C# vs Java: Which Is The Better Choice for Constructing Your Product?
In today’s article, we will explore the topic of C# vs. Java for better constructing your product. Which of these two languages can help you finish your projects fast? In this article, we will compare one over the other and help you decide which one to choose.
Anders Hejlsberg invented C# in 2000. Five years ago, James Gosling came up with an idea to create a Java language. At the time, people from the IT industry argued whether there was a difference between the two languages. Gosling went one step ahead and said that C# imitates Java, while Hejlsberg claimed that C# is closer to C++.
Anders Hejlsberg (Microsoft)
James Gosling (Sun Microsystems)
CLR (Common Language Runtime)
JVM (Java Runtime Environment)
Language Integrated Query (LINQ)
However, the debate about the differences has continued. Consequently, business managers are confused when choosing a language for their team.
The truth is that both languages are very similar. C# and Java are objective-oriented, static-typed, and have similar syntax. Despite having many similarities, making a difference between C# and Java is possible, and we will discuss it in this article.
- Object-oriented features (abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism)
- Fast code execution – low memory and CPU usage
- Simple syntax – a vast range of keywords
- Easy CRUD operations by using LINQ
- High-security environment – statically typed language
- Perfect for developing enterprise applications, such as order management systems
- Suitable for web and game development
- Just-in-time compiler – Common Language Runtime (CLR)
- Lack of frameworks compared to Java
- Object-oriented paradigm
- Platform-independent – write once, run everywhere
- Massive community support – 14 million active users
- A wide range of frameworks and software tools
- Safe language due to static code typing
- Perfect for Android development – officially supported by Android and Google
- Suitable for web and cloud development
- Slightly slower applications compared to C#
- High system resource usage
What to Consider Before Choosing a Programming Language?
There is no “universal” answer to this question because every project is specific and requires a unique approach. Thus, picking a programming language mainly depends on a project’s requirements, such as complexity and targeted platform.
Want to ensure the correct programming language has been chosen for your project? Answer the following questions:
- What software solution are you developing (i.e., a web, mobile, or desktop application)?
- Which platform will run the solution (i.e., Windows, macOS, Linux, Android)?
- Does the language have a large community?
- Is it suitable for large and complex projects?
- What software development tools and libraries are available for it?
Pay special attention to your team’s tech capabilities. Do your team members have enough programming skills to get the most out of these languages? People with extensive or expert knowledge are always good for your team.
However, keep in mind that C# and Java are syntactically comparable. A highly-skilled Java programmer can quickly acquire C# techniques. But if junior developers prevail in your team, consider taking advantage of IT outsourcing.
Related read: Why Should You Outsource Software Development in 2023?
C# vs. Java: Key Differences Compared
Developers write human-readable code. It may contain words, keywords, and special characters a machine cannot understand. If we want a computer to understand our code, it has to be compiled into machine code.
A compiler takes high-level human-readable code and converts it into machine language. However, C# and Java are not directly converted or compiled into machine language. Both languages compile into something called intermediate or half-compiled code.
JAVA translates its code into Bytecode. It is not human-readable and does not contain processor instructions either. Java Virtual Machine or JVM compiles it into machine code.
The same applies to C#. Before compiling into machine code, C# code converts to Intermediate Language Code (IL). One of the .NET Framework’s components, Common Language Runtime (CLR), compiles it further into native machine code.
Both languages use JIT or Just-In-Time compilers. However, we must point out that Java’s JIT compiler is slightly slower and can force your application to occupy more computer resources. To avoid higher memory and CPU usage, consider choosing C#, which uses fewer resources and executes its code faster.
What does platform independence mean? A platform-independent programming language allows us to develop an application in one operating system and execute it in another. For example, a programmer can create an application in macOS and run it in Windows. This is the point where C# and Java differ.
Until a few years ago, we could only run C# on Windows because it relies on the .NET framework initially intended for Windows operating systems. In 2016, Microsoft launched .NET Core, making C# compatible with Linux and Mac OSX.
Java-compiled code runs on all operating systems where Java virtual machine is available. C# requires different runtimes for different platforms, and its code has to be adapted for each platform. So, if you prefer making cross-platform software, Java might be a better choice.
Having a big community is a big plus for a programming language. They can help your software engineers learn new skills and share existing ones with others in the same field. Stack Overflow, Quora, and Reddit are the most popular knowledge-sharing platforms.
Selecting one programming language with a large community could be the right choice for you. Research carried out by Statista has shown that Java is more popular than C#. Java has 14 million active users, while C# has 10 million. Undoubtedly, both languages have massive communities, but Java is slightly better at this segment.
C# and Java belong to the same C language family. For this reason, there are many similarities between them. They are curly-brace languages with code statements wrapped into statement blocks.
One of the aspects that differentiates these languages is the number of their keywords. C# contains about 80 keywords, while Java has around 50 keywords.
Keywords are beneficial when writing clean code and focusing on business logic. Instead of writing hundreds of statements, developers use keywords to shorten their code.
Equally important, C# and Java are statically-typed languages. In this case, programmers must write a data type before declaring a variable. For instance, that can be a number, string, boolean, etc. The statically typed feature makes a developer’s code error-resistant.
Considering all the above, C# successfully avoids complex syntax rules and errors and makes coding easier.
Every development process starts with opening a code editor. Therefore, a programming language should support various software tools, including text editors, extensions, libraries, etc.
IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, is software that helps developers write conventional code. An IDE combines three crucial things – a code editor, compiler, and debugger. These features are essential for easy writing, reading, compiling, and testing code.
C# developers mostly use Visual Studio and MonoDevelop. On the other hand, Java engineers tend to use Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans.
All IDEs are designed to increase productivity and are a perfect playground for developing and debugging applications. They support installing various plugins and extensions to make software development more comfortable.
While some IDEs are limited to a single language, others can work with several programming languages. For instance, Eclipse and IntelliJ are Java IDEs, but IntelliJ supports other languages, such as XML or Python.
All of these we mentioned above are free. Microsoft’s Visual Studio has recently gained massive popularity because it supports multiple languages, extensions, GIT version control, and deployment.
A framework is a pre-written code intended to simplify the software development process. With that in mind, the main objective of a framework is to reduce code lines. Instead of manual coding, we can use predefined framework methods to manipulate data.
- These are the most common benefits of using a framework:
- Defining the structure of your application
- Writing clean and reusable code (no boilerplate code)
- Paying more attention to business logic instead of following complex syntax rules
- Implementing object-oriented concepts through easy-to-use methods
- Boosting software development productivity
Generally speaking, frameworks are the perfect addition to your projects. As a business owner, you can use them to deliver software projects successfully.
Both C# and Java offers plenty of incredible frameworks. See the tables below for more information.
Entity Framework is an object-relational mapper. By using this framework, we can translate our code into SQL commands and manipulate the data.
The framework is part of the .NET platform and is in charge of building and running Windows applications.
The most popular C# frameworks are .NET and Entity Framework. C #’s .NET already includes a wide range of features. You can also experience most of these features through separate Java frameworks, like Java Spring, Hibernate, or Struts. This is the main reason why Java has more frameworks than C#.
Spring MVC, Spring Core, and Spring Security are the most popular framework modules. These help developers create well-structured and secure Java applications.
Hibernate is a robust mapping framework. It makes object-relational mapping much easier and removes boilerplate code.
Developers use Struts to make MVC-based web applications. It reduces development time significantly.
Occasionally, CRUD operations over a database are unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming. Since the database is a major software component, developers always search for tools to make data manipulations more manageable and faster.
C# supports LINQ or Language Integrated Query. This .NET component provides many data manipulation capabilities and shortens this process. Java streams are similar to LINQ and do relatively the same thing.
LINQ was introduced in 2008 and streams in 2014. This significant time gap has put LINQ ahead of streams since more developers have learned to use it.
To ensure your development team has the perfect environment for querying data sources, C# and LINQ might be a good combination.
Let’s finish this C# vs. Java comparison by concluding that both languages have nearly identical features. They allow using object-oriented capabilities – abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. These four concepts are essential in today’s programming world.
Another substantial similarity between the languages is static typing. Whichever of the languages you choose, you can expect fewer errors once developers start typing code.
So, what are the differences? Considering all our compared features, C# helps software engineers develop fast applications. It also reduces development time due to the large number of built-in keywords and components in the .NET framework.
However, some business owners prefer using platform-independent languages, such as Java. Java has tremendous community support with 14 million users. So, if your developers face any programming obstacles, they can ask someone for help.
Generally, C# is used for building web and enterprise applications. It can also be used for game development. However, if you want to develop Android applications, Java is the right choice.