Java is one of the most popular programming languages used today since its inception in the programming world. Programming with Java is incredibly common for enterprise and financial applications. Compared to other programming languages, Java definitely stands out in terms of functionality and security environment.
Java applications (especially server application) has become an obvious business need in the recent years. We will discuss how is Java good for your new project and how much is it beneficial for businesses these days, and why Java is match made in heaven for your project:
Java long history and popularity has produced a rich ecosystem of people and libraries. As a result, a very good implementation exists for nearly every modern pattern or computing concept. The ecosystem also tends to produce free and open source solutions for most common problems. Here what the rich ecosystem can benefit you:
- Great resources: Great libraries, framework or tools are available in many specific areas. As example, Java is the most popular language for open source large-scale data storage/retrieval projects, including Cassandra, Hadoop, Lucene, and Voldemort. It's also popular in academia, e.g. the Stanford NLP group.
- Lot of options: The choice is always open, as example although Spring framework is the most famous Java (Enterprise) framework, but options does exists like Play Framework or Spark.
- Community: If you wish to work with others who know Java, or might want to find other developers easily in the future, the ecosystem is big... very big. This is also the reason why Java is number one platform used for enterprise projects.
- Choice of IDEs: Developing Java in Eclipse or Netbeans, or even IntelliJ shows you the power of refactoring in strongly typed languages.
Code written in Java may be implemented, compiled and deployed on nearly every modern platform. For example, code can be written by a mixed team using Max OS X and Windows, and then tested in the server running Linux, before deployed to a cluster of Oracle Solaris. You want compiled-code performance and a well-established language on many platforms with good open source development tools. This is a huge advantage over platform-specific languages like C# or .NET (which is tends on to Windows platform).
Coffee Beans inspired Java Beans
Java code can easily mingle at the byte-code level with those languages. Certain components may lend themselves more towards one language or another.
We want our code to run on a platform that is highly stable and will still be available for many years. We want our program to highly scalable and excel in performance. Java (and JVM) has designed for this in mind:
- Modern JVMs have excellent Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation which allows Java byte code compiled on any platform to be converted to native binaries for the machine running the code. This provides performance that is quite comparable to code directly compiled for a given native system (e.g., C/C++).
- Further, HotSpot probably has most advanced JIT in the world and has become quite performant.
The definition of what exactly is a Java Virtual Machine is stated in the Java Virtual Machine Specification
The JVM is by definition a virtual machine, i. e. a software machine that simulates what a real machine does. Like a real machine, it has an instruction set, a virtual computer architecture and an execution model. It is capable of running code written with this virtual instruction set, pretty much like a real machine can run machine code.
HotSpot is an an implementation of the JVM concept. It was originally developed by Sun and now it is owned by Oracle. There are other implementations of the JVM specification, like JRockit, IBM J9, among many others.
The OpenJDK is a project under which an opensource implementation of HotSpot (and many other pieces of the JDK e.g compiler, APIs, tools, etc) is developed.
- Good performance to development speed trade-off: There's no doubt that Java is frustrating in its verbosity, and it's hard to manage your memory usage as efficiently as in C++. But no other language combines the libraries, tools, and memory management of Java with the performance it offers.
And the next advantage (although some people says this is the disadvantage) is the language itself.
- Familiarity: The syntax of Java is familiar to a huge number of developers who have been raised on C-based languages over several decades. While sometimes seen as a con, there is value in this. Also for people that familiar with C#, who always thinking that "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" always can make their bet for jump ship. Ironically some of the designs and features of C# is previously borrowed from Java.
- Refactoring: Dynamic vs. static languages always have trade-offs, but the strictly static nature of Java means very powerful refactoring capabilities. While the code itself is more rigid, it can be restructured in very methodical ways (Check the point about choices of IDEs above).
- Good ideas and evolving: Joshua Bloch and crew made some pretty solid language design choices. Interfaces are nice. Java's generics are way easier to use than C++'s templates. Closures are coming in Java 7. C++0X has turned into C++1X, and so on. The language itself is keep evolving, although never forget it's root.
A mature platform is only a plus because during this time a wide infrastructure and community have been formed. There are libraries and standard solutions to almost anything. In other words, a programmer simply has to link all solutions together and turn them into an application. You can improve the libraries if needed and use them for commercial purposes absolutely for free. And yes, Java enable this.