Java platform

The Java™ platform is the environment for developing and managing Java applets and applications. It consists of three primary components: the Java language, the Java packages, and the Java virtual machine.

The Java language and packages are similar to C++ and its class libraries. The Java packages contain classes, which are available in any compliant Java implementation. The application programming interface (API) should be the same on any system that supports Java.

Java differs from a traditional language, like C++, in the way it compiles and runs. In a traditional programming environment, you write and compile source code of a program into object code for a specific hardware and operating system. The object code binds to other object code modules to create a running program. The code is specific for a particular set of computer hardware and does not run on other systems without being changed. This figure illustrates the traditional language deployment environment.