Since its initial release in 1996, Java has earned a reputation as one of the safest, dependable, and platform-independent programming languages available. Despite its widespread use, getting started with Java may be difficult. It might be tough to decide which Java version is best for you because there are many distinct versions and editions to select from. In this post, we’ll go through the many Java versions available, as well as the significant distinctions between them and which one is best for your requirements.
Versions vs. Editions (Preface)
Have you ever been in a situation where you ask yourself which java version should I use? Yeah, we have all been, but that we will solve later. Now we will review what edition of Java you should use. You’ll typically find multiple options for “Java SE 7” or “Java EE 8” while downloading Java. The letters tend to mislead novices, whereas the number plainly shows the version number. These letters denote the Java version you’re using. The most popular Java editions are:
The Standard Edition – SE
The first thing that comes to your mind when asking yourself which java version should I use is probably Java 7, but when it comes to which edition you should use, it is perhaps the SE. Namely, the Java programming system’s core is the standard edition. It includes all of the necessary libraries that any Java developer should be conscious of. Thus, the basic edition is the most suited for most developers (particularly those just starting to start).
EE – Enterprise Edition
Everything in the regular version is included in the enterprise edition, plus several extra libraries that provide capabilities for large-scale business systems. In addition, the enterprise edition focuses on extensive, fault-tolerant, distributed programs that are typical of a corporate setting.
While EE is suited for major corporations and large-scale projects, its additional capability is not required for beginners or individual developers just getting started. Now the best solution would be to look for java developers for hire and have a professional team to take care of your custom-made corporate system.
Micro Edition (ME)
The micro edition offers specific extra libraries relevant to mobile development and a fraction of the features included in the SE. This version is designed for Java developers who work on mobile devices.
Which Java Version Should I Use?
Finally, it is time to answer the most asked question, which java version should I use? Today there are three versions of Java that are the most popular:
As we previously stated, the first thing that comes to our mind when asking which version of Javas should I use is the old mighty Java 7. Namely, Java 7 was first released in 2011. From April 2012 until October 2014, it was the default download option, and it is still frequently used today. Better type checking, improved type deduction for generics, and JVM enablement for dynamic languages were the most popular features of Java 7.
Despite its widespread use, Oracle no longer officially supports Java 7.
Version 8 of Java
In 2014, Java 8 was launched, and it superseded Java 7 as the suggested download. Language-level support for lambda expressions, a completely new DATE/TIME API, and projects like Nashorn are among the enhancements over Java 7.
After September 2016, Oracle announced that it would no longer be providing Java 8 upgrades.
Java 9 was launched in 2017 and is now the most widely supported version of Java. Because code is more clearly segregated depending on functionality, Java 9 adopts a more modular programming approach. Micro benchmarking is also included, allowing developers to assess the performance of tiny sections of code. In addition, it contains complete HTTP 2.0 client compatibility as well as a new process API.
The tenth version of Java
Java 10 was launched in March of this year. A garbage-collector interface and even a local variable kind inference are among the enhancements, although it does not provide long-term support (LTS).
But still, the question of which version of Java I should use might be easily answered with this version. In September of 2018, Java 11 was released. It is the next major version of Java to include the Long Term Support (LTS) feature.
JDK, JVM, and JRE are three different types of Java development kits
To run the code you create in Java, you’ll likely need a runtime environment. The Java Runtime Environment is involved with the Java download (JRE) itself. This JRE comes with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which is an abstract computing machine that allows you to run Java programs on your computer.
The Java Developer Kit (JDK) is a Java software development platform that you may download. It involves the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), a compiler, and other necessary debugging instruments. The JDK is required for developing Java programs but not for running them. Because the JRE is included with all Java installations, this is the case.
The Bottom Line
If you’re just getting started with Java, the best option is to install Java SE 8 or Java SE 11. While other versions, such as the EE, provide more functionality, the SE includes all of the necessary libraries. While you may encounter previous versions of Java (5,6,7) in the real world, keep in mind that Java 8 is the current version that is actively supported. The JDK is required if you wish to create and compile your own Java programs, but the JRE is sufficient to execute current Java applications.