Java is a high-level programming language and computing platform developed by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Since then, the language has been regularly updated with Java SE 8.0 version being the latest version, released in March 2014.
Based on the advantages of Java, it gained wide popularity and multiple configurations have been built to suit various types of platforms including Java SE for Macintosh, Windows, and UNIX, Java ME for Mobile Applications, and Java EE for Enterprise Applications.
With the growing importance of web-based and mobile-based applications, Java today is the foundation for most networked applications and is considered to be useful for scripting, web-based content, enterprise software, games, and mobile applications.
Applications of Java
Every enterprise uses Java in one way or other. As per Oracle, more than 3 billion devices run applications designed on the development platform. Java is used to design the following applications:
- Desktop GUI applications
- Embedded systems
- Web applications, including eCommerce applications, front and back office electronic trading systems, settlement and confirmation systems, data processing projects, and more
- Web servers and application servers
- Mobile applications including Android applications
- Enterprise applications
- Scientific applications
- Middleware products
Advantages of Java
- Java offers higher cross-functionality and portability as programs written in one platform can run across desktops, mobiles, embedded systems.
- Java is free, simple, object-oriented, distributed, supports multithreading, and offers multimedia and network support.
- Java is a mature language, therefore more stable and predictable. The Java Class Library enables cross-platform development.
- Being highly popular at enterprise, embedded and network levels, Java has a large active user community and support available.
- Unlike C and C++, Java programs are compiled independently of the platform in bytecode language which allows the same program to run on any machine that has a JVM installed.
- Java has powerful development tools like Eclipse SDK and NetBeans which have debugging capability and offer an integrated development environment.
- Increasing language diversity, evidenced by compatibility of Java with Scala, Groovy, JRuby, and Clojure.
- Relatively seamless forward compatibility from one version to the next.