Microsoft pushes Java for Azure development – Visual Studio Magazine


Microsoft pushes Java for Azure development

Microsoft, which claims “We use more Java than you can imagine,” is stepping up its Java push on several fronts, including promoting a set of tips for using the popular programming language on its platform. Azure cloud computing.

Earlier this year, we covered the company’s big Java push which was highlighted by the 2019 formation of the Java Engineering Group in its Developer division and the acquisition of jClarity to optimize Java workloads on Azure , followed by its own port of the OpenJDK, described as “a new long-term supported distribution at no cost and Microsoft’s new way of collaborating and contributing to the Java ecosystem.”

Microsoft Build of OpenJDK on Azure Cloud Shell in animated action
[Click on image for larger, animated GIF view.] Microsoft Build of OpenJDK on Azure Cloud Shell in animated action (source: Microsoft).

Since then, the company hasn’t slowed down, with its latest developer team newsletter demonstrating a clear focus on Java-on-Azure with several tutorials and other tips.

The company’s heavy use of Java and continued promotion of the language for Azure computing comes even though the language is similar in many ways to its own flagship programming language: C#. The comparison between the two languages ​​was detailed in the 2019 article “Key differences and similarities between C# and Java”.

Here is what the article, published on the Western Governors University website, says about the two languages:

Both Java and C# are object-oriented languages ​​heavily influenced by C++. Their syntax and functionality have many similarities, although C# has more functionality as it is newer. But while both languages ​​depend on third-party frameworks and reusable components, it’s fair to say that Java has more frameworks than C# and is slightly more portable.

These languages ​​have been around for a long time and it is important to understand that any application built using one language can usually be built using the other language as well. But, when building applications in the .NET framework, the language of choice is usually C#. Thus, for an application developer, the choice of language depends on the need and the application platform.

However, when the app’s platform is the cloud instead of on-premises .NET running on Windows, as is typically the case in the Microsoft-centric dev camp, things change. Here, Microsoft defends Java. The reasons for this are provided by the Java on Azure site, which in response to the question “Why Java on Azure?” question lists those answers saying that developers can:

  • Develop using tools and frameworks you love: Build, debug, and deploy Java applications on Azure using your favorite IDEs, including Eclipse, IntelliJ, and Visual Studio Code for Java. Use build and automation tools like Maven, Gradle, and Jenkins for your continuous integration and continuous delivery needs.
  • Ship faster with fully managed services: Focus on building business applications rather than managing your infrastructure. Leverage Azure App Service, Azure Spring Cloud, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Azure Red Hat OpenShift for hardware and software infrastructure management.
  • Extend your Java applications: Quickly add services and features, including managed MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL databases, performance monitoring, and secrets management. Connect your applications with integration services like Azure Service Bus with support for Java Message Service (JMS) and Azure API Management.
  • Take advantage of the Microsoft partner ecosystem: Get best-in-class solutions to move your existing Java workloads to Azure and extend your application functionality. Access a growing portfolio of Java-focused solutions, from unique managed hosting options with co-development and support to Azure Marketplace images for popular Linux distributions.
Java at Microsoft
[Click on image for larger view.] Java at Microsoft (source: Microsoft).

Of course, the web is full of comparisons between Java and C# (or .NET), and many discussions take place in a cloud context. A quick search shows three such cloud computing comparisons that all include Java and C#/.NET/ASP.NET. The top five rankings are:

  • 1) Java, 2) PHP, 3) .NET, 4) Python, 5) Golang — see here
  • 1) Python, 2) Golang, 3) Ruby, 4) Java, 5) ASP.NET — see here
  • 1) Java, 2) ASP.NET, 3) PHP, 4) Python, 5) Ruby — see here

Java therefore appears to be a safe bet for Microsoft, although the company is of course hedging its bet with Azure for .NET developer guidance which focuses on the Azure SDK for .NET, as well as SDKs for Java, JavaScript, Python, C++, Embedded C, Android, iOS and Go.

It’s Java that takes the lion’s share in Microsoft’s latest Developer Newsletter, with advice such as:

  • Explore service options for deploying Java applications to Azure: This refers to “Choose the right Azure service to deploy your Java application”, a 25-minute learning module consisting of six units.
  • How to connect and use the Azure SDK for Java: this points to the “Use the Azure SDK for Java” page, published in February, a 5 minute read
  • Azure Java Jump Start: This points to a list of YouTube videos:

  • Create a Java application on Azure App Service: this points to a Quickstart of the same name
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate: This links to the candidate site for the Azure Developer Associate certification, designed to provide expertise in designing, building, testing, and maintaining cloud applications and services on Microsoft Azure.
Everything in the cloud
[Click on image for larger view.] Everything in the cloud (source: Microsoft).

The newsletter is also available on a webpage where interested developers can find many other articles, events, and learning opportunities on a variety of topics, some of which focus only on Java and some only on Azure and some mention without no doubt at least both.

Java at Microsoft on Twitter
[Click on image for larger view.] Java at Microsoft on Twitter (source: Twitter).

Developers can follow Java at Microsoft on the DevBlog of the same name and Twitter accountthe latter listing 3,342 subscribers at the time of writing.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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