Posted by:Ranjani Rao September 10th, 2011

Both Java and Delphi (based on Object Pascal) are object oriented programming languages. In recent times, Java has moved ahead of Delphi in terms of popularity and applications. This isn’t necessarily because Delphi is weaker than Java but because of certain characteristics that developers look for in a language based on the ease of development and the kind of application.

As enterprises move towards the web and cloud based services, Java becomes the preferred choice. Delphi is more popular for desktop applications and native apps for various platforms, and even here Javaclaims a big slice of the pie.

A critical advantage for Java is its cross-platform compatibility. What this means is that you can write Java code, compile it and run the resultant bytecode on any machine that features a Java Virtual Machine. On the other hand, there’s Delphi that creates smaller executables or binaries that are smaller thanJava code and even run faster. But you must create separate binaries for multiple platforms. Newer Delphi versions are bridging this gap somewhat but it’s not there yet.

Delphi is a strong language that produces robust applications but it is not very scalable when it comes to the distributed or web environment. Delphi takes up more memory and can lead to very high consumption of resources when a web server sees too many hits. J2EE on the other hand is built for a distributed environ. It is highly scalable and expandable.

There’s also the important matter of talent pool. Java developers are a dime a dozen. Over the last decade, many enterprises moved to Java technologies, generating a demand for a large pool of Java developers. Object Pascal, though one of the best designed languages that exist, doesn’t have many developers to its name. If you have a Delphi application that requires maintenance at a later time, it’s hard to find good Delphi programmers.

Delphi may be more robust but it is far more difficult to learn or master than Java. However, in each case, a lot depends on the knowledge and skill of the developer along with what the language has to offer.

With Delphi XE2, Embarcadero Technologies is making a strong push towards creating stunning native apps (visually and functionally) across 32-bit and 64-bit platforms on Windows, Mac, and iOS mobile devices. Meanwhile, Java 7 released in July; the first Java version to release under Oracle’s stewardship. Oracle is a dominant player in enterprise apps and it is to be expected that Java will grow in that direction.

According to latest stats, 97% enterprise apps are built on Java, there are 9 million Java developers globally, and it is the Number One programming language, according to TIOBE Programming Community Index. Numbers speak.

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