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21 January 2021

Java vs .NET: Which One to Choose for Your Project?

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As they say, you cannot have too much of a good thing. However, as you struggle to find the best technology to develop your product, you may strongly disagree with that statement.

With a plethora of different frameworks, tools and programming languages, making the right decision may seem impossible. I totally feel you; comparing all of them may leave you confused and frustrated.

However, there’s no need to worry. Today, I will guide you through the twist and turns of two leading technologies intended for development of cutting-edge software, websites, and web apps.

I present you with .NET vs Java ! Let’s compare them and find out which one will be the best for your project.

Main Differences Between .NET and Java

As I already mentioned, choosing the right technology for the project is not a piece of cake. But hey, you’re up to a good start! You’ve already narrowed down your options to these two: Java vs .NET. Both options are already a win but hopefully, with help of this comparison, you will be able to choose the better one.

Operating system

Few years ago, there was no denying that Java had the upper hand in this category, as it was able to operate on any operating system, while .NET was fully controlled by Microsoft and only ran on Windows.

The current approach of Microsoft is completely different. Their core value is to ensure freedom for developers. That’s why .NET became an open-source platform with no licensing costs. It’s is compatible with all the major operating systems: Windows, Linux, and iOS.

Programming languages

Both platforms provide support for common programming languages, such as Ruby and Python. Why does it matter? It will be crucial when looking for programmers to develop your project.

One of the distinguishing features of Java is that it shares a single language across different platforms. But still, the programs written with it work independently across different OS types.
On the other hand, .NET framework supports C#, F# and Visual Basic.
So, it could be said that .NET supports a multi-programming environment, and Java is based on a single programming language that is helpful in supporting multiple.

Popularity

Even though Java was created back in 1995, it is one of the most popular technologies worldwide. It often ranks first in various ratings, and this is probably the main reason developers stick to it. Java comes with a devoted and active community of users so it will be easy to get support when in doubt.

You can find out more about what is Java used for in today’s programming in our earlier article.

.NET used to be less popular due to its exclusivity for Windows. However, with the change in Microsoft’s approach, .NET is gaining a new wave of enthusiasts.

Advantages of .NET Development

Less coding and increased reuse of code

.NET works on object-oriented programming which eliminates unnecessary codes and involves less coding for your developers. It consists of re-useable code and many re-useable components. What does it mean? Less time spent on developing the app, and consequently less money spent on developing your product.

Easy deployment and maintenance

With the use of .NET, the deployment and maintenance are child’s play. It’s especially important in the case of any future issues and bugs. Thanks to its modular design, developers can literally take apart applications or websites and then fix the elements that need it, then put them back together. No need to wade through the code just to find that one line that is making everything go haywire.

Cross-platform development

Although it was not when it was first launched, .NET has since become a cross-platform implementation that can be used to develop applications on multiple OS.

Automatic monitoring in ASP.NET

One of the worst things that can happen during the coding process is when something goes wrong and you don’t even notice, or you notice too late. Thanks to the automatic monitoring feature of ASP.NET, you will be notified if problematic pops out. The same applies for memory leaks and a bunch of other issues.

For more elaborate list of .NET benefits, read my other article on why .NET is good for your project.

Disadvantages of .NET

Licensing cost

Even though .NET became an open-source framework, building .NET apps isn’t cheap. Mostly, your expenses will be spent on Visual Studio IDE and other additional collaboration and quality assurance services that Microsoft offers to simplify your work. However, you still can try to become a Microsoft Partner to have a number of subscriptions for free.

The gap between release and stability

.NET stack couldn’t escape the problem that cripples all Microsoft product. Unfortunately, the newly released products lack proper documentation, support, stability, and are prone to drastic changes.

The Entity Framework

As I mentioned above, .NET uses the object-oriented programming (OOP) language model. Its support is provided by the Entity Framework.

It is believed that Entity Framework isn’t flexible enough and may not support all available database designs. This also means that there’s a chance that at some point Entity Framework may not be supporting new database designs. Also, it’s expected that it may eventually be abandoned by Microsoft.

Build reliable and scalable software with Microsoft technologies.

 

Advantages of Java Development

Platform independency

Write Once Run Anywhere (WORA) is a popular programming catchphrase introduced by Sun Microsystems to describe Java’s cross-platform capabilities. It meant you could create a Java program on, let’s say, Windows, compile it to bytecode, and run the application on any other platform that supports a Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Java has been like this from its very implementation, so you can expect that majority of the issues have been long gone.

You can also find out more about Java best practices, tips and tricks in our other article.

Strong community

Java offers one of the strongest and extensive communities that provide support at all times. Irrespective of the query, and the complexity of the problem with your product, you can depend on the community to get a reply. The community also updates news, features, developments, and any information related to Java.

With the popularity of Java, it may also be easier to find devs who will be perfect for your project.

JVM

Java runs on JVM that provides many developer-friendly mechanisms. Some of these include Code Optimisation, Memory Management, as well as the Garbage Collector function. Of course, your developers aren’t restricted purely to Java. You can also develop code through a number of methods. Those include Groovy, Scala, and Kotlin, which can run on JVM.

Disadvantages of Java

Security

Security is always a major concern for an open-source platform like Java, especially with its long history of security issues and breaches. Even though many problems have been already solved, some devs are still cautious when using Java.

Licencing mess

“Is Java still free?” This and similar questions pop out on Quora, as many people feel confused whether they need to pay for using it or not.

Of course, there are several official FAQs aiming to explain the situation with licensing (one on Oracle’s site and another one on Java.com) but instead of making it clear, it complicates it even more.

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Final Decision: Java vs .NET

There’s no wrong decision when choosing between .NET and Java, as they both are the top performing platforms.

To choose the best one for your project, you should clearly identify your objectives, needs and requirements. Only then you will be able to make the best possible decision.

If you still don’t know which option will fit your project, make sure to contact specialists. Maybe consulting .NET and Java developers will help you choose The One?


Author
Tomasz Karelus
.NET Technical Lead

Team Leader and Software Developer. Professionally connected with .Net and MVC applications. Speaking of his hobby he is interested in football and fishing.