We have stepped into the modern digitized world where the world wide web has become the center of attention. With digitization across industries, the internet is now an integral part of our lives, making web applications a necessity.
You can easily find these web applications all around the internet, where they get used for different purposes such as tally voting polls, eCommerce stores, flight booking, online form processing, social media, and more.
But what are web apps and where does Java fit in all this?
Without further ado, let’s find out.
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An Overview of Web Applications
Unlike OS-based applications that run locally on the device and require installation, Web applications are software programs stored on the cloud server and executed in the web browser.
Web applications can be designed for multiple use cases and be used by anyone, from an individual to an organization. A web application can contain web mail, spreadsheets, online shops, file conversion, photo editing, file scanning, social media platforms, etc.
The structure of a web application is broken down into small logical chunks – tiers, where each tier has a predefined role. While traditional apps used to have one tier, residing on the client machine, modern web apps work on an n-tier approach.
The most common web application tier is three-tiered, where a web browser (presentation) is the first layer, a dynamic web content technology engine (application logic) is the middle layer, and a database (storage) is the third tier.
What makes web apps so popular is the accessibility throughout devices by just using web browsers like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox without the need to download the application.
Besides, for a web app to operate, it only requires a web server, application server, and database to send requests and receive the required information to fulfill the process.
Web apps also have a small development cycle compared to platform-dependent apps. The development of the web application is divided into the client side and server side.
Now, choosing the right programming language for the backend of the web app is crucial. And, with Java being a flexible, robust, secure, and powerful programming language, it can undoubtedly be an ideal choice for your business web app.
Reasons to Choose Java for Web App Development
Designed by James Gosling in 1995 under Sun Microservices, Java is among the widely used programming languages for most web apps that were later acquired by Oracle. The purpose behind developing Java was to have as minimum dependencies as possible.
Java is a multi-paradigm, high-level programming language that intends to enable developers to write code once and run it on different platforms supporting Java. Most of the web apps we see today are based on Java, whether it’s banking, enterprise, games, or eCommerce software.
Here are some of the reasons you should also consider Java for your web application:
- Java uses an object-oriented programming paradigm including concepts like class, object, inheritance, abstraction, polymorphism, and encapsulation, which makes developing a web app more practical.
- As Java works on WORA (write once, run anywhere) concept, it allows code to run on multiple platforms with no recompilation.
- Designed to be easy to use, Java makes it easier for developers to learn, write, compile, and debug code than other languages available in the market.
- Java allows developers to create reusable and modular code.
- Java also allows programmers to create multi-threaded or single-threaded programs that can be divided into different threads that work simultaneously, increasing the speed of the web interface.
- Not using explicit pointers and running inside a virtual sandbox while separating class packages makes Java a secure language for web app development.
- Java also uses strong memory management, making it a robust language that can easily handle exceptions and doesn’t allow errors to pass to the underlying system, again making it a great language for web app development.
How is a Java-Based Web App Developed?
Now that we know the benefits of using Java for web app development, let’s check how a Java web app can be created.
To develop Java Web Apps, programmers can choose one of the three main methods.
- The first method consists of using an Application Programming Interface (API) – Java Servlet offers control and flexibility to create web applications. Servlet is scalable and robust, providing several classes and interfaces that extend the capabilities of servers. Servlet’s web component is deployed to create dynamic web applications.
- The second way to create a Java web application is through JavaServer Faces (JSF). JSF, a server-side component-based framework, aims to simplify web interface development. It also consists of well-defined models for programming and rich tag libraries and APIs. With JSF, it becomes easier for developers to accomplish data conversation, server-side validations, defining page navigation, accessibility, and so much more.
- Other than the first two methods, a developer can also use Java frameworks like Spring, Play, Hibernate, Vaadin, Dropwizard, and Blade to create web applications quickly. As the frameworks contain reusable pre-written code as templates with a commonly used set of functionalities, it saves a lot of time and effort for the developers to create a project from the ground up.
If you create a web app using Hibernate framework, it will automatically convert the checked exceptions of JDBC into unchecked exceptions of Hibernate, and generate primary keys to record information in the database, making it fast and efficient to develop web apps.
Apart from these three methods, one can also develop web apps in Java using Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that offer an enhanced code editor, debugger, and other automated tools.
Creating a web app in today’s internet world is essential for a business to succeed. From Netflix to Amazon, and LinkedIn to Spotify, thousands of companies rely on Java as a programming language regardless of their niche.
Using Java as a programming language to develop web applications, you can ensure the security and the quality of the end product.
In conclusion, Java is one of the oldest yet most popular languages that is used to create web interfaces for the internet, and hence, has several applications in the web app development marketplace.
So, if you are planning to build a web application for your business, then Java might be your ideal option, depending on your goals and requirements.
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