Tech Talks

Everything you need to know about Hilla

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In this installment of Optis Tech Talks, we talked to Kristof De Bock, who in turn told us everything about Hilla. Hilla is a modern web framework that helps you build apps faster with type-safe server communication, included UI components, and integrated tooling.

Hilla integrates a Spring Boot Java back end with a reactive TypeScript front end. It's perfect for fullstack developers with a backend preference because it allows them to more easily connect their backend logic with frontend components. But perhaps more importantly, it allows organisations to better connect their frontend and backend teams. Eager to learn more? Read Ahead!

Full Stack

Before diving into Hilla, it's important to know the differences between frontend and backend development. The front end is what users see and interact with, while the backend is responsible for  the data and functionality that powers the frontend. Both are essential for a well-functioning application. Traditionally, frontend developers have focused on building user interfaces and ensuring they are visually appealing and easy to use. Meanwhile, backend developers have focused on creating the logic and functionality that powers the application.

If you're a web developer, then you know that one of the most difficult/tedious parts of the job is keeping your frontend and backend code in sync. But what if there was a way to build your web apps using a single project that included both your typescript frontend and Java backend?

That's where Hilla comes in. Hilla offers a toolchain for building web apps that makes it easy for your frontend to communicate with your Java backend, thanks to automatically-generated TypeScript code. Not only does this make your life as a developer easier, but it also helps businesses ensure that their frontend and backend code stays in sync.


Starting at the back, Hilla uses Spring Boot, probably the number one industry standard in the world of enterprise applications. Introducing Spring Boot is out of scope for this article, but if you're involved in enterprise applications, chances are pretty good you know all about Spring Boot already.

What is interesting for backend developers is how Hilla makes it easier to take the kind of object oriented logic you're used to, and use it in your frontend as well. With Hilla, you don't have to worry about manually constructing URLs or dealing with complex data validation. Instead, you can access the server through async TypeScript methods, which are automatically generated based on your Java parameters and return types. This makes it easy to work with large APIs, as well as to keep your code consistent. In addition, Hilla's security features mean that your endpoints are protected by default.


In front, Hilla uses reactive programming model based on Lit, a lightning fast web component framework. As mentioned earlier, Hilla generates a lot of frontend boilerplate code, meaning you can focus on building the actual visual components without having to worry about how everything links up in the backend.

To make life even easier, Hilla also comes equipped with over 40 popular Vaadin UI components. Vaadin  provides a set of enterprise-grade components that are optimized for both desktop and mobile use. These components are designed to be accessible and easy to use, so that you can focus on building your application rather than wrestling with complex UI code. In addition, Vaadin components are fully themeable, so that you can easily customize their appearance to match your app's branding.

In summary, Hilla is a great technology, and we at Optis are eager to put it to good use for our clients. If you're looking for a full stack web framework that's easy to use and customize, then Hilla might be the right choice for you.

Talk to us today about how we can help you get started with this exciting new technology. Thanks for reading!

Kristof De Bock

July 18, 2022

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