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Introduction to Java Environment and Java platform

Java is not just an ordinary programming language. It is a complete technology which depends on no other resources. If we look more closer on its package, this technology contains:

1. A widely used programming language.
2. A complete development environment.
3. A complete application environment.
4. A complete deployment environment.
5. Full support of Integrated Libraries.

Let us look into these features step-by-step :

1. The Java programming language

Java is an Object Oriented Programming Language, which needs two important aspects for its efficient working, such as compiler and interpreter. The compiler translates program into an intermediate code called as java bytecodes. For JVM bytecodes are platform independent. These bytecodes are interpreted by the interpreter. All the execution of statements and parsing of Java bytecode is been done by the interpreter. The only difference is compilation of the program is done once and interpretation is done each time the program executes.

2. The application environment

Java comes with a huge collection of API (Application Programming Interface). These API provides Java various useful classes which can be used in applications, without writing any of the code.

3. The development environment

Java comes with a full fledged development environment in which a developer can compile, run, monitor, debug and document an application.

4. The deployment environment

Java technology comes with standard deployment environment such as Java Web Start and various Java plug-in for deploying the applications.

5. Integration Libraries

Java technology works with various integration libraries such as JDBC (Java Database Connectivity), JNDI (Java Naming and Directory Interface), RMI (Remote Method Invocation) and JMS (Java Messaging service) for communicating between various remote and database objects.

The Java Platform

The term platform refers to a software or hardware environment where a programs runs. Java platform is a software which runs over operating system hardware. The Java platform has two components such as JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and Java API.

The Java Virtual machine is installed over various hardware based platforms and this makes Java platform independent programming language. The code is written once and run by JVM installed over different operating systems. Java compiler compiles the code into bytecode and this bytecode can be interpreted by the JVM, so the code can execute on various platforms.

The Java Application programming Interface is a large collections of Java classes which are ready made and provides many capabilities such as GUI, Event Handling, I/O, file handling and networking etc. All the interrelated classes and interfaces are grouped together which are known as packages.

Java now comes in three editions :
1. J2SE (Java Standard Edition).
2. J2EE (Java Enterprise Edition).
3. J2ME (Java Micro Edition).

Java Standard Edition is used to develop client-side stand-alone applications and applets. Java Enterprise Edition is used to develop server-side applications , servlets and distributed applications. Java Micro Edition is used for developing mobile and wireless applications.

Java Standard Edition comes with JDK (Java Development Kit) which has SDK (Software development Kit) which is a set of command-line tools for creating applets and applications. JDK also has JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and set of libraries. These things combines and provides us the Java Platform. Now-a-days various IDE (Integrated Development Environment) are available such as Eclipse, Netbeans etc which helps us in editing, compiling, building and debugging Java application.

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