Often JAVA consultants are asked a difficult question – will it be a good decision to stick to JAVA now when we have newer technologies on the block? The question requires many why’s to answer – why should a project go with JAVA, what is the future of the project developed on a 20+ year old programming language, how does it fit into a picture when AI and ML are storming the tech scene.
As a long-standing JAVA development company, with significant investment in newer technologies, this new vs old paradox is something that we deal with often. In fact, it made us standardize an SOP for framework/language selection that assesses the following points:
Legacy Project vs. New Tech
JAVA has been around for two decades and almost every enterprise has JAVA applications. Digital transformation is a compelling motive for CTOs to think if a new framework/platform would enhance delivery speed or patch and fix issues faster. Well, legacy projects have deep roots, especially apps that have been around for decades. Introducing an alien framework can surface a new set of issues.
We’ve analyzed some 100+ legacy modernization projects that we either re-engineered or maintained over the last few years and here’s what we can confirm – you can’t make a cocktail from out-of-the-box new tech and legacy code. Refactoring of legacy code is required.
In such cases, finding a modernization partner that is itself a JAVA development company can be a unique advantage. Client organizations can quickly pass the onus of assessing the new tech and finding the best possible solution. Usually, a pilot run with multiple checkpoints with all stakeholders in the loop helps in these complex projects.
Existing Tech Framework
Often, this is the primary reason when we recommend JAVA. Even if a tech-ecosystem doesn’t have a JAVA population but other legacy technologies, a new JAVA-based product is likely to outperform other new tech framework-based ones. It is because JAVA has been here for years and developers have optimized ways to integrate JAVA apps with several other oldies.
We have handled a few expensive digital transformation flops where a new tech was deployed, just for the sake and the client ended up being billed for recurring issues and subsequent fixes. A JAVA app served the purpose – perfect compatibility with other legacy apps, high-performance, cost-efficiency in the longer run, and easy hiring for in-house team.
Client Workforce Skills
This is another reason why we recommend custom JAVA development. If the end-users are using JAVA or have used it in the past, they mostly have figured out a way for most common app issues and know where to go if faced with a problem. This already-skilled JAVA workforce can take up the new JAVA app with fewer hiccups and yield ROI sooner and higher.
Let’s consider the other scenario – the pilot run says that the new technology will bring higher efficiency, is not having integration issues with other systems, and is impressive with a new UI. But, your workforce requires upskilling for the new app. It translates to higher incubation time for ROI, hiring an in-house developer for day-to-day issues, and frequent tickets for IT. Not deterring from new technology adoption, but these issues need to be addressed before users start missing their good ol’ apps.
We are in a world where every app or system needs to communicate with others. This can be realized when the total tech architecture is in unison. Our experience says that large-scale integration projects with blended tech-stack are more likely to succeed with JAVA. This is because most of the top-tire integration or middleware software are JAVA based – BEA / Oracle Fusion Middleware, WebMethods, Tibco, SAP Netweaver, or IBM Websphere to name a few.
Also, we try to tell our clients that a one hundred percent compatibility in integration is a myth. No integration is pain-free and all software need updates/maintenance. Some are updated frequently but perform well for several years. This performing streak is something we root for and suggest all clients to bet on a technology that has been long-tested on industry standards.
Clients that have reaped rewards with JAVA apps need to discuss with the partner JAVA application development company if their previous system can be updated for new scalability requirements. In a few cases, where we were approached for new app development, we asked clients to stick with JAVA as the desired results can be delivered with some updates instead of a full-blown new app.
The simple logic behind our decision to give JAVA a due-shot is that if the app was designed correctly and is withstanding a significant load today, it can be re-engineered for new requirements. It does require some level of reverse engineering and assessing the pros and cons with other technologies under consideration, but in many cases, it turns out to be a more cost-effective and rapid option.
The Crux of the Matter
JAVA comes from the house of Oracle Corporation, the leading provider of software and application for enterprise environments. They have been frequently releasing new versions with updates/patches and project JAVA as their flagship programming language. JAVA is old, yes, but more flexible and reliable. Unless there is a convincing reason to think beyond JAVA, due to capability, scalability, or cost issues – businesses should freely opt for it.