Since its inception, Java has endured radical transformations in the software development landscape as well as countless threats to its prominence-and is still going strong. In fact, according to a report from IDC, 90% of Fortune 500 companies use Java. Popular for its stability, adaptability, and user-friendliness, the programming language is widely used for developing web applications, mobile applications, desktop GUI, web servers, cloud-based applications, and a lot more.
Java’s continued relevance makes us wonder about what will happen to it in the future. Notwithstanding the predictions about its decline, there are reasons to believe that Java holds a bright future in 2023 and beyond.
Java is Flexible and Easy to Use
One of the key factors that explain Java’s relevance in the face of digital disruption and breakthrough innovation is that it’s a well-rounded language with an exhaustive set of libraries and frameworks tech teams find immensely useful. In this day and age, when technology leaders demand high-performing applications to keep pace with evolving user needs, Java can be a suitable choice.
Its object-oriented nature makes Java powerful as well as easy to use. Large programs in Java can be broken down into smaller, bite-sized problems that can be easily worked on; this simplifies coding as well as troubleshooting. Besides, technology teams can create programs using standard working modules instead of writing the code from scratch every time. This speeds up the development process and boosts the team’s productivity-and that’s exactly what modern enterprises look for these days.
Android OS Relies on Java
There is no denying that Android is the most popular operating system for mobile phones and tablets. Android controls around 71% of the entire mobile operating system market (Statista). Since Android OS is primarily designed in Java, it relies heavily on Java.
With the world getting increasingly digitized, everything is getting ready for smartphones and other portable devices. While some companies are embracing a mobile-first approach, others are launching their services exclusively on mobile devices. So, the demand for native Android apps will surge in the coming days and Java developers will play a critical role in fulfilling the same.
Java Offers Cloud-Native Compatibility
A cloud-native environment calls for runtimes that are fast to start, consume less memory, and deliver high performance. Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is a natural fit for cloud-native applications as it comes with the right mix of performance and innovation. Cloud-native Java runtimes such as Eclipse help bring down runtime costs while enabling high throughput.
Cloud-native applications operate in a complex environment where availability and scale are indispensable. Cloud-native applications should be highly available, scale flexibly and handle dynamic demand. Owing to its object-oriented nature and built-in memory management, Java helps address these requirements, enabling developers to create applications that are easy to debug and less prone to failure.
No wonder, all cloud computing giants including AWS, Azure, Oracle, and Google Cloud are offering Java-based SDKs to help enterprises build and run cloud-native applications.
Java Undergoes Constant Enhancements
Since the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, the original owner of Java, by Oracle, updated versions of the language are released on a regular basis-every March and September. As a result, developers do not need to wait too long to use Java’s most anticipated features.
September 2021 witnessed the release of Java 17, the first long-term support (LTS) version since Java 11 in 2018. Long-term means it will receive at least 8 years of support from Oracle. The support for older LTS releases has also been extended. So, Java 8 will receive support till December 2030 and Java 11 till September 2026. Java’s release cadence allows programmers to experiment with new features (e.g. Java records), and, in turn, boost application performance.
Java is Platform-Independent
One of the biggest reasons behind Java’s rise to prominence has been its platform independence. Its ‘Write Once Run Anywhere’ feature has remained a strong advantage for Java to this day. Java runtime environment (JRE) allows the language to perform consistently across a range of platforms. So, if a user has switched to a new system, they can simply install JRE to access and run their whole library of Java programs. Java is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac as well as mobile-based OS.
Java Boasts Extensive API
Java Development Kit (JDK) comes with a rich and extensive application programming interface (API) with methods that can be directly used in any code. Java APIs help you meet a range of purposes-from parsing XML and connecting to databases to translating between timezones, and more.
Additionally, there are a plethora of open-source API projects including Apache Commons, Apache POI, and Google Guava to address various software development issues in Java. These APIs not only speed up software development but also enable the creation of bug-free applications with enhanced functionalities.
Java Offers Backward Compatibility
While Java continues to undergo evolutionary changes, the proponents of the language are working hard to ensure that the Java code written today can compile into bytecode that can run on a 20-year-old server.
The backwards-compatible attribute of Java inspires confidence in the developer community that needs a language to support their long-term needs. They can use Java for Enterprise projects that need to be maintained for a long time.
It’s vital to keep in mind that the efforts to keep Java backwards-compatible can, at times, slow down the speed at which new features get added to the language. But it seems Enterprises are prepared to accept the tradeoff between feature improvement and the speed of evolution.
Java Enjoys Massive Community Support
Having been there for around three decades, Java boasts a robust community of developers larger than any other programming language. Thanks to this active community support and Oracle, Java has been a stable language for several years. Java programmers can leverage forums like StackOverflow to post queries and get suitable answers from experts to debug their code. And the best part-all this guidance comes for free.
Build a High-Performing Mobile App With Java
Java has constantly evolved over the 30-odd years of its existence and is being widely used on an array of development fronts. We, therefore, have every reason to believe that Java will continue to dominate the software development realm for the foreseeable future.