes for providing personalized user experience.


Write your application once and have it run anywhere

  • Responsive design and components
  • Resolution optimized automatically for web, mobile & tablets
  • Only need to write once with one component set & one code-base
  • Excellent user experience across desktops and devices

Built on open-source technologies you know & love

ZK is built on open source technologies such as Java, jQuery and Bootstrap which have millions and millions of developers worldwide using them.

This gives a significant advantage as it cuts the learning curve of developers and designers when they want to use the framework, get to know the internals or customize and create their own components

Due to the widespread nature of these technologies it also means that ZK is helped by millions of developers to make ZK even better. Welcome to ZK's extended community.

Introducing ZK Enterprise Edition


Enterprise class support

ZK EE comes with exceptional supporting providing email supporting incidents with a 1 business day initial response time as well as remote consulting for cases where your development team wants to speak directly with a ZK developer.


Custom bug fixes

ZK EE also provides early access to custom bug fixes for those mission critical projects where you cannot wait the extra time for fixes. In addition to early access ZK EE developers receive prioritization over their bug fixes, meaning you get what you need quicker.


Gain speed and memory

ZK EE provides large performance boosts, meaning applications are not only more responsive providing a better experience for the user but also save you money due to less resources needed.


Improved server side & client-side performance

ZK EE comes with Render-on-demand technology ensuring only what is needed is rendered. This reduces the memory and processing power necessary at the client and server thus saving money and providing a better user experience.


Easily incorporate 3rd party layout

The shadow elements in ZK EE, in combination with templates enable dynamic component control under the MVVM pattern. This avoids accessing components in the ViewModel and prevents additional DOM elements being generated, greatly simplifies custom or 3rd party layout (ex. bootstrap) integration.


29 themes for all kinds of applications

ZK EE developers have access to all public themes, ZK Theme Pack themes, and ZK Atlantic Theme and can choose a theme that best fits their application from a total of 29 options. Developers can also include multiple themes in the same application and allow their end users to personalize their experiences.


Included components which adapt to any device

ZK EE includes responsive components which will adapt themselves to whichever device they are running on such as desktop, tablets or mobiles. This saves developers huge amounts of time as once an application is written for the desktop it will work well on other devices.


Display massive amounts of data

ZK EE specializes in showing large amounts of data and even has a specific component named Biglistbox to handle these situations. The Biglistbox enables developers to effortlessly display huge amounts of data while including as much functionality as ZK’s listbox.


Laying out your components is easier

ZK EE comes with extra layouts including the portal and table layouts meaning that creating complex user interfaces is easier than ever before!


Embed ZK into JSP

ZK EE enables developers to embed ZK into JSP using JSP tags. This makes it incredibly easy for developers to add AJAX functionality to their already existing JSP applications.

See Feature Comparison