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Java 11 Vs 17: Java Explained

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Java is a widely-used programming language developed by Oracle. It is platform independent, meaning it can run on various operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux and Unix. Both Java 11 and 17 are versions of the language released by Oracle, but with key differences. This article will compare the two versions of Java, look at the features of each one, and examine the impacts on both developers and enterprises.

Java 11 Overview

Java 11 was released in September 2018 and is the second long-term support release of the language (meaning it will receive security updates until September 2026). This version of Java was primarily focused on quality and stability improvements such as better memory management. It also contained some key features such as full support for TLS 1.3 and improvements to the performance of libraries such as ThreadLocal .

In addition to the features mentioned above, Java 11 also introduced a new feature called the Epsilon garbage collector. This garbage collector is designed to be used in situations where the application does not require any memory management and can be used to reduce the overhead of the garbage collection process. This feature is especially useful for applications that are running on low-memory devices.

Java 17 Overview

Java 17 was released in March 2021 and is the latest version of the language available. It contains many new features and enhancements over Java 11, although a few of them can only be accessed if you purchase a paid license. Java 17 focuses more on performance improvements, introducing several new compiler optimizations to improve code execution time. It also supports ZGC – a low-latency garbage collection algorithm – which can improve the scalability of applications.

In addition to performance improvements, Java 17 also includes several new language features. These include the introduction of records, which allow developers to create immutable data classes more easily, as well as the addition of pattern matching for instanceof, which makes it easier to write code that works with multiple types. Java 17 also includes support for the new Sealed Classes feature, which allows developers to restrict the inheritance of classes.

Comparing the Two Versions

Java 11 and 17 have several key differences worth noting. Firstly, while Java 11 is a free-of-charge release, Java 17 requires a paid license with Oracle. However, this license gives access to certain features that aren’t available in the free version. Java 11 focuses more on stability and quality improvements, while Java 17 is more focused on performance and scalability enhancements. Finally, Java 17 contains several new language features that can help developers code more efficiently.

In addition, Java 17 also includes a number of security updates and bug fixes that are not available in Java 11. This makes it a great choice for developers who need to ensure their applications are secure and reliable. Furthermore, Java 17 also includes support for new technologies such as AI and machine learning, which can help developers create more powerful applications.

New Features in Java 11

Java 11 includes several features and improvements over previous versions. It uses the var keyword to minimize code, enabling developers to define an inferred type without manually specifying its type. Additionally, it introduces improved garbage collection, making memory management more efficient. Finally, it has full TLS 1.3 support, providing a more secure connection.

Java 11 also includes a new HTTP Client API, which simplifies the process of making HTTP requests. This API supports both synchronous and asynchronous requests, and provides a more intuitive way to access web resources. Additionally, it includes a new Flight Recorder feature, which allows developers to collect and analyze data about their application’s performance. This feature can be used to identify and address performance issues quickly and efficiently.

New Features in Java 17

Java 17 contains several new features over previous versions, some of which require a paid license. It has native support for vector API’s, which can improve program performance. Additionally, it introduces significant compiler optimizations to speed up code execution time. Finally, it also supports ZGC – a low-latency garbage collection algorithm – which can help applications scale up smoothly.

Java 17 also includes a new feature called Project Loom, which allows developers to create lightweight threads that can be used to improve the performance of applications. This feature is especially useful for applications that require high levels of concurrency. Additionally, Java 17 also includes a new tool called jshell, which allows developers to quickly test and evaluate code snippets without having to write a full program.

Pros and Cons of Java 11

Java 11 has many advantages over older versions. It significantly improves the stability and quality of code; it uses the var keyword to minimize code; and it includes full TLS 1.3 support for improved security. However, it does not contain as many features as later versions, and some of these features require the purchase of a paid license.

In addition, Java 11 does not support some of the more advanced features of Java, such as the JavaFX library. This means that developers who need to use these features will need to upgrade to a later version of Java. Furthermore, Java 11 does not support some of the more recent language features, such as the switch expression. This means that developers who need to use these features will need to upgrade to a later version of Java.

Pros and Cons of Java 17

Java 17 has many benefits over older versions. It is packed with new features such as vector API’s and compiler optimizations that can dramatically improve code performance. Additionally, it supports ZGC – a low-latency garbage collection algorithm – which can help applications scale up readily. However, to use some features of this version, users must purchase a paid license.

Impact of the Two Versions on Developers

Both versions of Java present different benefits to developers. Java 11 offers improved stability and quality, as well as faster memory management with the var keyword. Java 17 contains features unique to this version such as vector API’s and improved compiler optimizations which can help speed up code execution time. Ultimately which version developers should use depends entirely on their individual needs.

Impact of the Two Versions on Enterprises

Both versions of Java can be beneficial to enterprises. Java 11’s improvements in stability, quality and memory management make it ideal for corporate applications that need to remain up-to-date and secure. On the other hand, Java 17 contains features such as vector API’s and ZGC – a low-latency garbage collection algorithm – ideal for large scale applications that need to operate quickly and efficiently.

Transitioning from Java 11 to Java 17

Transitioning from Java 11 to 17 is relatively simple for developers who understand how the language works. Firstly, they should familiarize themselves with the new features available in 17 such as vector API’s or improved compiler optimizations. They should then verify that their code is compatible with the changes made by updating their program to 17 if necessary. Finally, they can begin using their new version of Java 17.

Conclusion

Java 11 and 17 are two versions of the popular programming language released by Oracle. While both versions contain significant improvements over previous versions, each one is designed for different needs. Developers should consider their individual needs when determining which version to use; while Enterprises should also consider the type of applications they are creating when deciding which version of Java they should use.

Anand Das

Anand Das

Anand is Co-founder and CTO of Bito. He leads technical strategy and engineering, and is our biggest user! Formerly, Anand was CTO of Eyeota, a data company acquired by Dun & Bradstreet. He is co-founder of PubMatic, where he led the building of an ad exchange system that handles over 1 Trillion bids per day.

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