What Is Java?

Java was originally a programming language invented by Sun Microsystems, by James Gosling. Today Oracle owns Sun, and therefore Java too. Java is thus Oracle’s trademark. Over time Java has evolved into more than just a language. It is a full platform with lots of standard APIs, open source APIs, tools, a big developer community with millions of developers etc. It may be a bit unclear what all this means, but you will get a better feeling for it when you start learning more about Java, and start working with it.

When people talk about Java they often refer to several different parts of the total concept. That is because Java is more than just a programming language. For a beginner, all these different “meanings” can be confusing, so I will explain them so you know what people are talking about. The most commonly concepts associated with Java are:

  • Java Language
  • Java Bytecode
  • Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
  • Java APIs
  • Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
  • Java Developer Kit (JDK)
  • Java Code Conventions
  • Java Standard Edition (JSE)
  • Java Enterprise Edition (JEE)
  • Java Application Servers
  • Java Micro Edition (JME)
  • Java Applets
  • JavaFX
  • Java Developer Community