What is Java?
Java is an object-oriented programming language publicly released in January 1996 and actively applied for backend development. It powers 4.7% of websites and is employed by global brands like LinkedIn, Hulu, and Adobe.
This programming language is also extensively applied for mobile development, as it is the fundamental technology for native Android apps. Some well-known mobile applications include WhatsApp, Spotify, and Uber.
Features of Java
- Platform-independent. The “Write once, run anywhere” principle enables developers to use the same source code across web, mobile, and desktop applications.
- Compiled Language. Java code is translated into machine code by a compiler. Once compiled, applications can run on any device with a Java Virtual Machine installed.
- Static Typing. Java requires developers to declare the data types of variables used in a program. They are checked before runtime and prevent unwanted values from being used, thereby improving code quality.
- Multi-threading. Multiple threads allow multiple tasks to be performed concurrently within Java programs. This feature is aimed at responsiveness for heavy operations occurring in BigData, machine learning, or gaming apps.
By using JS frameworks such as React Native and Node.js, you can create cross-platform mobile solutions and server-side applications. Around 2% of websites use Node.js for their backend, while Airbnb, Discord, and Pinterest companies power their mobile solutions with React Native.
- Interpreted Scripting Language. JS is an interpreted language — its code is executed without compilation in the browser. This enables developers to make changes to code faster.
- Event-driven Approach. JS can process multiple user events like mouse clicks or keystrokes, making it applicable for applications requiring fast response, e.g., chats and video streaming.
Advantages of Java
Analyzing Java vs JS, here is a list of advantages the former provides:
- Reliability: The strongly typed nature of Java helps to prevent errors. Therefore, the program won’t run if data types are incorrect. This allows developers to detect and fix bugs before code is released, increasing the stable operation of apps.
- Security: Java has built-in security features that help protect against viruses and malware, making it a great choice for backend applications with sensitive data such as banking and government apps.
- Scalability: Java can handle an increasing workload and users without compromising performance. This makes Java particularly suited for enterprise apps.
- High Performance for Heavy Data Projects: Java can break up large computing tasks into smaller parts and process them properly, making it applicable for ML, analytical, and other apps with massive datasets.
- Simplicity and Faster Development Process: JS is dynamically typed, eliminating the need to define variable types or create classes.
- Interactive Interface Creation: JS allows for creating web pages where users interact with the content without full-page reload, such as eCommerce and social media.
The peculiarities of both technologies cater to different purposes. Java is highly secure and scalable, while JS provides interactivity for web pages and flexibility in development.
Disadvantages of Java
- Time-consuming Development: Java syntax can be verbose, requiring more lines of code.
- Additional Spending: Java apps require significant memory, which may lead to more hardware resources.
- Complicated Process for Hiring Professional Engineers: Given its strict rules, Java can have a steep learning curve.
In the JS vs Java dispute, the former is limited by:
- Late Error Detection and Complicated Debugging: JS does not provide data type checking until runtime.
- Complicated Maintenance for Large Projects: Unlike Java, JS is loosely typed and doesn’t require following strict typing rules. It could complicate the codebase over time, especially in projects involving multiple teams.
While Java and JS have differences, they also have features bringing the two languages together. Understanding the similarities of both may assist in creating efficient applications.
- Object-oriented Programming (OOP)
- Backend Development
- Frontend Development
- Frameworks and Libraries
Java requires developers to declare data types for each variable. This approach may lead to significant time for coding. However, it ensures a more structured codebase that is easier to maintain as the project grows.
- If you need an easily maintainable and scalable backend — go with Java.
- If your app requires dynamic and highly customizable frontend features (i.e., animations, pop-ups) — go with JS.
Java code runs on the backend and manages operations invisible to the user such as database operations and authorization handling. Java code is first checked for errors while compilation, verified, and only then executed to make the app work smoothly. This makes Java applicable for building robust and efficient backend applications.
- If your app deals with sensitive user data — go with Java.
Java code is executed by Virtual Machine quickly, leading to fast app loading. Additionally, it provides performance optimizations such as removing unused objects and multi-threading. The latter allows for the parallel processing of heavy data and ensures high performance for analytics, machine learning, or forecasting applications.
- If your app requires heavy computations such as ML and analytics — go with Java.
- If your app requires processing real-time user interactions (chats and social media apps) — go with JS.
More specifically, Java is focused on server-side programming of large-scale, complex web applications. It is highly secure and scalable and can manage complex business logic. Java even provides Enterprise Edition — a platform including a standardized set of tools for enterprise app development.
- If you are aiming for an enterprise solution with complex backend logic — go with Java.
Both technologies are different in terms of mobile development as well.
Java is a native language for Android applications. It can be used for iOS applications together with third-party tools. However, it will not perform as good as native iOS apps written in Swift.
In contrast, you can use JS frameworks to create cross-platform mobile apps. For example, you can build a mobile app for iOS and Android with React Native. Such apps can boast high performance and are close to the native look and feel.
- For native Android apps — Java is the best option.
- If you can afford time-consuming development while providing backend robustness — go with Java.
- If you need agile and rapid UI development — go with JS.
- The average salary for in-house Java developers — is $99,600/year.
You can also consider hiring dedicated developers as a more flexible and cheaper alternative to in-house specialists. By reaching out to IT vendors, you can quickly hire as many specialists as needed on a contractual basis. As a result, it eliminates extra spending, as you pay only for the work done. At JayDevs, we offer pre-vetted dedicated developers with hourly rates ranging from $38-42 for middle specialists and $49-59 for senior engineers.
Java is a backend language particularly good for:
- Enterprise applications with complex business logic,
- Highly secure and reliable systems such as financial, governmental, or similar solutions,
- Heavy data apps such as ML, analytics, and BigData applications,
- Native Android applications.
- Dynamic and interactive web pages,
- Applications with multiple real-time user interactions, such as big marketplaces or chat apps,
- Full-stack web apps built with Node.js,
- Cross-platform mobile applications built with React Native.