Eight Reasons to Love Java 8


Eight Reasons to Love Java 8

By Caroline Kvitka

Java, the programming language used by millions of developers, is now even better. The launch of Java 8 on March 25 represents the most significant update to the Java programming model ever, and demonstrates that Java is thriving among a worldwide community of programmers, code contributors, and users.

Technology-enabled innovation has become a top priority for businesses everywhere. Coming up with the next cool product or service and winning customers requires new ways of doing things. And software has become integral to business innovation—both for organizations that consider themselves tech companies and those that don’t.

Java 8 is a platform for innovation. It enables developers to create applications—faster and easier—for business environments, the cloud, and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT). And, with Java 8, developers can leverage a common skill set across this wide span of platforms and application types.

So if your company is on the path to innovation, Java 8 can get you there. Here are eight things everyone should know about the newest version of Java.

  • 1. It enables the Internet of Things. Java 8 can help businesses take part in the world of connected, always-on devices. Think smart appliances in the home and billions of wearable devices, medical sensors, connected vehicles, smart meters, and industrial controllers. The opportunities are endless. Both Java SE 8 and Java ME 8—the two platforms that make up Java 8, along with Oracle’s related embedded products—provide a scalable, flexible, secure development platform for the Internet of Things.
  • 2. Less code means more productivity. Java 8 facilitates improved developer productivity through reduced boilerplate code. This is due in large part to lambda expressions, which are the most significant and anticipated new feature in Java SE 8. Lambdas (for short) let developers simplify the code they write every day. Developers can expect the way they do their jobs to change: They will be able to write code that is more compact, simpler, and easier to maintain.
  • 3. Modernize your apps. Java 8 takes a giant step forward in modernizing the Java language and Java libraries. One example is a new date and time application programming interface that reduces the complexity for developers when handling date and time, especially when dealing with internationalization and localization for different markets. The existing date and time library was more than 15 years old. It has been re-engineered using modern design practices.
  • 4. Embedded technology is a big deal. Developers building embedded apps can use one of three new Compact Profiles in Java SE 8. These predefined subsets of the full Java SE 8 specification support the creation of smaller applications for resource-constrained devices. That means Java SE can be deployed on embedded devices using as little as a 10 MB static footprint and 16 MB of RAM.
  • 5. Create eye-popping graphics. JavaFX 8 is a graphics toolkit included in JDK 8 that lets developers build rich client applications using standard Java development tools. It includes an embedded graphics stack, new UI controls and 3D graphics features, and HTML5 support. JavaFX 8 also brings a fresh, modern look to applications with its new Modena theme.
  • 6. Java 8 is integrated with JavaScript. Java and JavaScript are not the same thing. JavaScript is a popular language with features similar to Java’s that is ideal for transmitting code across networks. Java SE 8 includes Nashorn, a JavaScript engine that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and allows Java applications to contain components written in JavaScript. When developers want to use both Java and JavaScript, Nashorn can deliver significant performance improvements and interoperability between Java and JavaScript code.
  • 7. A worldwide community is behind Java 8. The Java 8 release represents a huge collaborative effort by the worldwide Java community. Java user groups provided ongoing feedback to Specification Leads, made requests for functionality, uncovered bugs, and contributed to code fixes. The OpenJDK community provided a way for developers to collaborate on the open source reference implementation of the Java SE platform. And the Java Community Process—with representation from the likes of IBM, Intel, Red Hat, and SAP—provided a means for organizations and individuals to contribute to the Java platform.
  • 8. It’s available and free to download. With the March 25 launch of Java 8, you can now download JDK 8, Oracle Java SE Embedded 8, Java ME SDK 8 Early Access 2, and Oracle Java ME Embedded 8 Early Access 2.

You can learn much more about Java 8 in the latest issue of Java Magazine, Oracle’s free bimonthly digital magazine covering all things Java. You will find articles on lambda expressions, the date and time API, and more.

I fully expect Java 8 to unleash a new wave of software-powered business innovation. How will your company use Java 8? Let’s hear about it.

Caroline Kvitka is the editor of Java Magazine.


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