Since its creation in 1995, Java has become one of the world’s most popular programming languages. This is despite the fact alternatives have popped up over the years, trying to usurp Java’s dominance. But none of them has. So the question is, why?
Developers love Java’s versatility, reliability, and ease of use, and they use it for a wide range of tasks. What can you develop with Java? Developers use Java as the server-side language for most back-end development projects, including big data and Android development. They also use Java for desktop computing, mobile computing, and games.
In this blog, we’ll explore the questions of what can you develop with Java and why it continues to be one of the most popular programming languages today.
Why is Java used in software development?
There are so many reasons why software developers continue to use Java. Here are some of the main ones:
One of the main advantages of Java is that it’s platform-independent. This independence means Java code can run on any platform without needing changes to the code.
Not having to change the code is due to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This machine interprets and executes the Java code on any platform with a JVM installed.
Java is an object-oriented programming language, which means it’s designed to support the concepts of objects, classes, and inheritance. This design makes Java programs easier to write, read, and maintain, as it simplifies complex problems.
Java’s emphasis on error-free programming and runtime checking helps developers achieve better results. In addition, Java was designed to be robust, meaning it can handle errors and exceptions. This robustness makes Java programs more reliable and less prone to crashing or failure.
Simplicity & multithreading
Java is easy to learn and use, with automatic and structurally stable processes that make it ideal for beginner developers. Java’s multithreaded nature also lets programs run and execute simultaneously, reducing CPU load.
Java has built-in security features that protect it from vulnerabilities, making it a safe choice for developing apps that handle sensitive information. In addition, Java provides several layers of security by default, such as no explicit pointer, classloader, and bytecode compilation.
Java is free of dependencies and variants, with bytecode interpreters that can be employed on any platform.
Distribution & versatility
Java’s distributed language system enables secure code access and movement between machines. Java is also widely used in creating web apps, Android apps, and software development tools.
Java features an English-like grammar that makes it easy to learn and use, even for beginners. Java is also well-documented, with a full guide that explains any issues that may arise when coding in Java.
Java has a large community of developers and users, which means a wealth of resources are available for learning and troubleshooting code. Java support is also available from the second-largest Stack Overflow community.
Java is a high-performance language that can run programs faster than other programming languages.
Now that we’ve identified the benefits of Java and why software developers use it, let’s dig deeper. What can you develop with Java?
What can you develop with Java?
#1: Mobile apps
Java is one of two official programming languages for developing Android – Google’s mobile OS. (The other language is Kotlin.) Modeled on Java, Android holds 71.95% of the global market share for mobile devices.
Java is also used to develop Android apps. For example, many popular mobile apps are Java-based, including Netflix, Tinder, and Uber.
The official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing Android apps using Java is Android Studio. These applications can be pre-installed or downloaded from Google Play Store.
#2: Internet of Things (IoT) Devices
When combined with the IoT, Java’s capabilities become even more powerful. Without human intervention, the IoT lets devices, software, and the Internet communicate and share data. This gives previously static devices new capabilities.
With the help of Java and AI, devices can be powered remotely, and technology can connect appliances and objects. For example, an app on your mobile phone can turn on your slow cooker, even when you’re far from home.
Java is a popular language for IoT device development because it’s platform agnostic. This lets developers create code that can operate on a variety of devices. What’s more, Java’s ease of integrating multiple technologies has made it a go-to language for various industries, including automotive navigation systems, medical gadgets, and embedded electronics.
#3: Cloud applications
Industries across the world rely on the cloud for various services, including storage and file sharing, and Java is well positioned to capture this demand. That’s because Java’s high performance, scalability, and reliability make it a great programming language for building cloud applications.
There are many features that make Java one of the go-to languages for cloud computing and data collection. For example, Java’s “write once, run anywhere” (WORA) feature makes it perfect for decentralized, cloud-based applications. So too does Java’s ability to work with big data.
Many of the world’s biggest companies use Java to create cloud-based applications, including Gmail. Java also powers part or all of the backend stack of many companies, including Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter.
Gone are the days of long wait times and tedious phone calls to reach a representative from the business you need to speak with. Today, technology offers solutions to complex inquiries.
Chatbots that are powered by AI and built using Java are essential for addressing consumer questions and issues. In addition, they serve as marketing tools across various industries, including healthcare, retail, finance, and media.
Chatbots address minor medical-related questions and concerns, resolve issues with orders, and provide information, among other services. This convenience adds value to businesses, making chatbots a popular choice for industries that deal with clients and consumers.
Java is a popular programming language for game development, particularly for Android devices. It powers games like Minecraft. Java’s high performance also makes it a preferred language for running apps smoothly on these systems, and the open-source tool jMonkeyEngine makes it possible to add 3D to games.
While some developers avoid Java for games due to garbage-collection issues that can lead to performance problems and frequent app pauses, many indie games still use the programming language. However, developers typically opt for programming languages such as C# and C++ for bigger games. Game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine support these languages.
Nonetheless, Java is an excellent choice for those who want to study graphics and game development from the ground up. Several frameworks and libraries are available to support Java-based game development, including LibGDX and OpenGL.
#6: Enterprise applications
Java is popular for developing enterprise applications, which organizations use to conduct their day-to-day operations. One reason is Java’s scalability, which allows growing enterprises to keep up with their efforts.
The Enterprise Edition of Java (Java EE) further supports Java’s popularity. Java EE is an entire set of APIs designed for enterprise apps, and it facilitates efficient and easy scripting while providing libraries that support the language.
Java’s powerful features also deliver high performance, making applications more powerful, secure, and easily scalable. According to Oracle, almost 97% of enterprise computers run on Java, with most enterprise applications being developed in Java.
#7: Big data
If you want to work with big data, Java is a must. Java’s speed and reliability make it an ideal choice for data-related tasks. In fact, Apache Hadoop, a tool designed specifically for processing large data sets, is built using Java.
Another popular tool for working with large amounts of real-time data is Apache Kafka. LinkedIn developed this tool, and it’s written in Java and Scala. Companies like Paypal and Pinterest use Kafka to handle their data needs. Kafka can process large amounts of data, meaning users can observe errors and anomalies throughout their applications.
Although there are many popular programming languages for big data, Java remains a top choice among programmers. This popularity is because many well-known big data tools, such as Hadoop and Deeplearning4j, are built using Java. The language also has excellent community support for big data technology, making it an attractive option for those in this field.
#8: Desktop GUIs
Java is a powerful language for developing GUI applications. It provides several APIs and features, such as AWT, Swing, and JavaFX, that enable the development of advanced graphical apps, including 3D applications.
Creating client-side desktop applications is one of the most popular uses of Java. End-users can install a Java runtime environment (JRE) on their system. It’s available for all major operating systems and comes pre-installed on most Linux distributions and some BSD variants.
Java is also well-known for creating GUIs for desktop apps. This is because there are lots of Java Frameworks available that make GUI application development straightforward. Some of these frameworks include Swing, AWT, JavaFX, and Griffon.
Several real-world desktop tools, such as Acrobat Reader and ThinkFree, have also been developed using Java. So if you plan to create a desktop app, Java is an excellent option.
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What can you develop with Java? As we’ve seen, Java is a versatile language that can do a bunch of different things. It’s popular with developers, and the examples we’ve gone through show just a few of the many possibilities.
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