Unlocking Web Potential: Converting Java Swing to Web Applications

In today’s evolving business landscape, an application is the best way for a business to boost its operations and offer convenience to its target audience.

As everything is easily accessible via a web browser today, desktop apps are slowly becoming obsolete.

Java Swing is a popular GUI that is used to create desktop applications. Several businesses across the world use these apps. But in the past few years, many have migrated to native web apps. Why?

I found some stats where 51% of IT spending will be diverted from traditional solutions to the public cloud by 2025. This spending was 41% in 2022.

As we have apps like Google Drive, Instagram, Skype, etc., already hosted on the cloud, migrating to the cloud has become a necessity to fight the competition. If you plan to migrate your Java Swing app to the web, this blog is for you!

Why Migrate to Web Apps?

Your question is genuine. Why should you migrate to a web app? Well, there are several reasons!

Though Java Swing is highly customizable, flexible, powerful, and platform-independent, it has some drawbacks that make web apps superior to it. I have listed some of the primary ones for you!

  1. Dip in performance: Java Swing apps are slower in performance than web apps. The overhead of running the JVM, aka Java Virtual Machine, makes them lose their performance, especially in complex applications with large amounts of data.
  2. Look and feel: Yes, Java Swing apps have a pluggable look and feel. However, it can be tough to customize the app to provide them with the look and feel of native apps. Java Swing may not be a good choice for providing an omnichannel user experience across all platforms.
  3. Not Mobile-friendly: Today, most users access apps on their mobile phones. Java Swing is a desktop-based GUI that cannot support mobile devices.
  4. Higher resource consumption: The resource consumption (RAM) of the Java Swing app is significantly high. If you are running a complex app with more active users on a machine with low-end or average configuration, it can be tough to operate.

How do you Convert Java Swing to a Web Application?

After I have stated the drawbacks of the Java Swing app, let’s understand how you can convert a Java Swing app to a web application. To convert a Java Swing application to a web app, you can use the open-source server Webswing. And that’s all you need!

Webswing seamlessly converts a Java Swing application to a web application. All you need is a web browser to run it.

Here are the detailed steps to do the same!

  1. Begin by downloading Webswing from the official website.
  2. Download the zip file that contains your Java Swing desktop application.
  3. Create a folder for the app in the C: drive of your PC.
  4. Unzip both the Webswing.zip file and yourrapplication.zip file in the folder.
  5. Run the command, C:\webswing\webswing-examples-20.1.6\webswing.bat to start Webswing. Webswing uses http port 8080 and https port 8443.
  6. When you see the message ‘Started,’ access Webswing at http://localhost:8080.
  7. Sign in with your credentials.
  8. Click on ‘Manage’ followed by ‘Create new app’.
  9. You will see the Create New Application dialog. Add the name of your app in the path field.
  10. Your application will be created using the name ‘my application’ (not the actual name that you entered earlier). Click on the ‘Config’ option that is parallel to it.
  11. Once you click the ‘Config’ option, you have to fill in some crucial fields to run the application. These fields are the home folder, security module name, class path, name, and main class.
  12. When you have filled these fields, click on ‘Apply’ at the top of the page.
  13. The name will change from my application to the application name (your actual app name), indicating that your configurations have been saved.
  14. Now, tap on the ’Applications’ tab followed by the ‘Enable’ button.
  15. The status will change from stopped to running.
  16. Run the application by navigating to http://localhost:8080/youractualapplicationname.

You will see that your app is seamlessly running on the browser, just like the desktop version.

Note: The installation steps may vary based on the version of Webswing.

What are the Benefits of Converting Java Swing App to Web App?

I have discovered several benefits of converting a Java Swing application to a web application.

1.    Cross-platform compatibility

The prime benefit of converting a Java Swing app to a web app is cross-platform compatibility. As browsers can be accessed on laptops, tablets, and smartphones, your app will be available to the users at all times, irrespective of the devices and operating system.

2.    Less infrastructure cost

As web applications are stored in the cloud, you won’t have to make hefty infrastructural Investments.

3.    Faster deployment and updates

A good thing about web apps is that you can receive app updates online. You don’t have to manually download the updated software version to your computer. Moreover, with the help of the internet, the deployment process is faster.

4.    Easily scalable

Java swing apps are reliant on hardware requirements. If the number of app users increases, you may have to change the hardware configuration, which is a lengthy and costly process. As web apps are stored on the cloud, they can be scaled seamlessly, as there is no need for any hardware configuration changes.

5.    Better user experience

Unlike Java Swing, web apps can provide a more intuitive and better user interface to your users. With the help of ingenious technologies like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, the look and feel of the app can be enhanced significantly. Consequently, leading to a better user experience.


The modern-day market competition is cut-throat. If you have observed that almost every app that was on the desktop is now on the internet. A great example of this is Skype. Not only do web apps open a wide angle of opportunities for you, but they also charge up the user base almost instantly.

Java Swing apps can be a bit difficult to migrate. But, with the right tools and professional legacy app migration services, it becomes a cakewalk.