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Is Java Still Popular with Software Developers?

Author: Sambit Ghosh | | November 3, 2022


On May 23, 2020, the Java programming language celebrated its silver anniversary, which marked 25 years since Sun Microsystems introduced the language. In a rapidly evolving technology world, that’s quite an accomplishment. Java became open source in 2006, and Oracle took over stewardship when it acquired Sun in 2010.

Today, Oracle is updating the platform on a regular basis, it’s still winning popularity contests, and it’s estimated that there are over 174,000 java developers working in the U.S. What are software developers doing with Java? There’s a relatively long list, and here are some of the key applications.

How Java is Used Today

1. Web Applications

Creating web applications is probably the most well-known Java use case in software development. To a large extent, Java’s ability to work with a large group of systems makes it a perfect language for the web, along with the large number of APIs that are available, and the enhanced security features, in more recent versions especially. Well known companies such as Amazon, Broadleaf, and Wayfair are examples of those using Java in their web applications.

2. Desktop GUI Applications

Java is especially suited for developing desktop GUI applications. A number of APIs are available that makes the process more efficient, including Swing and JavaFX. The interface is easy to learn, and it provides visual feedback. There are also advanced tree and 3D graphical models that developers find helpful. Example applications include Acrobat Reader and ThinkFree.

3. Mobile Applications

Developers like to use Java for mobile applications because it is a cross-platform framework and can run smartphones and other devices with smaller screens. Some well-known applications that use Java include Netflix, Google Earth, and Uber. Developers can produce simple code using Java and it offers a high level of security.

4. Enterprise Applications

According to Oracle, the Java EE platform is specifically designed for developers responsible for large scale, reliable, scalable, and secure network apps. The complexity in these types of apps can be reduced using the tools available in the platform. While the term enterprise application is widely used, many smaller organizations are taking advantage of the Java EE platform because today’s highly networked environment is a challenge faced by any size business.

5. Scientific Applications

Java is popular for producing scientific applications due to its robust features, strong security, and robust mathematical calculations. Combine those capabilities with its strength in cross-platform agility, and you find that calculations give the same result on different platforms. Widely used applications such as MATLAB include Java as one of the core system components.

6. Finance: Server Applications

The finance industry is a significant user of Java, especially for server applications. Developers of financial applications like Java for its calculation capabilities, security, and cross-platform capabilities. Java works exceptionally well when an app calls for receiving data from one server, processing it, and then sending the process data on to processes or other servers. Most of the leading financial organizations use Java including Barclays, Citi group, and more.

7. Embedded Systems

Developers challenged by creating low level systems that work together to complete the function of a larger system regularly turn to Java to meet their needs. This is another application where Java can help reduce complexity. The libraries in Java can be reused by embedded systems and increase productivity. Examples of use cases include SIM cards used in smartphones and Blue-ray disc players.

8. Big Data Technology

The world is producing increasing amounts of big data, which refers to data that isn’t uniform, and is generated in large volumes and at a faster velocity than normal. It is much more difficult to extract data from such a fast moving and complex data set. Java excels at supporting big data technologies such as Hadoop and Apache HBase.

9. Games

Java frameworks are collections of pre-written codes that predefine classes and functions to process input and code that manages how devices interact with software, and more. The wide range of open-source frameworks makes Java a popular tool for developing games like Minecraft and Mission Impossible II among many others.

Do You Need to Modernize Your Java Applications?

Java is used in so many ways, it’s obvious that it will be a popular language for years to come. However, many companies are using legacy applications written in Java that need to be updated to support modern architecture and cloud-native applications.

A survey conducted by InfoWorld indicates that 37% of Java developers are using Java 8, and the premier support for that version ended in March 2022. These legacy applications are going to have negative impacts on the ability of companies using them to remain competitive. Productivity, integration, and compatibility will be affected, and that’s just the beginning of the issues with using old versions of Java in legacy applications.

If you need to modernize your legacy Java applications, you know that you’ll need to overcome challenges and use best practices to make sure you can complete your modernization efforts successfully.

For more information on Java application modernization, download our white paper, “Reasons Why You Need Legacy Java Application Modernization”. As knowledgeable consultants in Java application modernization, we partner with our clients to give them the expertise they may not have in-house and the guidance they need to tackle modernization projects with confidence.

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