Are you thinking about choosing a software developer as a career? Well, in that case, you must be well-versed in any one of the programming languages. However, to increase your chances of getting selected by top companies, you should be able to develop more than one technology. Therefore, budding developers and computer science students are looking for a programming language that can help them develop more than just one technology. In such a case, Java can come quite handy as it is one of the most popular object-oriented programming languages.
Besides, Java comes with popular security features that make it a great choice for projects where security is a major concern. With the use of Java, one can even develop enterprise-level applications, network applications, web-based applications, and games as well. But that’s not where the use cases of Java end. The prime objective of writing this article is to help people understand the importance of Java and where it can be used.
Real-Life Applications of Java
It would come to you as a shocker, but right now, more than 3 billion devices are using Java in one way or the other. This figure will be shown to you when you are installing Java in your system. In addition, one of the reasons for the implementation of Java in so many systems is because it is a requirement of Microsoft Windows. With Java, one can use the true potential of APIs, which could help the programmers to develop better functioning applications. As a Java developer, you can create applications that solve different purposes, and we have discussed some major use cases in this section below.
1. Mobile Application
Starting the list with the obvious application of Java, we have the mobile app development. Java is considered the official language used in developing a mobile application, whether you create it for iOS or Android. A Java developer develops almost every application which is there on Android. The most popular software to develop a mobile application is Android Studio, and it uses Java for developing Android applications. Thus, if you have learned the basics of Java and its syntax, then creating a new mobile app will be pretty easy for you. Some well-known and most downloaded Java-based mobile applications are Twitter, Spotify, Instagram, Twitch, Snapchat, etc.
On the other hand, Java is both a specialist language as well as a C-based programming language. It allows young developers to understand the flow and the writing of the code easily if they have learned the C language. When developing a code for the app, you need not write the whole code from scratch. One can download the libraries and the framework from other similar projects and use them in their new project. This makes Java the top choice for creating new mobile applications.
2. Desktop-based GUI Applications
Graphical User Interface applications are the most common software programs, and making them using Java is pretty simple. Java comes with AWT, JavaFX, and Swing, which provide many developing frameworks for desktop-based GUI applications. There are tons of pre-built frameworks which are listed and can be used as per the project requirements. The real-world examples of GUI applications based on Java are Acrobat Reader and ThinkFree.
3. Web Applications
Java is most commonly used on the server-side of web applications, and its implementation allows a web page to be more dynamic, making the web page more interactive when a user views it. Various methods can be used to create dynamic web pages via Java. Some of the common technologies which Java provides are peer-web services, database connectivity, and back-end services. Apart from these services, some other Java web applications can help a developer to create amazing applications, and these are:
Servlet API: The API has a number of interfaces which are Servlet, filter, filterchain and servletconfig. When a developer deploys Servlet on the server, the capability to perform multitasking and handle the requests from various resources increases. The applications which are developed by using Java Servlet API follow the reliable method of the request-response model. Moreover, it is a platform-independent service, and it can also be used in collecting inputs via web page forms. Displaying the data out from the database or even from third-party resources.
JSP: Java Server Page (JSP) is the functionality that developers use worldwide to create dynamic web content at a rapid speed. This web content is both platform and server independent. Instead of using another CGI to provide dynamic elements in your HTML pages, a developer can benefit from JSP technology and get the whole Java APIs in one go.
Furthermore, the JSP tags can make web development much easier as they help insert the Java code into HTML pages. A JSP page is created of static data, which can be easily written in HTML, WML, XML, etc. When you use JSP, you get to add snippets of servlet code straight to the text-based document. If you are going to develop a web application using Java, you will need JSP to create dynamic web pages.
4. Enterprise Applications
The Java Enterprise Edition (JEE) is the Java architecture used to create distributed web and enterprise-level applications. The Java architecture gives you a better understanding of issues during the presentation and application development. JEE can also follow the creation of structured applications around modules that work for various purposes. On the other hand, with the implementation of EJB 3.2 components, one can create distributed and secure applications that can also support transactional data.
With the JEE, a developer or team of developers enjoys reduced development time, reduced application complexity, and improved performance of the application. You get an inline configuration with annotations, which makes the deployment of descriptors optional. Also, there is dependency injection, hiding of the source creation, and lookups are available from the application’s source code. The latest version of JEE is Java EE 7 that comes with all the advanced features, frameworks, and libraries that a developer needs to create a world-class enterprise application.
5. Embedded Systems
The initial implementation of Java in embedded systems did take some time due to the heavy processing which is involved in these types of systems. Along with this, the Java used in these systems requires a user to provide a large memory resource, but the common Java platform only holds about 5 MB of space.
Some companies did try to reduce the libraries that come as pre-selected functionality to get along with this requirement. But the applications that were being developed using this Java platform are quite poor in their performance and even come with a limited number of libraries. The main solution came from IS2T that created a completely new Java package called MicroEJ. This package consists of multiple libraries that are structurally thought and were made from the ground to solve one purpose, and that is to be used with embedded systems. If you now use MicroEJ on a Cortex-M, its boot time will be less than two milliseconds, along with 120Mhz. On the other hand, the fully-functional graphical interface now only takes about 90 KB and 140 KB of memory to run a program.
6. Server Apps for Financial Services
One of the first things that a financial institute looks for in the programming language is the security of its program. If the program’s base, which is the code in which the program is written, is not secured enough, the whole program can be compromised. Java security includes some of the best security features in the market such as a massive set of APIs, tools, and other implementations that are being commonly used as security algorithms and protocols. As a result, banks, investment companies, and other wealth-driven businesses use Java to write up the server-side application’s code. This server-side application will perform the receiving of data from one server and process it. Once the data is being processed, it will send the data to the server or other processes if required.
The most prominent Java security architecture is Java SE which is a standard-based and interoperable extensible security platform. The security features include cryptography, authentication, and authorization of public keys and other infrastructure required to keep the data safe and secure.
Most Popular Java Frameworks
Frameworks are tools that are used to develop an application, they can make the life of a developer pretty simple, and there will be no more coding hazards. As a result, both the developer and the business can focus on the logic of the business and how to expand it rather than finding issues in the code and solving the bugs.
Finding the right type of framework for any project might be a little daunting at the beginning, but once you start using them frequently, you can easily make out which one is a better option for the specific project. Given below, we have discussed some of the major frameworks that are being used when Java is the chosen programming language for developing an application.
Spring changed how we look at application development with its concept of dependency injection and aspect-oriented programming. The main use of Spring is in enterprise application development as it can create loosely coupled modules where the dependencies will be handled by the framework rather than the libraries which are used while writing the code.
The Spring framework is pretty exhaustive, and it has tons of features, including security and other minute configurations, which are easy to implement in the code. Lastly, just like many of the Java frameworks that you are about to see, Spring is also open-source and can be used without any license or subscription.
The Apache Struts works with Model View Controller, and it extends to the JSP API. With its usage, you get to separate View, Controller, and the Model data. Each of these will be bound by each other via configuration file struts-config.xml. The controller, in this case, becomes ActionServlet, where one can easily write templates for custom views, and the data which is being sent by the user will be taken care of by ActionForm JavaBean. The view will be maintained by the rich set of tag libraries. If you are using Struts, you will have no problem setting it up as it is said to be more flexible and extensible from other MVC approaches that use servlets and JSP alone.
The Play was designed for both web and mobile applications. The main reason for using Play is to make the applications highly scalable. Moreover, you can use Play with other programming languages like Python and Ruby as well. If you are looking to create an enterprise-level application using Play, then you need to look for some other framework because Play can only be used for content creation. Besides, the Play framework is easy to use even for beginners as it focuses more on convention rather than configuration, and you can even receive error messages straight from the browser itself. In case you are looking for creating a high-performance application, then Play will be the best framework for you as it supports non-blocking I/O and has a better failure tolerance along with flexibility.
With the Dropwizard framework, you get to create applications that are based on RESTful web services at a much faster development speed. It’s a user-friendly and easy-to-understand framework. If we look at the Dropwizard, we can see that it is made up of a collection of Java libraries. Making it available to be used in most Java applications. Moreover, when you are using Dropwizard, all the dependencies will be stored in one ecosystem of a framework which is Dropwizard.
One can work with Swift natively when using Dropwizard. Likewise, it has the highest number of Java libraries present in any framework. As a result, Dropwizard is said to be one of the best frameworks to use to increase your productivity and development speed. Lastly, this framework is still under development, and new Java libraries are being added to it each week. But we have seen a prodigious development in the last decade.
Java can considerably lower the programming time and can help a programmer include tons of features while keeping the security, efficiency, and productivity of the application in good health. There is no doubt all programming languages have their pros and cons. But in the case of Java, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. Java is one of the oldest programming languages, and we are sure it is going to remain as the top competitor in the programming world in the coming decade. Thus, now is the right time to learn this language and unlock its true potential in your projects.