Despite numerous alternatives cropping up over the years, Java remains one of the most popular and widely-used programming languages in the world. Developed in 1995, it doesn’t just have longevity on its side, but it also offers a number of important features that contribute to its success.
Java is open-source, platform-independent, reliable, high-performance, scalable, secure, and easy to use and learn. It’s also extremely versatile, enabling you to create an enormous array of projects. So, what can you build with this popular programming language? Here are just 8 of the many things Java is used for.
1. Mobile Applications
Once the only official language of Android, Java is now joined by Kotlin as one of the two official languages for mobile application development for the Google OS. The programming language is supported by Android Studio and facilitates secure and efficient development for a wide range of mobile applications.
While there are, of course, many choices of languages when it comes to app development, Java is a standout option for reasons such as its platform independence and wide community of support.
2. Internet of Things (IoT) Devices
The IoT is a powerful entity that facilitates communication and data transmission between devices, software, and the internet without human intervention. It has many applications for the present and future, providing previously static devices with new capabilities.
Combined with technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Java can help you power devices remotely, connect appliances and other objects, and much more. For example, using an app on your mobile phone, you can turn on your slow cooker or thermostat from a distance — even when you’re far away from your home. The IoT also has implications for many industries, including healthcare, security, utilities, supply-chain management, and others.
3. Cloud Applications
Cloud applications — applications that involve data processed on a cloud server — are ubiquitous these days. There are many types of services that use cloud computing, from storage to file-sharing. Industries across the spectrum rely on cloud apps like Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, Slack, and Salesforce.
Java is a great programming language for building cloud apps, thanks to factors like its top-notch performance, scalability, and reliability. In fact, many of the biggest companies in the world use Java to create cloud apps — Gmail, for instance, is an example of a cloud-based application built with Java.
4. Web Applications
Web application development was one of the first uses of Java and remains a choice language for this purpose. It offers many features that make it a great option for complex web apps: security, scalability, and performance. Additionally, there is an abundance of tools developers can access to support their work, including Play Framework.
Given its ease of use, many businesses, large and small, turn to Java when they are looking for a speedy turnaround for a high-performance web application.
Remember the days when you had to jump through hoops and wait on hold for hours to finally talk to a representative from the business you were trying to reach? Today, technology can solve our increasingly complex inquiries. Chatbots, powered by AI and often built using Java, are an important step in resolving consumer questions and issues.
Chatbots are used as a marketing and customer service tool across industries and sectors, including healthcare, retail, finance, and media — really any services that deal with clients and consumers. They can be used to address minor medical-related questions and concerns, resolve issues with orders, provide information, and much more, adding a layer of convenience for both businesses and their consumers.
The force behind games such as Minecraft, Java is an ideal programming language for game development, particularly those that run on Android devices. Thanks to its high performance, the language makes this type of apps run very well on these systems. Moreover, the open-source tool jMonkeyEngine allows it to add 3D to games, an appealing feature. It’s also a good language for 2D games.
Bear in mind that some developers avoid Java for games because of garbage-collection issues, which can contribute to performance problems and frequent pausing in the apps. It’s sometimes avoided for bigger, AAA games for this very problem. However, many indie games still use the programming language.
7. Enterprise Applications
Java is also suited for enterprise applications. This software is used for enterprises — often large businesses that need streamlined services delivered in one place — because it can connect and give access to numerous departments and employees, making delivery more convenient for everyone.
Why use Java for enterprise applications? For one, there is an entire set of Java application programming interfaces (APIs) for this very purpose called Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) that facilitates efficient and easy scripting. There are also many libraries that support the language, and its platform independence supports company-wide integration and compatibility.
As noted, Java is also scalable, which allows growing enterprises to keep up with their efforts.
8. Scientific Applications
Scientific applications incorporate and use math to perform practical, real-world computations, and calculations. Fields like healthcare and research use them frequently. Because these apps and the work associated with them depend on accuracy and reliability, not to mention security, Java is often the go-to language for creating them. Remember, too, that Java is known for its high performance, which is also an important feature when it comes to scientific activities.
These are just some of the many projects you can create using Java. With its huge community and many open-source resources, Java is one of the first languages in which developers work to become proficient — they can access plenty of support and receive help with troubleshooting. The programming language’s many helpful features also make it an important tool for a tech professional’s kit.
These projects can serve as a jumping-off point when you’re considering what to create next. Given the many ways you can use Java, they’re only a start — the possibilities are endless.