Every one, is talking about java, but what exactly is it? Is it a programming language or a platform? If you want to know about this go through the following sections, you will definitely get clear idea about it.

What is Java?

Java is a platform independent, object oriented programming language, which is used to develop different types of applications like,

  • Desktop Applications
  • Web Applications
  • Enterprise Applications
  • Mobile Applications
  • Applications for Embedded Systems
  • Applications for Smart Card
  • Applications for Robotics
  • And Many more..

Is it a platform?

Yes, Java technology is is also called as a platform, but it is software-only platform. Have you confused! don't worry we will discuss about it now.

What is a platform?

A platform is the hardware or software environment (or) a combination of hardware and software in which a program runs. Very well known platforms are Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Sun Solaris OS. See the below table you may get clear idea about platforms.

PlatformExplanation With Example
Hardware PlatformsIt is a computer’s architecture or a processor architecture
Example: x86 architecture
Software PlatformsSoftware platforms can be either an operating system or programming environment, or it is a combination of both.
Examples: Android, Java, Windows, Linux etc...


So Java technology is Both a Programming Language and a platform

Types of Java platforms

Java is divided into 4 platforms, those are given below

  • Java SE(Java Standard Edition)
  • Java EE(Java Enterprise Edition)
  • Java ME(Java Micro Edition)
  • Java FX(Java FX)

Java SE

Java SE Provides Core API, which provides the core functionality of the Java programming language, like basic types, objects and classes that are used for networking, security, database access, graphical user interface (GUI) development, and XML parsing.

In addition to the core API, the Java SE platform consists of a virtual machine, development tools and other class libraries and toolkits commonly used in Java technology applications.

Java EE

The Java EE platform is built on top of the Java SE platform. The Java EE platform provides an API and runtime environment for developing and running large-scale(enterprise), multi-tiered, scalable, reliable Applications

Java ME

It provides an API and small –footprint virtual machine for running java applications on small devices, like mobile phones.

Java FX

JavaFX is a platform for creating rich internet applications using a lightweight user-interface API.

What is desktop application?

It is also called as Stand-alone application. and these applications are run in a computer where it is actually installed. Example MS-Office,Audio/Video players,Games,Browsers etc...

What is a web application?

It is An application that must be placed in a server, it may be a web server(Ex: tomcat web server) or an application server(Ex: weblogic server (or) JBoss). and we can access this application from anywhere through web.

What is a Enterprise application?

Any computer application, which is used to automate the business process. all enterprise application are distributed in nature, such as banking application,e-commerce applications etc... To run enterprise application you must place(deploy) it in an application server.

What is a Mobile application?

It is an application which we can run in small devices like, cell phones. using java ME (or) Android we can build Mobile applications.

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