Java: An Overview

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According to ZDNet, there are more than 7.6 million Java developers around the world – it’s huge, right?

Well, the demand for Java developers is increasing day by day and it’s the best time to learn the Java programming language.

This is a completely free and detailed tutorial and resource page to start learning Java for beginners.

Here, we will discuss the following Java-related topics:

  • What is Java?
  • Where Java can be used?
  • Types of Java Applications.
  • Java Platforms/Editions


What is Java?

Java is a programming language and a platform, created in 1995.

Java was developed by Sun Microsystems (which is now a subsidiary of Oracle) in the year 1995. James Gosling is known as the father of Java.

It was intentionally designed for coders to get the benefit of write once, run anywhere (WORA), meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. The Java program is compiled to bytecode and that bytecode can run on any JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

Java includes the features like:

  • Robust
  • Object-oriented
  • Platform-independent
  • Simple and Secure
  • Interpreted
  • Distributed etc.

Where Java is Used?

As Java is a general-purpose programming language and according to SUN, 3 billion devices run Java at the current time.

There are many devices where Java is used. Here is the list of some of them:

1. Desktop Applications such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, Media Player, Antivirus, Eclipse etc.

Desktop application

2. Web Applications such as, snapdeal etc.

Web applications

3. Gaming such as Android games, Minecraft, Space Invaders, etc.

Gaming Applications

4. Embedded systems such as Microwaves, Mobile etc.

Embedded system

5. Smart Cards, Robotics etc.

apps in java

Types of Java Applications

1. Standalone Application

The standalone application is also called a Desktop or Window application.

This means that it runs locally on the device and doesn’t require anything else to be functional. All the logic is in-built into the app, so it doesn’t need an internet connection nor any other services installed rather than software.

Some of the Standalone applications are Media players, antivirus, etc needed to be installed in every system.

2. Web Application

Web Application is the client-server software that runs on the server side after the client’s request and creates a dynamic page.

This application is a collection of dynamic resources (such as Servlets, JavaServer Pages, Java classes and jars) and static resources (HTML pages and pictures). A Java web application can be deployed as a WAR (Web ARchive) file.

Currently, famous web applications are Facebook, Twitter, online forms, shopping carts, word processors, spreadsheets, video and photo editing, etc.

3. Enterprise Application

Enterprise application is a large software platform designed to operate in a corporate environment such as banking, business etc.

It is developed to satisfy the need of an organisation rather than an individual. It is highly secure and reliable for use.

4. Mobile Application

The mobile application commonly called an ‘app’ is designed to run on mobiles and tablets.

Mobile applications are generally small, individual software units with very limited functions.

Currently, Android is mostly used to design mobile games.

Java Platforms or Editions

There are 4 platforms or editions of Java:

1. Java SE (Java Standard Edition)

Java SE is a Java programming platform. It includes Java programming APIs such as, java.util, java.lang,, java.sql, etc.

Java SE was formerly called Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE). This platform lets you develop and deploy Java applications on desktops and servers.

This Java Platform includes core topics like OOP, String, Exception, Inner classes, Multi-threading, I/O Stream, Networking, AWT, Swing, Collection, etc.

2. Java EE (Java Enterprise Edition)

Java EE is an enterprise platform which is mainly used to develop web and enterprise applications.

The Java EE stands for Java Enterprise Edition, which was earlier known as J2EE and is currently known as Jakarta EE is a set of specifications wrapping around Java SE (Standard Edition).

It includes topics like Servlet, JSP, Web Services, JPA, EJB, etc

3. Java ME (Java Micro Edition)

Java ME is a micro platform which is mainly used to design mobile applications.

This platform provides a robust, flexible environment for applications running on embedded and mobile devices.

4. JavaFX

It is used to develop rich Internet applications. It uses a lightweight user interface API.

JavaFX was officially released in the year 2008 for the purpose of creating User Interface Applications.


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