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What Does JavaFX Mean?

JavaFX is a software development platform designed for creating and deploying desktop and web applications that can be accessed through a variety of devices, such as desktop computers and browsers on macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows, as well as, Android and iOS devices.


The platform, as a whole, enables software developers to design, create, test, and debug their applications on various virtual platforms before deploying them to ensure their compatibility.

JavaFX’s scripting language works perfectly for developers looking to handle heavy graphics and rich user interfaces as it uses the graphics pipeline Prism to render the work. It contains rich graphic libraries that let developers create Graphical User Interface (GUI) applications.

Newer versions of JavaFX allow it to be used alongside HTML5 and JavaScript-based frameworks instead of using plug-ins that are no longer supported by a majority of devices and browsers.

Its rich library and flexibility made JavaFX the perfect software development solution for developers looking to create an app with as little hassle as possible. In addition to the archived features, JavaFX also provides users with interfaces and templates to combine numerous static graphics, animations, and complex UI control.

JavaFX is also compatible with multiple Java Virtual Machine (JVM) based technologies like Java, Groovy, and JRuby, allowing developers to mix and match their skillsets. However, it also offers complete functionality for users who only wish to use JavaFX without any additional technological work frames.

Techopedia Explains JavaFX

The Java coding language was first created in 1995 by Sun Microsystems for GUI programming, but its earlier version was too complicated for many developers. There have been multiple attempts by Sun Microsystems’—and its current parent company, Oracle—to make it more accessible. They released JavaFX Script 1.0 in 2008.

When that also failed, Oracle gave up on JavaFX as a scripting language and turned it into a functionality added to Java under the name JavaFX 2.0 in 2011. Over the years, there have been multiple upgrades to the original JavaFX making it more popular and accessible to developers, enabling them to write more powerful apps with fewer lines of code.

JavaFX Features

JavaFX releases after 2.2 contain a myriad of features that made it the go-to platform for GUI application development, including:

  • Written in Java – The JavaFX platform and resource library is entirely written in Java and can be used in tandem with JVM-based languages.
  • Web View – JavaFX uses the WebKitHTML technology to enable developers to embed active web pages into your apps.
  • Scene Builder – Part of the JavaFX platform is the application Scene Builder which minimizes the need for long lines of code. It instead lets developers drag and drop designs and features into their applications.
  • Rich Graphics and Animation Library – Developers can directly use 2D and 3D graphics and pre-made animation in their app without having to worry about quality or compatibility.
  • Self-Contained Application Deployment – An app created using JavaFX self-contained application packages has all the resources it needs to function properly. This means JavaFX apps can be launched and installed the same as native apps on an operating system without compatibility issues.
  • Canvas API – JavaFX’s Canvas functionality lets developers directly render API within their application package.

JavaFX’s Architecture and Projects

In addition to its rich library and features, what makes JavaFX superior at handling graphics is its architecture. The user starts working on JavaFX public APIs and Scene Graph, which handles the user’s input.

The engine that runs and processes the code lies under the public API, where subcomponents such as the graphics engine, windowing system, media engine, and web engine process the commands. The base of the entire architecture the JVM, which contains all of the previous parts alongside JavaFX’s tools, resource library, and APIs.

While JavaFX is known the most for its use in video games, that is not its limit. Its ability to handle complex and high-quality graphics made JavaFX the perfect platform for developing medical software that simulates surgery and similar medical procedures, like CuratorOR Caliop and FORUM.

It can also be used to develop apps for aviation companies for network capacity optimization, like the one used by Emirates Airlines to plan and integrate airplane routes and incoming requests.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.