In its very early days, programming was a daunting task for any programmer. Different types and makes of computers had their own architectures, and with computing power being expensive, programmers were given the task to create specific machine instructions for their program. These instruction mnemonics, basically symbolic language that computers could read, would help different machines interpret the same program. The process of translating instruction mnemonics to processor opcodes and translating variables to opcode memory addresses was slow. Besides, large systems meant millions of such instructions. That is when higher level languages such as C and C++ came into play, and allowed programmers to spend more time on problem solving than on helping machines interpret commands.
The Origin of Java and .NET
Coding languages before Java and .NET would compile the source code and send it directly to the machine code so that the processor could execute. As a result, the processor alone could interpret the code, while the programmer had to manage resources like the allocated memory. Java and .NET freed up the programmer’s time by taking memory management off his hands. They could also examine the compiled code from within the running code, thus allowing the programmer to create rules for examining application code and repetitive programming tasks.
Advantages of .NET
- It allows the use of multiple languages
- It has horizontal scalability
- .NET creates a unified environment that allows developers to create programs in C++, Java or Virtual Basic
- Interfaces easily with Windows or Microsoft
- All tools and IDEs have been pre-tested and are easily available in the Microsoft Developer Network.
- UI best practices are more consistent
- Language integration is seamless, as you can call methods from C# to VB.NET
Disadvantages of .NET
- Limited object-relational (OR) support as it comes only with Entity Framework
- Does not come with multi platform support from Microsoft, and is not available right after installing Visual Studio
- The managed code can be slower than native code
- Involves a vendor lock-in, and future development is solely dependent on Microsoft
- Migrating applications to .NET can be expensive
Applications of .NET
- Developers can use .NET to design applications for specific business functions such as finance, CRM, supply management etc.
- It can also be used to re-design applications to serve growing needs of an organization
- Provides platforms, tools, and a programming environment for addressing the design and overall management of distributed and multi-tiered applications
- Provides individual and business users with a seamlessly interoperable and Web-enabled interface for applications and computing devices
- Allows the entire range of computing devices to work together
- Provides customized access and delivery of products and services to the user from a single starting point for managing various applications, such as e-mail
- Ready access to information and multi-user, multi-device synchronization
- Helps integrate various communications media, such as e-mail, fax and phones
- Java comes with better OR-support than .NET
- Prefers to keep everything in domain objects outside the database
- Build systems and CI tools are more advanced in Java
- Java community is better than the Microsoft Developer Network, as is the Java tool ecosystem which offers some of the best and most popular development tools and free integrating connectors
- Java apps are easily portable on any platform. This allows you to choose whatever OS you want for production and development
- Java platforms are backward compatible and migration between different Java platforms is smooth.
Disadvantages of Java
- It allows the use only of the Java programming language
- It is hard to call Scala functions from Groovy
- As a multi-platform programming language, Java is considered to be slower than some others and also requires more memory space
- More susceptible to security breaches because it is platform independent
Applications of Java
- Its versatility allows it to be equally useful for gaming, web and enterprise-grade applications
- Inbuilt networking features allow it to be used for developing network related programs and software
- Java generates static HTML content, so it can be used in web designing
- Developers use Java for application software development because it is an Object Oriented Programming language
- Java GUI is efficient, making it a preferred choice for creating app interface
Choosing between Java and .NET
There may not be a clear winner between Java and .NET. It is not possible for medium and large organizations to solely choose either app development framework because both have functions exclusive of each other. If the main purpose is to create software that is well tested and flexible, then both languages score well since they both offer sharply defined, independent, testable and loosely coupled code. Both offer a robust platform for software design.
Some factors that influence enterprises in their choice between the two are: complexity of the application, existing developer skills and infrastructure, application portability, cost of development and maintenance and so on.
In conclusion, both Java and .NET are here to stay. New languages are emerging on both platforms, with Scala and Groovy on Java, and F# on .NET being the more notable ones.