Java Vs C++: Differences, Similarities and Importance

Java Vs C++: Differences, Similarities and Why they are Important
Java Vs C++: Differences, Similarities and Why they are Important


The general preference of using either C++ or Java highly depends on the requirement. While C++ is much better for networking or hardware-related tasks, Java is portable and versatile. Java programs can easily be migrated and run elsewhere while it has a massive number of developers proficient in this language.

Good developers for C++ are becoming increasingly harder for companies to find and academic syllabuses are adopting Java instead of C++. Meanwhile, C++ is much more powerful and provides consistent performance. But, debugging in C++ is a hectic and time-consuming process.

Many companies are opting out of using C++ to build or sustain their IT infrastructure, services, programs or systems and readily using Java. C++ is not getting any upgrades and has many flaws when it comes to using the internet. Alongside Java is offering reliability, versatility and automated garbage collection, and this is slowly making more developers and organisations adopt Java in modern times.

What Is Java And Why Is It Important?

Java is a high-level programming language that was designed to implement easy porting and migration. Java code is portable and can work across all platforms without requiring any recompilation. It is a multi-paradigm language that is both object-oriented programming and procedural.

Java promotes the building of Desktop GUI Applications, Mobile Applications, Web-based Applications, Big Data Technologies, Cloud-based Applications, Software Tools, Gaming Applications and many more programs.

Google uses Java extensively for its architecture with Google Docs being an example of how Java is used by Google to build web and cloud-based applications. It is a general-purpose programming language and runs on any Java Virtual Machine.

C++ And Its Importance

C++ is also a general-purpose object-oriented programming language that was created as a successor to C. It was initially built as an extension of C and has become its own functional language in time. It promotes low-level memory manipulation unlike Java and is a low-level programming language that is much closer to system resources and hardware.

It is always used as a compiled language and is used to build multiple IT architecture and foundational software. C++ is meant for performance, power, efficiency and memory management. C++ is used to build advanced computational tools, Operating Systems, games, browsers, GUI-based tools, Database software and massive applications for banks or corporates. MySQL server, Mozilla Firefox and macOS are some examples that are built using C++.

Java Vs C++: Pros And Cons

Java vs C++ both boasts their own advantages and drawbacks. Let us check the main pros and cons of using each one of them.

  • Java can be executed through any platform as it is platform-independent. However, C++ is platform-dependent, fundamentally needing to be compiled for each platform. Java is portable and can be translated into bytecode. Bytecodes are flexible and can be run across any platform.
  • C++ has support for multiple types of inheritances. C++ uses virtual keywords and stable syntaxes in order to effectively use multiple and single inheritances. Java only supports single inheritances and can only simulate the effects of multiple inheritances. C++ also supports pointers while Java has just recently started supporting limited support for pointers.
  • Java boasts of default thread support while C++ needs external libraries to support thread classes. 
  • C++ does not promote documentation while Java has default support for documentation comments for source code.
  • C++ has strong encapsulation, which ensures protection and provides a flexible model. Java possesses weak encapsulation and is not comparatively flexible. 
  • C++ supports both method and operator overloading. Java can only allow method overloading.
  • Runtime errors are detected by the system in Java while it must be done manually in C++ by the programmer. Debugging is also a very time-consuming process in C++ while Java makes it much simpler.
  • C++ is much better for system-level programming or hardware manipulation due to allowing direct calls to native system libraries. Java is not great for system-level programming due to the requirement of Native Access and Native Interface to call on native libraries.
  • Java requires all functions and data to be inside classes and does not boast of any global scope. Meanwhile, C++ allows functions or data to existing outside classes while boasting of namespace and global scope.
  • C++ supports goto statements while Java does not support goto statements.
  • C++ also supports structures and unions that Java does not support.

Similarities Between Java Vs C++

Firstly, both these languages are object-oriented programming languages. Their syntax is similar and the ‘main’ function is the entry points for both C++ and Java. They support similar data types and promote using conditional statements, value assignments, arithmetic operators etc.

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Java and C++ are both great for building applications and both are truly powerful in their own terms. The basics of C/C++ or Java cover similar concepts and even though the languages are different, they can project or build similarly functioning applications.

Both C++ and Java are backwards compatible with C++ being based on C and Java versions supporting older rollouts with plenty of resources or libraries.

Both the languages are great at supporting and assisting other languages as well. Even though C++ is much more compatible, JVM is becoming the environment of choice when running other languages as well. C++ is used for building Operating Systems and browsers but Java is used for building applications for these systems such as Android. This is why these two languages are co-dependent and both must be referred to when planning to build successful applications or environments.

Differences Between Java Vs C++

We have covered the advantages of using C++ and Java are and their individual disadvantages are. The main difference between C/C++ and Java is how they are compiled.

While programs in C++ like its predecessor are compiled into object codes, source codes in Java are bytecodes. C++ is completely a compiled language while Java is both compiled and interpreted. Now, let us check some more fundamental differences between C++ and Java.

  • C++ is a low-level procedural language while Java is a high-level programming language.
  • C++ requires manual memory management. In C++, memory needs to be allocated or deallocated separately through deletion/new operators. In Java, the system controls memory management and does not require the user to manually perform it.
  • C++ is procedural and does not maintain root hierarchy while Java maintains single root hierarchies.
  • Source codes and file names do not have any relationship in C++ while Java requires classes containing source codes to be the same as the file names.
  • C++ is compatible with other high-level languages while Java is not compatible with other languages without additional support.
  • Type semantics are consistent in C++ while Java does not provide consistency between primitive and object types.
  • Codes that will cause exceptions must be added to the try/catch block in Java as destructors are not supported. In C++, programmers can simply exclude blocks even if it will cause an exception.
  • Objects are managed manually in C++ while Java depends on automatic garbage collection for identifying and removing objects.
  • C++ is much more effective for controlling hardware resources and for accessing systems and databases. Java is a complex language and needs time to be able to access hardware resources effectively.
  • C++ and Java differences also lie in their intractability with native libraries. C++ is also capable of accessing every hardware resource while Java cannot do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better C++ or Java?

It is hard to say which is better as both prove to be equally useful in terms of resources and applications. C++ is great for system and networking functions while Java is the best for designing interactive applications or games.

Various software developed using C++ are great and stable. But, they do not compare to the modern applications built using Java and its extensive libraries. When using Java, the deployment speed is also much faster and Java allows multiple users to collaborate in cross-platform environments.

Should I learn Java or C++ first?

The basics of C/C++ and Java are similar in nature, even boasting of similar syntax. C++ is a much better option to learn first, as it can build the foundation to work on more complex languages such as Java.

Is C++ harder than Java?

No, Java is harder than C++. C++ is easy to use even though it is close to the system language. Java is more abstract in nature and works with an enormous number of parameters.

Which is more powerful, Java or C++?

If being powerful is estimated by raw power, C++ is definitely much more powerful. However, in terms of flexibility and complexity, Java wins. Java is much more assertive and can take up all kinds of projects. C++ also is faster and allows memory to not be wasted during allocation operations.

Is Java a dying language?

No, Java will not die for many years to come. But with JavaScript and Node.js being used extensively, the usage might die out in the years to come. Many users predict that other languages will start using JVM to run as well.

Why is C++ so powerful?

The reason why C++ is considered to be so powerful is due to it being able to access all hardware resources and processor components. C++ is great for using peripheral registers and re-interpreting or manipulating memory.

Is C++ similar to Java?

No, only their syntax is similar. Everything else about them is different such as support for data types, memory management and polymorphism.

Is Java written in C++?

No, Java is not written in C++ but the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is written in C++. The first java compiler that was developed by IBM and Sun Microsystems was also built mainly using C and some C++ libraries. The modern Java compilers are written using Java while Java Runtime Environments are written using C.

Is Java faster than C++?

This depends on multiple variables as C++ is much faster when dealing with system or hardware resources while Java is faster during debugging, porting and development practises in general. However, C++ is much faster during allocation and compilation.

Key Takeaways

Many MNCs and conglomerates have started adopting Java in their processes that were supported by C++. Especially with Java offering more support for external libraries and systems. Java is slowly replacing C++ in application building, game development and IT architecture but C++ will always have a place for development processes and system-related manipulation.

Both the languages are in danger of being slowly replaced by flexible and robust languages such as Python. However, C++ will also be closer to the hardware and will always be powerful in comparison to other languages.

JVM also helps effectively optimise code, thus increasing the execution performance much more than C++. Many modern applications are based on Java and this language will see a decade or two before it gets completely replaced.

However, unlike C++, when there is a language that promotes low latency while offering similar advantages, Java will eventually get replaced. C++ is the foundation of many systems and it will never be wise to completely detach from the language, no matter how outdated it becomes.