Alex Migutsky

Alex Mihutski

Head of Database Migration Department, Ispirer Systems

As businesses evolve, so do their global guidelines, requirements, goals, and the software they use. This evolution often necessitates converting applications into new programming languages that are more compatible with current services and offer greater development opportunities. One common scenario is the need to convert applications from C++ to Java.

In this article, we will explore the reasons behind such a conversion, the steps involved, the various methods available, and how to choose the right tool for the job. We'll cover everything you need to know to successfully convert your C++ applications to Java. Let's dive in!

Why convert C++ to Java?

As a matter of fact, C++ and Java are two completely different languages. Java was designed for enterprise applications, while C++ was intended for lower-level programming like embedded systems. Businesses may choose to convert their applications from C++ to Java for various reasons.

1. Developer productivity. Developers often consider Java syntax and design simpler and more streamlined than C++, which can enhance developer productivity. Features like automated memory management, built-in exception handling, and a consistent object-oriented approach contribute to faster development cycles and easier maintenance.

2. Platform independence. Java is designed to be platform-independent at both the source and binary levels, thanks to the Java Virtual Machine. Java applications can run on any device or operating system with a JVM. This makes it more convenient than C++. C++ requires code to be compiled for each platform.

3. Memory management. Java handles memory management automatically with its garbage collector, reducing the likelihood of memory leaks and pointer-related errors which are common in C++. This paves the way for more stable and secure applications, which is particularly important for large and complex systems.

4. Maintenance and future-proofing. Legacy C++ applications might be harder to maintain and extend due to outdated codebases or the lack of modern development practices. By converting to Java, companies can leverage modern development practices and frameworks, ensuring their applications are future-proof and easier to manage. Among the top Java frameworks are Spring, Google Web Toolkit, and Hibernate, that allow developers to create high-performing Java applications.

What is C++?

C++ is a widely used programming language for various purposes, from simple coding to advanced software development, known for its versatility. It is often referred to as a “swiss pocket knife” due to a variety of purposes.

One of the key features of C++ is its ability to support low-level and system-level programming, making it suitable for developing operating systems, device drivers, and other system software. At the same time, C++ also provides a rich set of libraries and features for high-level application programming, making it a popular choice for developing desktop applications, video games, and other complex applications.

What is Java?

Java is a user-friendly programming language that is easy to write, compile, and debug. Due to its reliability and ease of use, it is one of the most popular in the world, especially because it is open-source and runs on every operating system, following its “Write Once, Run Anywhere” logic. Today, Java is used to build robust, scalable, portable, and distributed full-fledged applications from games and websites to client-server networks and Big Data technology.

How to convert C++ to Java?

1. Online Converters. There are a number of online solutions for C++ to Java conversion. Most online converters have limited functionality, basically they contain just one button. In fact, they work similarly to Google translate, just copy a part of code and paste it into the converter. One of the most popular is Tangible Software Solutions. It supports conversion of various C++ constructs. Though it requires a license for full functionality, the investment pays off with high-quality output and reduced post-conversion debugging. This tool is a top choice for small projects, where ease of use is the top priority.

2. Ispirer Toolkit. This is a comprehensive desktop solution for converting applications automatically. The tool comprises several components: a user interface (both GUI and CLI), an inference engine, and a knowledge base. Over the past 24 years, domain experts have continuously updated the knowledge base with conversion rules for programming languages and database objects, covering more than 30 migration directions, including C++ to Java. This consistent effort has resulted in a knowledge base containing tens of thousands of conversion rules and approximately one hundred thousand tests to ensure quality in each nightly release. Ispirer Toolkit supports conversion of C++ syntax, functions, methods, operators, etc. The toolkit was developed taking into account the security requirements of the client's source code and strict requirements to comply with regulatory standards. Conversion quality, security, compliance with international standards and transparency of the migration process are what Ispirer Toolkit is based on as a comprehensive solution for converting code from C++ to Java.

Ispirer Toolkit: a prime solution for C++ to Java conversion

Code conversion with Ispirer Toolkit brings to the table a number of benefits. Let’s review some of them.

  • Security of your code. We understand how important code confidentiality is to business. Ispirer Toolkit does not transfer the code to third parties and does not store it. It works without an Internet connection, so you don’t have to worry about the confidentiality of your code.
  • Customization is the key to high automation. Ispirer Toolkit is easy to customize. As a rule, we offer tool customization in cases where the application code is non-trivial and contains a large number of features. As a matter of fact, a large application definitely contains a lot of specific code structures that cannot be converted with the help of online converters. Therefore, to increase the level of automation, our specialists can create a custom version of the Ispirer Toolkit, which can provide maximum conversion automation.
  • Converting the entire application. Ispirer Toolkit converts the entire application, taking into account the types and relationships of all objects (variables, functions, classes). It is a decisive advantage, compared to online converters, for which you need to divide the code and convert it in parts.
  • Comprehensive Support. During migration, many questions and conversion issues may arise, which may complicate the migration process in case of online converters. Ispirer provides dedicated support agents that are always available for helping you with the tool configuration or handling any issues in a timely manner.
  • Conversion of Embedded SQL. Online converters for C++ to Java typically focus on converting the core syntax and structures of the programming languages. Embedded SQL, which involves SQL queries written within the code of a host programming language like C++, adds an additional layer of complexity to the conversion process. Ispirer Toolkit is able to convert Embedded SQL as well, which makes it a comprehensive solution for full automated application modernization from C++ to Java.
  • Conversion reports for full transparency. After the conversion, the tool generates a full report with complete information about the conversion to give you full control over the conversion results.
  • Turnkey migration service. For those clients who do not have their own development team with expertise in C++ to Java migration or resources for migration, we suggest entrusting the migration project to our experts. Our specialists will take care of the entire process of modernizing your application from the initial assessment to the final launch of the updated application in Java. If necessary, our experts can provide related services for performance optimization, code refactoring, support and maintenance, etc.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is crucial to note that the choice of a conversion method depends on a number of factors, including the size of the project, specific requirements, and the volume of code to be converted. Understanding these factors will help in determining whether an online converter can be sufficiently effective or if manual conversion and expertise are necessary for more complex or larger-scale projects.

If you are currently looking for a tool to convert C++ code to Java, book a demo to see how Ispirer Toolkit can streamline your application conversion initiatives. This will give you an idea of the tool and its functionality.