Chief Product Officer, Ispirer Systems
Both Java and C# occupy a solid position in the realm of back-end development, cloud apps, windows client applications, big data and other major facets of modern programming. Although these languages share many similarities, they differ in many ways. If you are considering enterprise software development, understanding their key differences is especially important.
This guide will explain the main features, advantages, and disadvantages of Java and C#. It will also compare the two languages based on various parameters to provide clarity. This article will help you draw a fine line between Java and C#.
What is Java?
Java is an object-oriented, general-purpose language which also has few implementation dependencies. The language is well-known for its simplicity to write code, compile it, and debug the program. The release of Java in 1995 stirred up the entire world. New programming language expanded web development beyond text to include video and animation, increasing its diversity.
The Java motto is “write once, run anywhere". This means that Java code can transfer between systems and run the same way without needing any configuration. It is also an object-oriented language, so you can define data types and their behavior. Java possesses features like encapsulation, abstraction, inheritance, polymorphism, memory management, and automatic garbage collector that simplify coding. However, Java doesn't support operator overloading, whereas C# supports operator overloading for multiple operators. Java Runtime Environment (JRE) works on many platforms and devices, including Linux/Unix, Windows, mainframe systems, and mobile gadgets.
What is C#?
Microsoft launched C# in 2000 and it has been a huge success ever since. C# was a game-changer due to the two pillars of its design: modernity in features and simplicity in code. This is what allowed it to become one of the most easily scalable and powerful programming languages. Its syntax is similar to Java, and it can be easily learned by developers who have basic knowledge of such languages as C, C++, or Java.
C# is a programming language that is both general-purpose and object-oriented. It focuses on data and interchangeable code modules instead of logic. Consequently, C# is the best option for creating software components and using them. This language excels in Windows apps and receives regular updates, making it modern and strong. The IDE for programming in C# is Microsoft Visual Studio.
Microsoft created C# to compete with Java, which was becoming exceedingly popular at the time.
Key features for business
Despite the fact that both languages have many things in common, they are also very different in some ways. Java used to be an industry’s standard from day one, but C# came into this world as a worthy alternative. Choosing between them may not be easy, because it's a choice between a Lamborghini and Ferrari. They are both modern and cool, so how to make the right choice?
Enterprise apps need powerful technology to handle heavy workloads, so it's crucial to choose the right tech stack. Besides, enterprise software requires security which is why a programming language plays a vital role in application development.
We will compare these languages in terms of performance, scalability, security, speed, and development cost. This will make it easier for companies planning software development or modernization.
Both languages operate on intermediate execution environments, which has an impact on performance. C# uses Common Language Runtime (CLR), and Java uses Java Virtual Machine (JVM). However, many people typically consider C# better because of its JIT compiler. The JIT compiler improves code while it is running. Moreover, if you only need one function in a program, the compiler won't even compile all the others. It means that only those parts of the program that you really need will be in RAM, and not the entire program as a whole.
Some developers may argue that Java is faster, because JVM also has a JIT compiler. However, the compiler is better optimized in CLR, which is clear from the Benchmark tests.
Scaling is an important criterion when choosing a programming language for enterprise software development. Both languages lack standardized scaling. However, skilled Java and C# developers, along with hardware and third-party applications, can improve this. For C#, Async and Await can be used, while for Java distributed cache, NCache is available.
Security has always been an important feature of Java. It minimizes errors associated with text input, thanks to statistical typing. In addition, Java provides automatic code verification before execution. C# has many functions, making it prone to threats like SQL and CMD injection.
Speed of Development
The speed of development directly depends on the syntax of the programming language. Java syntax, for example, does not depend on compilers and the IDE, it is the same on any computing platform.
Microsoft developed C# for Windows, but now it performs well on different platforms with .NET Core and .NET 5. In addition, C# encourages code reuse.
It is important to remember that having a skilled team of developers is crucial for success. The team should be knowledgeable in their programming language. The discussion on speed is irrelevant in this context.
Cost of Development
As a matter of fact, app development in Java and C# costs approximately the same. Consider the number of available developers and their slightly different wages on the market. As a rule, Java developers are a bit more expensive than C# programmers. Another consideration when choosing between these two is additional expense. If you are going to use Windows-based solutions and other Microsoft products, C# is the way to go. If you choose Java, though, you need to choose what additional tools you’ll need for your project.
The development cost depends on having your own team, project complexity, and payment method. To find the price, consider your idea, its unique features, and the cost of available experts.
To sum it up, both C# and Java are general-purpose and object-oriented languages that have pros and cons in terms of coding, performance, cost of development, security and other criteria. When selecting a programming language for a project, it is important to consider the specific requirements of the project and choose a language that best suits those needs. C# is a powerful language that is best suited for Windows applications. Video game development, web applications, and enterprise software commonly use it as well. Its syntax is similar to that of C++, which makes it a popular choice for developers who are already familiar with that language. C# also has a rich set of libraries that can be used to develop applications and is known for its efficiency and performance.
Java, on the other hand, is a versatile language that is commonly used for web applications and Android apps. It is an object oriented programming language that is designed to be platform-independent, which means that the same program can run on many different systems. Java also has a large community of developers and a vast array of libraries and frameworks that can be used to develop applications. To address the operational prerequisites, enterprises that require scalable solutions opt for Java to develop enterprise applications.
Thus, the choice of the perfect language is challenging and depends on the specific requirements of the project. It's true that both languages are prevalent and there are solid reasons for that. They are good for enterprise software development and can be used to convert from outdated programming languages. If you are planning to switch from an old tech stack to a new one or modernize your application, choosing between the two languages will be the best solution. The modernization is not easy, but the automation can accelerate the process at times. At Ispirer, we use the nGLFly Wizard tool. It allows you to convert applications written in outdated Delphi, COBOL, Informix 4GL to modern and innovative Java and C#.