What are the applications of Java?
The origins of the Java programming language date back to 1991. At that time, Patrick Naughton, James Gosling, and Mike Sheridan decided to visualize the dream of creating a simple language that could be run on different platforms. Five years later, the work saw the light of day as Java 1.0.
Today, the language, also known as “write once, run anywhere,” is a high-level programming language primarily used to create the backend of web applications. However, it can also be used to develop desktop software or games.
Moreover, Java is finding its way into embedded systems, thanks to Oracle Java Embedded. Examples include SIM cards, VOIP phones, Blu-ray disc players, TV sets, electricity, heat or water consumption meters, and others.
Thanks to cross-platform Java Virtual Machine interpretation, Java is portable, object-oriented, fast, and secure. There is a large community behind it that is constantly watching over development, and the number of ready-made libraries available makes programming much more effortless.
For this reason, Java is eagerly used by large companies and corporations. Applications such as Gmail, OpenOffice, Minecraft, LinkedIn, Netflix, and Amazon, among others, have been written in Java.
Java application example
Now it’s time find out what are the top 10 real-world applications of Java programming.
1. Java GUI desktop applications
Java is beneficial in developing desktop applications. This is possible thanks to APIs such as:
AWT – or Abstract Windowing Toolkit, is used to create windowed applications. AWT contains a sizable collection of classes dedicated to creating graphical user interfaces in Java. With Abstract Windowing Toolkit, it is possible to create a window, work with images and drawings, and use buttons, scrollbars, or drop-down menus in projects.
Swing – is, in turn, an improved version of the AWT library, which includes GUI widget tools. In addition, it provides developers with many advanced components such as tables, trees, scrolling, or tabbed panels and lists. Importantly, Swing is architecture-independent and “adopts” automatically the appropriate appearance adapted to the operating system.
JavaFX – is the successor to the mentioned earlier AWT and Swing, a library recommended by Oracle with the release of Java 8 for creating a graphical user interface. JavaFX allows you to create applications that look more modern, are just as powerful, and you can keep your code much more readable.
What desktop applications have been developed in Java? Acrobat Reader, Media Player, ThinkFree.
2. Java web applications
A web application is an interactive program running on a server, accessible from any web browser. This means that you do not need to install the application on your device to access it, but an Internet connection is necessary. Java provides many opportunities to create such digital products thanks to the following:
Spring Framework with Spring Boot are the most popular frameworks to build modern Java web applications in 2023.
Hibernate – a framework that enables object-relational mapping (ORM), which is mapping class objects to a database. In simplest terms, it is responsible for the convenient application communication with the database.
Besides, web servers such as Apache Tomcat, Apache HTTP web-server, Resin, and ecommerce web applications like Broadleaf also play an essential role in Java web application development.
What kind of web applications has been developed in Java? Gmail, Amazon, Google Sheets, Wayfair, or Google Slides.
3. Java mobile applications
Mobile applications are software that runs on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Their popularity is significant, as we have more than 6.3 billion smartphone users worldwide, and it is estimated that the average American adult spends an average of about four hours surfing the mobile web, 88% of which time is spent in apps.
Among the leading mobile application operating systems, two dominate: iOS and Android. We are particularly interested in the second one, as its development without Java is impossible.
4. Java enterprise applications
Java is the first choice for developing enterprise software, mainly because of its advanced features for high-performance. In addition to performance, Java makes applications more secure and easily scalable.
The Java language has the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) platform, equipped with API and execution environment functions for scripting and running enterprise software, network tools, and web services.
According to Oracle, nearly 97% of corporate computers run Java. In addition, the higher performance and faster processing provided by Java have led to most enterprise applications being developed in Java.
Why choose Java for enterprise software development?
Security: JVM (Java Virtual Machine) verifies byte code from external systems, which increases safety and effectively minimizes the risk of breaches. For this reason, banks often choose Java for their banking technology solutions.
High-performance – Java applications have good performance, as the Java cache can significantly speed up application startup and improve application performance for recurring workloads. For example, at Stratoflow, we have created a travel search engine handling 300 million queries daily, so the system can now drive 50% more traffic.
Scalability – the advantage of Java enterprise applications is smooth scalability when the number of site visitors or application users increases. Smooth operation, in turn, means greater customer satisfaction and a positive brand image.
What major companies have used Java to create their digital products? Google, Trivago, TripAdvisor, Spotify, Uber, Pinterest, eBay, etc.
5. Java Embedded Systems applications
Embedded systems are low-level systems that are part of larger electromechanical systems. Like many technological solutions, embedded systems also came into widespread use from projects for the space industry. They are small chips, processors, and any portable device used in the Smart Home area. They are also called integrated systems.
According to MarketsAndMarkets, the embedded solutions market will reach $116 trillion by 2025.
Java can help with this, as it supports the development of robust tools that can efficiently handle application exceptions and is also fast, as it is better for developing low-level programs.
What real-world examples of using Java embedded systems are operating in the market? Take, for example, the SIM cards in our phones, which have been using JVM (Java Card) for almost 20 years or BlueRay Disc players. Interestingly, data released by Oracle shows that 100% of Blu-ray Disc players and 125 million TV devices use Java.
6. Java Cloud-based applications
Cloud computing is a modern IT technology for processing and storing data. The revolution is that data is not stored on computer disks, but in a virtual space, on servers outside the local network or the so-called cloud. Computers, tablets, and laptops are just tools through which we access data. So how does Java fit into all this?
Java platform offers several features that are very helpful in building applications used in SaaS (Software-as-a-service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-service), and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service) development. Besides, Java supports companies in remotely developing applications and sharing data with others. Also noteworthy is Oracle Java cloud service.
7. Big data technologies
We increasingly use electronic devices, and economic processes are becoming more and more digitized. This means that vast amounts of digital data are generated daily due to people’s private, social and commercial activities.
The European Commission predicts that by 2025 the total amount of data in the world will increase by 530% compared to 2018.
What exactly is big data? A dataset of high volume, variety, complexity, and variability, in which data flows in a real-time streaming fashion. Extracting new knowledge from it requires innovative methods and technologies. And this is where Java comes in.
Hadoop, an open-source framework closely related to big data, is written in Java. And many useful in software development big data technologies, such as Apache Hadoop or Apache Spark, are actually Java subprojects. So in all likelihood, Java has and will continue to have more to say about the future of big data.
[Read also: How to Build an App Without Coding]
Most popular Java based applications
As you can see from the above examples, there are many applications of Java.
In doing so, inspiration can come from already functioning applications whose brands are known worldwide. Here is a list of the most interesting ones based on Java.
The Uber app is so popular that a visit to an unfamiliar big city without a phone armed with it is considered unwise. In short, Uber is used to ordering rides, allowing connecting customers and drivers offering a ride.
The company was founded in 2009 in San Francisco and is now available in more than 80 countries, with more than 90 million users. Statista publishes such data. Interestingly, its mechanism of operation is based on only, or as much as, three key elements:
- push notifications,
- SMS integration and payment.
To make the whole software application work properly, Uber’s engineers primarily code it in Python, Node.js, Go, and Java. While everything seems simple, Uber has had to invest in both the apps for users, drivers, and the platform that connects them. Without an intuitive interface, microservices architecture, streaming, and cloud storage, it would not have been possible.
The second example applications of Java is Spotify. The platform is a streaming service that lets you digitally play music and podcasts. The service’s database includes more than 70 million songs from around the world, which can be listened to on various devices – smartphones, tablets, or computers.
Users can access their favorite content, but this service also has a few restrictions. To full advantage of all the options that Spotify provides, you need to purchase a subscription. If you don’t, you have to expect ads interrupting your favorite music or podcast.
Handling so many tasks involves collecting a vast amount of data. These relate to song preferences, searches, user behavior, listing geographic locations, or the type of devices on which users access Spotify. Thanks to machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence, and Java, Spotify is quickly gaining a market advantage, guaranteeing its audience a positive experience.
[Read also: Top Java Performance Problems and How to Solve Them]
Twitter is today one of the most popular social media platforms (at least until Elon Musk took it over), which bases its operation specifically on the exchange of so-called tweets, or short text messages.
Initially, Twitter’s developers mainly used Ruby on Rails. However, as they scaled up, they had to look for new high-performance solutions and moved some of the code to other technologies. For example, the migration of backend message queues uses Scala (which runs on a Java virtual machine), and the rebuilding of backend search uses Java.
Applications of Java in our daily life also applies to Netflix. It’s a VOD service, which means it allows you to watch video content on demand. It’s also the most effective way to survive the coronavirus pandemic that was raging until recently.
While developers at Netflix are reportedly given the freedom to choose the technologies best suited to the job, as it turns out, Java is the dominant one.
Netflix developers have decried this programming language for its scalability and the ability to easily run anywhere. Besides, they use open source Java tools to monitor, update and scale services.
These facts are confirmed by Andy Glove, chief technology officer at Netflix – “The bread and butter of Netflix involves using data to recommend shows that customers might like. Everyone at Netflix plays a role in either capturing that data or making use of that data. Our business units can make changes quickly, partly because the entire infrastructure is built on Java”.
Another globally known brand that uses Java is Google.
So if you’re wondering if there’s still a demand for Java developers, the answer is yes. Google is certainly not going out of business, so it will need skilled workers.
6. The Mars Rover
The Mars rover is also an example of an exciting use case for Java in everyday life. One such piece of equipment called Spirit has made it to Mars and conducted research.
“It takes all the raw data in the mission database and builds a 3-D terrain you can spin around and zoom in,” explained Gene Chalfant, JPL technical staffer.
The planet is currently the target of an intensive study. Their primary goal is to see if water is or was present on Mars. In addition, Mars rovers are studying the planet’s geology and mineralogy, as well as its atmosphere and climate.
Our applications of Java list closes Signal.
The Signal is a free instant messaging service for mobile devices and PCs, which stands out from its competitors primarily because of its more significant concern for user privacy.
Signal messenger can be used on mobile devices equipped with Google Android or Apple iOS, as well as on a computer or laptop running Windows, Mac OS, or Linux. It’s worth noting, however, that if you want to use the PC version, you need to have the app on your smartphone anyway.
The Signal app was developed using cross-platform Java services like security and privacy-centric messaging. It uses mobile data transfer (but doesn’t store contact information or send it anywhere) and end-to-end encryption (based on Signal Protocol’s open code) for all messages sent. So in the event of an attack, third parties cannot read the conversation.
Java’s ongoing popularity statistics
In 2023, 30.55% of developers worldwide use Java, continuing its reign as a premier programming language for over 30 years.
According to the PYPL Index, Java is the second most popular language in 2023, up 1.2% from last year. Oracle highlights Java’s vast adoption, with 69% of developers and 51 billion JVMs globally. Despite its market share falling from over 31% in 2008 to 15.81% in 2023, Java remains vital programming language in many global enterprise solutions due to its superior performance, ease of use, and scalability—key for thriving modern businesses. In other word’s – Java is not going anywhere as it still provides superior perforemance.
How is Java used in software development?
Although it’s been nearly 30 years since Sun Microsystems released the Java programming language to the public, its market success continues unabated.
Java is not only a high-level programming language but also a platform that is used to build computer software. It is easy to program, compile or debug, making it popular among developers. Also important is its code versatility, which means that it runs on many systems.
Java is most often used in the backend systems of web applications, meaning that it is responsible for what runs “underneath.” It can be used to develop complete applications. It will also work well for developing desktop or gaming software.
What’s more, the Android system runs in a Java environment, which makes it possible to build applications and games for Android. Java also does well with cloud-based applications and supports IoT devices, big data, or GUI application development.
Java’s popularity is mainly ensured by its easy scalability, cross-platform, multi-threading, easy memory management, and committed community gathered around this programming language.
Java software development company
At Stratoflow, we also enjoy programming in Java. In our daily work, we focus primarily on building high-performance systems and custom software. We also know how to build low-latency Java applications. In projects for corporate clients, we use Java’s strengths and Java best practices to provide the best results depending on the defined needs. Check our Java development services and let’s get in touch.
We are Stratoflow, a custom software development company. We firmly believe that software craftsmanship, collaboration and effective communication is key in delivering complex software projects. This allows us to build advanced high-performance Java applications capable of processing vast amounts of data in a short time. We also provide our clients with an option to outsource and hire Java developers to extend their teams with experienced professionals. As a result, our Java software development services contribute to our clients’ business growth. We specialize in travel software, ecommerce software, and fintech software development. In addition, we are taking low-code to a new level with our Open-Source Low-Code Platform.