Introduction to Java

Java is an object-oriented language similar to C++, but with advanced and simplified features. Java is free to access and can run on all platforms. Java is a high-level, object-oriented language, class-based, and runtime environment(JRE) which consists of JVM which is the cornerstone of the Java platform. It is rapidly evolving across several fronts to simplify and accelerate the development of modern applications.

History

The Java Programming language was developed by a small team of engineers, known as the Green Team, who initiated the language in 1991. Originally called OAK, the java language was designed for handheld devices and set-up boxes. OAK was unsuccessful and in 1995 Sun changed the name to Java and modified the language to take advantage of the burgeoning World Wide Web. Later in 2009, Oracle Corporation acquired Sun Microsystems and took ownership of two key Sun software assets: Java and Solaris.

Use of Java

Java has been used in different domains. Some of them are listed below:

Banking :

Third-party trading application, which is also part of the bigger financial services industry, also uses Java. A popular trading application like Murex, which is used in many banks for front to bank connectivity, is also written in Java.

Software Tools:

Many useful software and development tools are written and developed in Java e.g., Eclipse, IntelliJ Idea, and NetBeans IDE.

Android

Any app in Android phone are actually written in Java programming language, with Google’s Android API, which is similar to JDK.

Retail

Billing applications that you see in a store/restaurant are completely written in Java.

Java Web applications

Java is also big on E-commerce and web application space. You have a lot of RESTfull services being created using Spring MVC, Struts 2.0, and similar frameworks. Even simple Servlet, JSP, and Struts based web applications are quite popular on various government projects. Many governments, healthcare, insurance, education, defense, and several other departments have their web application built in Java.

Big Data technologies

Hadoop and other big data technologies are also using Java in one way or other e.g., Apache’s Java-based HBase and Accumulo (open source) and  ElasticSearch as well. Java is not dominating this space, as there are technologies like MongoDB, which is written in C++. Java has the potential to get a major share of this growing space if Hadoop or ElasticSearch goes big.

Features

Some of the features of Java in detail:

Simple:

The Java language is easy to learn and its coding style is easy to read and write. It contains many features of other languages like C and C++ and Java removes complexity because it doesn’t use pointers and doesn’t support Multiple Inheritance.

Object-Oriented :

In java, everything is an object which has some data and behavior. Java can be easily extended as it is based on Object Model. The following are some basic concepts of OOPs.
  • Object
  • Class
  • Inheritance
  • Polymorphism
  • Abstraction
  • Encapsulation

Robust:

Robust simply means strong. Its capability to handle Run-time Error, automatic garbage collection, the lack of pointer concept, Exception Handling, etc. makes Java robust

Platform Independent:

Unlike many other programming languages including C and C++, when Java is compiled, it is not compiled into a platform-specific machine, rather into platform-independent byte code. This byte code is distributed over the web and interpreted by the Virtual Machine (JVM) on whichever platform it is being run on.

Secure

 

All the code is converted in bytecode after compilation, which is not readable by a human. and java does not use an explicit pointer and run the programs inside the sandbox to prevent any activities from untrusted sources. It enables the development of virus-free, tamper-free systems/applications.

 

 

Multi-Threading

Java multithreading feature makes it possible to write a program that can do many tasks simultaneously. The benefit of multithreading is that it utilizes the same memory and other resources to execute multiple threads at the same time, like While typing, grammatical errors are checked along.

Architectural Neutral

Java is architecture-neutral because there are no implementation-dependent features, for example, the size of primitive types is fixed. In C programming, int data type occupies 2 bytes of memory for 32-bit architecture and 4 bytes of memory for 64-bit architecture. However, it occupies 4 bytes of memory for both 32 and 64-bit architectures in Java.

Portable :

Java programs can execute in any environment (Linux, Window, Mac, etc.) for which there is a Java run-time system (JVM). That really means there are no implementation-dependent features

High Performance

Java achieves high performance through the use of bytecode which can be easily translated into native machine code. With the use of JIT (Just-In-Time) compilers, Java enables high performance.

Distributed

Java is distributed because it facilitates users to create distributed applications in Java. RMI and EJB are used for creating distributed applications. This feature of Java makes us able to access files by calling the methods from any machine on the internet.

Dynamic

Java is considered to be more dynamic than C or C++ since it is designed to adapt to an evolving environment. Java programs can carry an extensive amount of run-time information that can be used to verify and resolve access to objects at run-time.

Java Editions

Java Editions or we can say the platform is a collection of programs that helps to develop and run the programs that are written in Java Programming language. Java Editions include execution engine, compiler, and set of libraries. Java is Platform independent language so it is not specific to any processor or operating system.

Java Standard Edition

It has concepts for developing software for Desktop based (standalone) CUI (command user interface) and GUI (graphical user interface) applications, applets, database, Interaction application, distributed application, and XML parsing.

Java Micro Edition

Before the days of iOS and Android, Java Micro Edition happened to be an important platform for feature phones and early smartphones for games and some basic applications. iOS and Android both never supported Java Micro Edition applications, so nowadays it does not play a major role anymore. It featured a subset of the Java Class Library and offered some additional APIs to work with mobile devices. Java Micro Edition got a second life as Java Micro Edition Embedded, which can be used for commercial IoT devices.

Java Enterprise Edition

Java Enterprise Edition is a set of specifications and extending Java SE 8 with features such as distributed computing and web services. The applications of Java Enterprise Edition run on reference runtimes. This reference runtime handles transactions, security, scalability, concurrency, and the management of components to be deployed. Java Enterprise Edition is also known as Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE), and currently, it has been rebranded as Jakarta EE.

JavaFX

Unlike many other programming languages including C and C++, when Java is compiled, it is not compiled into a platform-specific machine, rather into platform-independent byte code. This byte code is distributed over the web and interpreted by the Virtual Machine (JVM) on whichever platform it is being run on.

Some of the amazing Java Frameworks

Java framework is a type of framework specific to the Java programming language, used as a platform for developing software applications and Java programs.

A framework is a body of pre-written code that acts as a template or skeleton, which a developer can then use to create an application by filling in their own code as needed to get the app to work as they intend it to.

A framework is created to be used over and over so that developers can program their application without the manual overhead of creating every line of code from scratch. 

Java frameworks may include predefined classes (categories of objects) and functions that can be used to process, input, and manage hardware devices, as well as interact with system software. This depends on the type of framework, the programmer’s skill level, what they’re trying to accomplish, and their own preferences.

Popular Frameworks

There are a lot of Java frameworks out there. Some of the popular are:

Note that each of these has its own benefits and can work best for different business use cases. We cannot say which is better because they are all good in different scenarios.

Spring

Spring is a very lightweight implementation of the Java framework, usable for pretty much any type of Java project. It’s a modular framework that you could use for any level or layer of a project. What makes it stick out is the fact that you can use it to work on not just one layer of a project but also the entire scope.
If working in the MVC architecture is your thing, you’ll love Spring. The framework also has good security features that you can just call as already written functions. This makes processes such as authentication, verification, and validation so much easier to include (properly) into any project.

Hibernate

This mapping Java framework cracks object-relational impedance mismatch issues by substituting persisting DB accesses high-level object handling functions. With every enterprise application being one of a kind, Hibernate is equipped with a great feature suite that helps backend developers fine-tune data access layer. Hibernate is an advanced ORM framework that lets you perform the database operation on Java objects (entities). It is a persistence concept that utilizes Hibernate cache to persist the data from the Java environment to the database.

JSF (JavaServer Faces)

JSF is a specification for displaying web user interfaces that are defined as part of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (JEE). JSF is component-based, allowing it to be expanded with additional components. As JSF is part of the Java standard, it is popular with development teams that want to stick to published standards for increased portability across platforms. JSF also allows existing backend Java code to be extended with a web interface without having to refactor the base application by introducing a new framework.

GWT (Google Web Toolkit)

Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a framework obviously created by Google to create rich internet applications in Java. One of the best features of GWT is that it converts Java code into JavaScript code – that too custom code based on the browser. With GWT open-source set of tools, we can write highly performant web applications in less time. The framework also provides extensive widget libraries that can perform most of the tasks making it easy for even a beginner in Java to develop business logic. There are three major components of the GWT framework – the Java to JS compiler, the JRE emulation library that sits on top of the core JRE library, and the GWT UI building library that includes the UI components, history management, and many more features.

Struts

Maintained by Apache software foundation, Struts is an enterprise-level java framework. It enables software developers to develop numerous enterprise-level Java applications. This framework usefully used to develop web applications. This framework consists of classes and interfaces that can solve a particular type of problem.

Blade

The Blade framework is a very lightweight fork from the larger Let’s Blade project. If you’re predominantly a solo programmer (a freelancer, maybe) and speed is of the essence, Blade will have you making apps in no time.

Most of the work is already done for you when you start a Maven project. All you have to do is add the most current dependencies to your config file and you’re good to go. There’s no external server required, much like Node.js, from which a lot of inspiration was drawn when making the Blade framework.

Play

Play is a slightly conventional and unique type of framework that follows the approach of convention over configuration. It is based on the MVC pattern and is an open-source web application framework. To use Play, one only needs a web browser, any text editor, and some inkling of how the command interface works on any OS. Because it’s so lightweight and because it has seamless NoSQL compatibility, it’s perfect for mobile development as well.

Vaadin

Using GWT for rendering the end web page, Vaadin became one of the uber-popular frameworks modern developers choose when creating applications for business. Utilizing a well-known component-based approach, Vaadin takes the burden off the developer’s shoulder by communicating the changes made to the browser. An extensive set of UI components, along with varied widgets and controls, allows programmers to build cool applications in no time.

Grails

Grails is an object-oriented language and helps developers in opinionated APIs, sensible defaults, and convention-over-configuration. It offers excellent features such as Compile-time meta-programming, run-time and domain-specific languages, and asynchronous programming. It integrates easily with Java Virtual Machine. It is a web application framework and its syntax is complied with JVM and is compatible with Java also works excellent with Java technologies even if required coding. It is a user-friendly framework that increases the productivity of the developer. It is a dynamic framework used to create content management systems, e-commerce websites, etc.

DropWizard

Another Java framework true to its name – wizard. It is an open-source framework. This light-weight framework lets you complete your application very fast because it’s out of the box support for advanced configurations, logging, application metrics, and much more. You can create RESTful web applications that give high performance, are stable and reliable. DropWizard brings together a host of libraries like Jetty, Guava, Jersey, Jackson, and Metrics amongst many others from the Java ecosystem into one framework and gives you a light-weight and lean application. 

Since there are integrated libraries for all the configurations, security and performance-related tasks, all you need to do as a developer is building your business logic.

Introduction to Java
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