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The Future of Java

Author: Sambit Ghosh | | November 8, 2022


The first version of the Java programming language was released in 1995, and it’s still going strong today. Java is used for web applications, desktop GUI applications, Android smartphones, cloud-native applications, and more. It creates applications that are light and fast, and it can be used for complex business applications. But with a language that is over 25 years old, it’s logical to wonder about what will happen to Java in the future.

Some have said that Java is dead or dying. But, there are many indications that Java isn’t going away any time soon. This post cites a number of reasons why that is true.

What is the Future of Java?

Programming languages come into and out of popularity over the years, but there aren’t too many that have the staying power that Java has. Here are some key factors that define the future of Java.

Java is Everywhere

Java has been around a long time and there are many applications, both old and new, that are written in Java. It is unlikely that businesses will suddenly decide to rewrite applications in a different programming language. In fact, IT leaders have enough of a challenge just keeping up with modernizing their existing Java applications.

Java switches places in “most popular language” lists with Python and others on a regular basis, but Java is typically somewhere in the top three.

Java is Platform Independent

Java skyrocketed to popularity when it was first introduced because it is platform independent. And, that remains as a strong advantage for Java today. Relatively few changes are needed to run a program on Windows and Linux, for example, making Java a good general-purpose programming language. It’s known because you can write code once and run it anywhere.

Robust APIs

Java has a very useful Application Programming Interface (API) that comes with the Java Development Kit (JDK). For example, the Java Compiler converts source code to something known as java byte code. You can compile source code on one platform and run it on other platforms.

There are strong Java APIs for exceptionally secure mobile applications development. This makes Java a popular choice for financial institutions that are developing mobile apps for their customers.

Ease of Learning

While opinions vary, most experts agree that compared to other languages, Java is easy to learn. That is an advantage for new programmers. It’s also helpful to employers who want to bring on entry-level employees and allow them to become productive rapidly.

Consistent Updates

Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, the original owner of Java, in 2010. Oracle now issues new updates on a regular basis. They are also releasing new versions. While many Java applications are using Java 8, the latest version is now Java 18, while Java 17 is the most current Long-Term Support (LTS) release at the time of this writing.

Extensive Libraries and Frameworks

Given its longevity, there are extensive libraries and frameworks that Java developers find helpful. These tools help to create high-quality applications in a short period of time. They make Java popular with developers and the businesses those developers work for see advantages in terms of speed and reduction in errors.

Java’s Support Community

The social network and many forums give Java developers a sense of community. Developers can go to places like Stack Overflow to ask questions and get answers from experienced developers. The guidance is extremely helpful and it’s all free.

From Simple to Complex

Simple applications are easy to create in Java. But, it is also useful for creating complex business applications. It is scalable, flexible, secure, and dependable. The availability of a variety of development tools is a big part of Java’s appeal. It can support workloads required at an enterprise level. It is also easily integrated with other programming languages.  Frameworks such as Spring, Spring Boot, Servlets, and many others, provide support for developers building complex enterprise applications.

Cloud-Native Compatibility

Java is the language of choice for many developers who are building cloud-native applications. The mobile market is full of examples of Java applications, and many of Java’s frameworks are cloud native.

Backward Compatibility

Businesses looking for applications that will serve their needs for the long-term love Java. The stewards of Java are dedicated to ensuring that code written today will compile into byte code that will run on a server built in 2011. It may sometimes slow down the evolution of the language, but the trade off in terms of backward compatibility is one that many businesses and developers embrace.

The Chinese Market

What does China have to do with it? The internet developed later in China than in most other parts of the world. By the time of widespread internet adoption in China, smartphones were already developed. What that means is that 99% of the users in China use smartphones to access the internet. And, since the Android operating system was built on a version of the Java programming language, the Chinese demand for applications that run on Android will be an ongoing force in the use of Java around the world.

Are Your Legacy Applications Running on an Old Version of Java?

While Java will be used for the foreseeable future, if your legacy systems are running on an old version of Java, you need to do something about it. Modernizing your legacy Java applications involves updating your version of Java and typically, moving your applications to the cloud.

If you’re faced with that challenge, you can learn more about what outdated legacy systems are doing to your business and discover how you can undertake Java application modernization to keep your business growing. Simply 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. Download the white paper or contact the experts at Datavail today.

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