With a plethora of programming languages out there, Java has been one of the most popular ones since its inception. It is a general-purpose and class-based programming language. The Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) feature of Java makes it more popular. This implies you need to write the code once and compile it. That compiled code runs on all other Java-enabled machines without the need to recompile.
In 1991, James Gosling, along with Mike Sheridan and Patrick Naughton, started the project of the Java language. Initially, they named it Oak after the oak tree in front of Gosling’s office. Later, they renamed Green, and finally, they decided to move with ‘Java’ named after the Java coffee.
Java is a versatile programming language that is used to create a wide range of applications. If you want to explore what the Java language is used for, this article is for you. Let's talk about the factors contributing to the Java language's popularity along with the applications.
Various features of Java make it a more versatile and popular programming language. Here are some major features of Java that you be aware of:
- Platform independent
- Dynamic and extensible
- Write once, run anywhere
- High performance
If you want to explore more about the features of Java, you can check out here .
Why Should You Learn Java?
Let us throw light on some reasons for learning Java.
Easy to Learn
Java is a simple programming language that is easy to learn if you are familiar with the C and C++ languages. This is because Java has analogous syntax to C and C++. Also, James Gosling designed Java by keeping five core principles in mind.
Widely Used Programming Language
Java is a versatile language and is widely used for building a variety of applications, from desktop applications to games. It is, therefore, among the programming languages that is most frequently used.
As Java is a widespread and popular language, companies and organizations are seeking individuals who are proficient and skilled in Java. They offer attractive packages to professionals having expertise in Java.
The WORA feature of Java, in addition to portability and scalability, makes it a more flexible language. It enables an already compiled Java code on one machine to directly run on any other Java-enabled machine .
What is Java Used For?
Java is used for the development of the following applications:
1. Gaming Applications
Today, many indie game development companies leverage Java to create video games and mobile games. In fact, many popular games, including Minecraft, Asphalt 6, Tetris, Space Invaders, and Mission Impossible III, are developed in Java. Java’s open-source and powerful 3D game engine, JMonkeyEngine, makes it a popular choice for video game development.
2. Web-Based Programs
Initially, Java became a popular programming language for web development because of the ability of Java applets to run in a browser. It is well-known as a server-side language for creating responsive web applications and websites.
However, the use of Java applets for developing web applications is a pretty old idea. Today, a galore of Java frameworks for web development are available out there, such as Spring, Hibernate, Apache Hadoop, JavaServer Faces, and Struts. Amazon, Broadleaf, Aliexpress, LinkedIn, and Wayfair are popular websites developed using Java.
3. Internet of Things (IoT) Applications
Java is an ideal language for developing IoT applications because of various reasons, as follows:
- The first reason is that Java is platform agnostic, i.e., you need to write code only once and run it on any system that supports Java.
- Another reason for Java to be an ideal choice for IoT applications is its adaptability and flexibility as it is used in developing a variety of applications, such as web-based, desktop, mobile, and gaming.
- Furthermore, it becomes easier to integrate multiple technologies while working with Java than with any other language.
For all the aforementioned reasons, Java has its application in embedded electronics, medical gadgets, and automotive navigation systems.
4. Big Data Applications
Though Python is the most preferred programming language for big data, many programmers and organizations also prefer Java. The reason is that many big data tools , such as Hadoop, Spark, Storm, and Deeplearning4j, are developed in Java.
Moreover, some outstanding features of Java, such as automatic garbage collection, stack provision system, and memory distribution, make it a great choice for building big data applications. Also, Java has a huge community and gets strong support when it comes to big data.
5. Android Apps
The official language for developing Android applications is Java. Most of the Android applications we use today, such as Spotify and Twitter, are developed using Java. The most popular Android IDE named Android Studio leverages Java for building Android applications. More interestingly, the Android operating system is developed in Java.
So, if you have profound knowledge and hands-on experience with Java, you can easily get started with Android development.
6. Desktop Applications
Since its inception, Java has been an ideal language for building desktop applications. More specifically, it is widely used for creating desktop GUI applications. Popular Java libraries, such as AWT, Griffon, JavaFX, and Swing, provide Java developers with pre-built components, such as buttons, menus, text fields, and many others, to facilitate the development of desktop applications.
7. Distributed Applications
A distributed application is one that has either one or more clients, whether they are remote or local, communicating with one or more servers on multiple machines over a network.
Java Intelligent Networking Infrastructure (JINI), which is a distributed computing environment from Sun Microsystems, makes the development of distributed applications more simple than ever.
8. Enterprise Development
Java Enterpise Edition (Java EE) is dedicated to developing enterprise applications. This edition has APIs and runtime environment features for writing and running enterprise software applications, web services, and network tools. In addition, the high performance and speed of Java make it a suitable choice for building enterprise software applications.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are examples of enterprise applications developed in Java.
10. Scientific Applications
When it comes to developing applications that involve mathematical operations and scientific calculations, Java is the most preferred programming language. The robust features of Java have made it possible to develop scientific applications that solve real-world problems using mathematics.
Moreover, Java provides a fast, highly portable, and secure environment for scientific applications to run. One of the most popular programming platforms, called MATLAB (Mathematics Laboratory), leverages Java for developing the front-end and back-end of scientific applications. JSP (Java Server Pages), servlets, and struts are intended for the front-end, while core Java with servlets can be used for the back-end.
11. Embedded Systems
Embedded systems or integrated systems combine several small computing units together to carry out specific functions for larger systems. Many people use embedded systems unknowingly. Some of the examples where embedded systems are used are a motor system, eCommerce, networking, and mobile computing.
Java is the primary language for the development of embedded systems. As Java is fast, it is extremely helpful while using low-powered and low-speed processors.
12. Web Servers and Application Servers
A web server is both hardware and software that leverages various communication protocols, such as HTTP, to respond to user requests with the desired web pages over the web. It is responsible for making websites run by storing, processing, and displaying the web content to users.
An application server is a type of server that manages the installation, operation, and hosting of associated services and applications for organizations, IT services, and end-users.
There are a lot of web servers and application servers developing Java. Web servers that Java provides include Apache Tomcat, Rimfaxe Web Server (RWS), Apache HTTP Server, Simple, Jo!, Resin, and Adobe JRun. Application servers developing using Java are JBoss EAP, WebSphere, WebLogic, GlassFish, and WildFly.
13. Software Tools
Software tools are a suite of computer programs that help developers in designing, building, testing, and maintaining software applications. NetBeans and Eclipse are popular software tools developed in Java. They are IDEs that bring several developer tools under one roof to facilitate the development process.
14. Trading Applications
Along with the web and software development industry, Java has paved its way in the trading industry. It is used for developing various trading applications. Murex, a trading and risk assessment platform, is developed in Java.
15. J2ME Applications
J2ME stands for Java 2 Micro Edition. It is a technology that lets developers leverage Java and other required technologies to build applications for mobile wireless information devices, such as cellular phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
16. Server Applications in Financial Industry
Financial companies leverage a variety of software programs to carry out their day-to-day activities, such as data processing, writing settlements, and many others. Most of the software programs used in this industry are developed in Java. The reason is that Java is the most preferred language for creating server-side applications. Popular financial institutions like Goldman Sach, Barclays, and Citi groups leverage Java-based software programs.
17. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the breakthrough technologies. It is a branch of computer science that deals with the development of applications that mimic human intelligence. And Java is one of the best languages for developing AI projects. Its features such as easy-to-debug, better user interaction, easy-to-code, and many others make it a more preferable language than others.
Top Companies That Use Java
Many notable companies, such as Uber, Netflix, Instagram, Google, Airbnb, and Spotify, use Java. Here are some companies that leverage Java for their projects:
- Netflix: It is one of the leading US-based entertainment companies that offer movies, serials, and series via streaming media. It is developed using Java.
- Google Android: Most applications of Android TV and the Android OS itself is developed in Java.
- NASA Word Wind: Word Wind is a NASA project, which is a 3D visual globe that displays geographic data. It leverages aerial photography from the NASA spacecraft and generates 3D models of planets. The Java-based Word Wind project works with all of the main operating systems.
- Minecraft: It is a widely-played and popular computer game developed in Java.
- Spotify: It is today’s one of the most popular audio streaming services. Java powers its website as well as its Android application.
As Java is capable of building a wide variety of applications, it is a versatile language. It has emerged as one of the top programming languages among others because of its high performance, quick speed, scalability, dynamic nature, and platform independence. Not only is it a perfect choice for desktop, mobile, enterprise, and web-based applications, but it also has its application in big data, IoT, and video games.
So, kick-starting your career as a Java developer would be a wise and lucrative decision because of the popularity and applications of Java.
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