The purpose of writing this article is to provide a layman’s explanation of the similarities and differences between Java and.NET. I always have students asking me the difference between each of them, and when I answer their question, they still have doubts because of the lack of fundamental understanding between each of them.
So before we start comparing them, let’s understand their definition first. What are they? What are they doing? Who developed them? What do they include, etc.?
Java is an open source implementation of the Java Platform, developed by Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle). The Java programming language is a lightweight programming language that can be run on all operating systems such as UNIX, Linux, Windows, and the like using the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). Source programmes written in Java are first compiled into machine-independent code called bytecode. At runtime, the virtual machine reads the bytecode and executes it by translating it into target machine instructions for the operating system.
.NET is a software framework developed by Microsoft. It mainly runs on the Microsoft Windows operating system. The.NET framework consists of two main components: the.NET Framework Class Library and the Common Language Runtime (CLR). The.NET Framework Class Library has a collection of programming languages that can be used to develop different types of software applications, such as desktop, server, and mobile applications. These include support for simple data types, I/O functionalities, database support, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), and the like. The Microsoft Common Language Runtime supports Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) code execution by providing features such as code checking and compilation.
After I have a basic understanding of each of them, I will give a comparison between them. I will compare them based on their similarity first, and then on their differences in developing different types of software applications, such as desktop, web, and mobile applications.
- Both are capable of developing high-quality and high-quality application software.
- Both have programming languages that require different types of software applications.
- Both have a collection of APIs for development purposes.
Differences in desktop application development
- Java AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit) and the Swing Library are used to develop Java Desktop Applications. To develop a more interactive desktop application like Adobe Flash, developers can use JavaFX.
- .NET has a popular desktop development platform that uses Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, and Silverlight.
- Both platforms, Java and.NET, offer drag-and-drop capabilities for deploying desktop applications in their Integrated Development Environments (IDE).
Differences in web application development
- There is competition between the use of Java Enterprise Edition and Microsoft ASP.NET in developing dynamic web application software.
- JEE mainly uses Apache Tomcat as an application server, and Microsoft ASP.NET uses Internet Information Services (IIS).
The difference in mobile application development
- competition between Java Mobile Edition (Java ME) and the.NET Compact Framework.