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Java

Reviewed by Justin StoltzfusCheckmark | Last updated: November 27, 2020

What does Java mean?

Java is an object-oriented programming language that produces software for multiple platforms. When a programmer writes a Java application, the compiled code (known as bytecode) runs on most operating systems (OS), including Windows, Linux and Mac OS. Java derives much of its syntax from the C and C++ programming languages.

Java was developed in the mid-1990s by James A. Gosling, a former computer scientist with Sun Microsystems, together with Mike Sheridan and Patrick Naughton.

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Techopedia explains Java

Java is an object-oriented language, which means all programs are made of entities representing concepts or physical things known as “objects”. Java programs are found in desktops, servers, mobile devices, smart cards and Blu-ray Discs (BD).

Common Applications of Java

Java produces applets (browser-run programs), which facilitate graphical user interface (GUI) and object interaction by internet users. Prior to Java applets, web pages were typically static and non-interactive. Java applets have diminished in popularity with the release of competing products, such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight.

Java applets run in a web browser with Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which translates Java bytecode into native processor instructions and allows indirect OS or platform program execution. JVM provides the majority of components needed to run bytecode, which is usually smaller than executable programs written through other programming languages. Bytecode cannot run if a system lacks the required JVM.

Java program development requires a Java software development kit (SDK), which typically includes a compiler, interpreter, documentation generator and other tools used to produce a complete application.

Development time may be accelerated through the use of integrated development environments (IDE) - such as JBuilder, Netbeans, Eclipse or JCreator. IDEs facilitate the development of GUIs, which include buttons, text boxes, panels, frames, scrollbars and other objects via drag-and-drop and point-and-click actions.

Where Java Is Used

Java derives its huge popularity from is platform independence. Java only needs a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to be installed in order to work, regardless of whether it is installed in a desktop PC running Windows, Linux, or Unix, a Macintosh computer, a smartphone or a mainframe computer. Here are some common places you'll see Java.

  • Android Applications: Most Android applications use Java API or are written in Java, so much so that Java is often regarded as the official programming language for mobile app development.

  • Desktop GUI Applications: Many desktop applications are developed in Java. Swing, Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT) and JavaFX are the main tools used for easy GUI development.

  • Web-Based Applications: Java is often employed to develop a broad range of interactive websites and web-based apps found in the insurance, social security, education and health sectors.

  • Financial and Retail Services: Java is used to write transaction management and billing applications, as well as server-side applications.

  • Science and Research: Java is the scientific community’s favored language for a broad range of mathematical calculations and other scientific operations. It can deal with huge datasets and big data technologies since it’s used for MATLAB and the Hadoop MapReduce framework.

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DevelopmentJavaSoftwareSoftware ApplicationsProgramming LanguagesObject Oriented Programming (OOP)

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