What is Java used for?

What Is Java Used For? Exploring the Top Applications of This Popular Language

Java is often the first programming language that comes to mind for many programmers. But what is Java used for? Java is a highly versatile language utilized in various applications, ranging from enterprise solutions to mobile app development.

In this article, we will delve into some of the most prominent applications of Java and examine why it continues to be one of the most popular programming languages in use today.


Key Highlights

  • Java is widely used for developing software and applications across various platforms, including computers, mobile devices, and embedded systems
  • Some of the top applications for Java include web applications, game development, mobile application development, extensive data analysis, and more
  • Java is also used in enterprise software solutions such as CRM systems to manage customer data and provide efficient customer service
  • In addition to its use in software, Java is commonly used for developing websites and applications for both desktop and mobile devices
  • Java has become the primary language for enterprise software development due to its scalability and flexibility.


Why Is Java One of the Most Popular Programming Languages?

Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, used for everything from large enterprise applications to Android apps and even IoT projects. It has been around for two decades, and its popularity continues to grow due to its versatility and scalability. Here are some key reasons why Java is so important:

  • Rich APIs: Java provides a wide range of APIs for I/O, database connectivity, networking, XML parsing, and more. This makes it easy for developers to build robust and feature-rich applications
  • Object-oriented programming: Java is based on OOP principles, offering advantages such as code reusability, security, ease of use, and code maintenance
  • Multithreading support: Java’s support for multithreading improves CPU utilization, memory savings, and communication between processes, among other benefits
  • Open-source: Java is an open-source language, available for anyone to use and develop applications for free
  • Robustness and security: Java offers robustness through its exceptional handling capabilities and safety through the JVM, which prevents insecure programs from running.

What Is Java Used For In Software Development?

Java is a universal programming language for software development due to its platform-independent design. It is commonly used for enterprise software and web applications and for creating database management systems and application servers.

Java is ideal for developing large-scale projects because of its well-organized structure and object-oriented programming capabilities, including features such as memory management, data structures, and garbage collection. Its secure design also makes it a popular choice for projects requiring high-security levels.


Java for Desktop Applications

The use of Java for desktop applications can enable developers to build highly productive software suites designed to meet the needs of both individual and enterprise users. With its extensive library of existing tools, Java provides many options for creating powerful user interfaces and complex back-end processes.

Java’s Swing and JavaFX libraries provide developers with various tools for building graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that can run on any operating system.


Examples of Popular Java Desktop Applications

Eclipse - Eclipse is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) for Java development and programming languages like C++, Python, and Ruby. It offers many features, including code completion, debugging, refactoring, and navigation.

IntelliJ IDEA - IntelliJ IDEA, also known for its code analysis and refactoring tools, is another popular Java IDE that can help developers write cleaner, more maintainable code. IntelliJ IDEA is particularly popular among professional Java developers.

Apache NetBeans - Apache NetBeans is an open-source IDE supporting Java development and programming languages like PHP, C++, and HTML. It offers features such as code completion, debugging, version control, and a range of plugins for extending its functionality.

jEdit - jEdit is particularly well-suited to working with large codebases. It offers a wide range of plugins for integrating with other tools, such as version control systems and builds tools. It also offers advanced syntax highlighting, code folding, and plugin support.

OpenOffice – OpenOffice is an open-source office productivity suite with a word processor, spreadsheet application, and presentation software. OpenOffice is particularly well-suited to working with documents in the OpenDocument format, a standard format for office documents supported by many other software applications.


Java For Web Applications

Java is a popular programming language used for web development because of its ability to create complex, dynamic web applications. Here are some of the ways Java is used for web development:

Java Servlets - Java Servlets are server-side programs that run on a web server to process and respond to client requests. Servlets handle HTTP requests, manage user sessions, and perform server-side processing for web applications.

JavaServer Pages (JSP) - JSP technology enables developers to create dynamic web pages that display static HTML content and active Java code. JSP is often combined with Java Servlets to develop powerful web applications.

JavaServer Faces (JSF) - JSF is a Java-based web application framework that simplifies the development of user interfaces for web applications. It provides a set of reusable UI components that developers can use to create web pages quickly and easily.

Spring Framework - Spring Framework is a Java-based open-source platform that offers a complete programming and configuration model for enterprise apps. Its modules and tools support web development, including Spring MVC for web app creation, Spring Security for app security, and Spring Boot for standalone web app building.

RESTful Web Services - As a developer, you can use Java to create RESTful web services to build scalable and efficient web applications. RESTful web services can access and manipulate data in various formats, such as XML, JSON, and plain text.

Java Persistence API (JPA) - JPA is a Java-based ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) technology that provides a framework for mapping Java objects to relational databases. It enables developers to easily store, retrieve, and manipulate data in databases from within Java code.


Examples of Java-Based Web Applications

Java is a widely used programming language for developing web applications. It is a powerful language with robust libraries and frameworks, making it ideal for building complex and scalable web applications. Here are some examples of Java-based web applications:

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform. It is built using Java and several other technologies like Spring, Hibernate, and Oracle Database. LinkedIn uses a combination of Java Servlets and JSPs for its web development.

Amazon – Amazon is an online retail giant that sells millions of products worldwide. Amazon’s website is built using a combination of Java and other technologies like Spring Framework, Hibernate, and Tomcat Server.

eBay – eBay is an online marketplace where buyers and sellers trade goods and services. eBay’s website is built using Java Servlets and JSPs. eBay also uses other technologies like Oracle Database, Spring, and Hibernate.

Twitter – Twitter is a social media platform that allows users to send and read short messages called “tweets.” Twitter’s website uses Java, Scala, and other technologies like Apache Cassandra, Hadoop, and Memcached.


Java for Mobile Applications

The use of Java for mobile application development is becoming increasingly popular due to its ease of use and scalability. Java provides the ability to create cross-platform applications with a single codebase, making it an attractive option for developers and users. Here are some ways Java is used for mobile development:

Android App Development

The Android platform primarily relies on Java as the programming language for developing mobile applications. Java’s extensive libraries and platform independence make it a popular choice for building high-performance, scalable, and secure Android apps, contributing to its prevalence as the most widely used mobile operating system.

Mobile Web Development

Java is a leading technology used in mobile web development, offering access to a wide range of features. It is typically used for developing applications and APIs for web-based services such as mobile banking and payment processing.

Java Micro Edition (Java ME)

Java ME is a software framework designed to enable the development of mobile applications for devices with limited resources, such as feature phones and small embedded devices, on multiple platforms. It offers a comprehensive set of libraries and APIs for building mobile applications that can function on various devices.

Java Native Interface (JNI)

Java Native Interface (JNI) is a programming framework that enables Java programs to interact with code written in other programming languages, such as C or C++. JNI allows Java programs to call native methods written in these languages and to incorporate native libraries into their code.

Codename One

Codename One is a mobile development framework that allows developers to write Java code and deploy it as native applications on Android, iOS, and other mobile platforms. Java is a core component of the Codename One platform, enabling developers to create high-performance applications with various capabilities and features.


Examples of Java-Based Mobile Applications

Java is an increasingly popular language for mobile development, used by developers to create applications for both Android and iOS platforms. Some of the most successful mobile applications were built using Java, such as the following:


WhatsApp is a widely used mobile messaging application, and it was built using Java. Initially released in 2009, the app has since become one of the world’s most popular instant messaging applications, with over 1.5 billion users as of February 2021.

Java enables WhatsApp to offer users various features, such as end-to-end encryption for security and privacy, group chat capabilities, and file sharing.

Music and Video Streaming Apps

Java is a widely used language for creating popular music and video streaming apps. It provides users easy access to their favorite songs and videos on mobile devices, allowing them to listen and watch anytime, anywhere.

Popular streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Vevo are all built with Java. Developers take advantage of the language’s portability and scalability, allowing users to access their favorite music and videos on any device.


A popular mobile application that is based on Java technology is Snapchat. This app allows users to send snaps, selfies/videos, and messages to their contacts directly from their phones. The messages and images are only accessible briefly before they disappear. Snapchat is popular among all ages, as it offers fun ways to stay connected with friends and family.

Uber Mobile App

This popular ride-hailing application is an example of the many applications of Java. Uber is a mobile app that connects individuals with nearby drivers. It uses Java to securely process payments, store customer information, and provide an interactive user interface.


Java for Game Development

Java is a universal programming language used in game development for many years. It provides several advantages to game developers, such as cross-platform compatibility, ease of use, and a large community of developers. Here are some ways in which Java is commonly used in game development:

Game Engines

Game engines provide pre-built components and tools developers can use to create games more efficiently. Java is used in popular game engines such as LibGDX, jMonkeyEngine, and Ardor3D. These engines offer a range of features, such as graphics rendering, physics simulation, and audio support, which help developers create high-quality games.

Game Logic and Mechanics

Java is an object-oriented language ideal for creating game logic and mechanics. Developers use Java to write code that controls the behavior of game objects and manages interactions between them. Java’s object-oriented programming capabilities enable developers to create complex game logic that is easy to modify and extend.

User Interface Design

Java provides a rich set of libraries and frameworks for creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs), essential to most games. Java’s GUI libraries make it easy for developers to create menus, buttons, and other interactive elements that players can use to navigate the game.


Multiplayer games require networking capabilities to allow players to connect and interact with each other. Java provides a range of networking libraries that make it easy for developers to create reliable and efficient network connections.


Examples of Popular Java-Based Games


Developed by Mojang Studios and acquired by Microsoft, Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world. The sandbox game allows players to explore a blocky world, gather resources, and build structures.


RuneScape is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Jagex. It was first released in 2001 and has since become one of the most popular free-to-play games in the world. RuneScape was initially written in Java and has undergone several updates and improvements.

Puzzle Pirates

Developed by Three Rings Design, Puzzle Pirates is a multiplayer puzzle game in a pirate-themed world. Players must solve various puzzles to perform actions such as sailing a ship, pillaging other ships, and trading goods.

Bloons TD Battles

Developed by Ninja Kiwi, Bloons TD Battles is a tower defense game in which players must defend against waves of enemy balloons. It features simple graphics, intuitive gameplay, and various towers and upgrades.


Developed by Schine GmbH, StarMade is a sandbox space exploration game that allows players to build and pilot their spacecraft. It features a procedurally generated universe, multiplayer support, and various materials and components to build with. StarMade was written in Java and is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.


Java for Enterprise Applications

Java is a precise language, and one of its most popular applications is in enterprise software development. Large companies rely on Java when building their enterprise software solutions, including web applications and back-end systems. Here are some ways Java is used for enterprise development:

Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB)

EJB is an architecture for developing distributed enterprise applications. It includes a set of components and APIs which enable developers to build server-side software in Java.

EJBs are used in enterprise applications primarily for their scalability and robustness.

Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Analytics

Java is used for developing business intelligence and data analytics applications. Java-based BI and data analytics frameworks such as Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, and Apache Storm provide developers with tools and APIs to process, store and analyze large datasets.


Examples of Java-Based Enterprise Applications

Java develops various applications for different industries, including finance, healthcare, retail, education, and more. Here are some examples of Java-based enterprise applications:

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are essential for managing organizational business processes, from finance to human resources. Companies rely on Java-based ERP systems such as SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamics for their reliability and versatility. These systems are pivotal in managing critical functions such as supply chains, inventory, and payroll.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

CRM systems are used to manage interactions with customers and prospects. Java-based CRM systems help companies manage customer data, sales, marketing, and customer support. Examples of Java-based CRM systems include Salesforce, SugarCRM, and Zoho CRM.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Systems

Healthcare providers use EMR systems to manage patient data, medical history, and treatment plans. Java-based EMR systems help healthcare providers improve patient care, reduce errors, and increase efficiency. Examples of Java-based EMR systems include Cerner, Epic, and Meditech.

E-commerce Platforms

E-commerce platforms are used by businesses to sell products and services online. Java-based e-commerce platforms help companies manage orders, payments, inventory, and shipping. Examples of Java-based e-commerce platforms include Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce.


Java for Big Data and Analytics

Big data and analytics are driving many of today’s business decisions. Java is often used for tasks like analyzing large amounts of data, creating predictive models, and optimizing data-driven processes. Here are some ways Java is used for big data and analytics:

Apache Hadoop

An open-source software framework for storing and processing large data sets in a distributed computing environment. Hadoop is widely used in various industries, including finance, healthcare, and e-commerce, to analyze large volumes of data and extract insights from them.

Spring XD

Spring XD is an open-source big data processing platform built on the Spring Framework. It is written in Java and provides a simple and intuitive interface for processing large volumes of data.

Spring XD is widely used in finance, healthcare, and e-commerce for real-time analytics, data ingestion, and data processing.

Apache Flink

Apache Flink is a distributed stream processing framework that processes large volumes of data in real-time. It is written in Java and provides a powerful platform for the real-time processing of data streams.

Apache Storm

Apache Storm is a distributed real-time computation system for processing large volumes of data in real-time. It is written in Java and provides a fault-tolerant and scalable platform for the real-time processing of data streams.

Apache Storm is widely used in finance, healthcare, and e-commerce for real-time analytics, fraud detection, and risk management tasks.


Elasticsearch is a distributed search and analytics engine built on top of Apache Lucene. It is written in Java and provides a powerful search and analytics engine for analyzing large volumes of data.

Elasticsearch is widely used in e-commerce, media, and finance industries to analyze customer behavior and improve business operations.


Examples of Java-Based Big Data and Analytics Applications

There are numerous Java-based big data and analytics applications across various industries. Here are some examples of Java-based big data and analytics applications:


The company uses Elasticsearch to store data from millions of riders and drivers, process payments, and track driver performance. Its Elasticsearch deployment also powers its search and analytics capabilities, enabling Uber to provide the best possible customer experience.


Java is the backbone of Airbnb’s big data and analytics applications, specifically for its pricing algorithm. The algorithm draws insights from various data sources, such as market demand, seasonal trends, and other relevant factors, to provide pricing recommendations for Airbnb hosts.


Elasticsearch, an open-source technology, allows Netflix to store and index vast amounts of data so that it can be searched and retrieved like a database.

The system manages and analyzes vast amounts of user data, such as viewing patterns, preferences, and ratings, which Netflix uses to deliver personalized recommendations and enhance user engagement.


Java powers Amazon’s big data and analytics applications, which are integrated into its Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. AWS offers tools for processing and managing large amounts of data, such as Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR) and Amazon Kinesis, both built on Java technology.


Summing up the Uses of Java

Java is a highly dependable, flexible, and influential programming language that finds application in diverse areas. It is the preferred choice for developing enterprise-level solutions such as customer relationship management systems, enterprise resource planning systems, and web applications.

Besides, Java is extensively utilized in building embedded systems, mobile applications, games, web servers, and other software. Its robustness makes Java the go-to language for developing desktop applications, web services, big data solutions, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.



Java is an immensely versatile programming language that finds application in various domains. Its range of utilities spans from creating simple desktop applications to developing complex web-based enterprise solutions.

Java’s scalability ensures that it can be conveniently adjusted and maintained, irrespective of the complexity of the project at hand. Besides, Java boasts robust security features, making it an ideal choice for developing secure web applications and other sensitive software.

Given its numerous benefits, Java remains popular for businesses, developers, and users. If you’re considering your next move, it might be worth exploring the best Java hosting providers to secure the best web hosting plan.


Next Steps: What Now?

  • Research the best Java hosting providers. Analyze their features, reliability ratings, and customer feedback to determine which is the most suitable for your needs
  • Compare different web hosting plans to ensure you are getting the best price possible for your requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with the basics of Java development and ensure you have the required skill set for your project
  • Follow our guide on installing Java on CentOS 7 and start developing your application today.


Further reading – Useful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Java Application Used For?

Java is a universal programming language for various applications, from web and mobile development to gaming, big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud computing. It is also used for creating apps that can run on devices such as smartphones, embedded systems, enterprise servers, and supercomputers.

What Makes Java the Most Popular Language?

Java is the most popular programming language due to its versatility and scalability. It allows developers to write code that can run on any device or platform, making it ideal for creating applications that need to be portable across different systems.

What Type of Language is Java?

Java is an object-oriented, general-purpose programming language. It is a class-based and concurrent language designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible.

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