C++ vs Java - 10 Key Differences Between C++ and Java

C++ and Java have become two of the most widely used programming languages because of the plethora of features they offer. C++ has gained popularity due to its speed, efficiency, and dynamic use of memory, while Java has become popular in the IT domain topping the list when it comes to software development. This comprehensive blog on C++ vs Java will help you compare the two languages and learn the difference between them.

C++ vs Java
Updated on 21st Dec, 20 76 Views

Both C++ and Java are object-oriented languages, yet they differ from each other in several ways. They have certain similarities, but in this blog, you will read about the differences between C++ and Java on the basis of various aspects and factors. The topics that this blog covers are as follows:

First, let’s learn a little about these technologies, and then, we will get into C++ and Java differences.


What is C++?

The C++ programming language is derived from C, and it contains the properties and features of this language. C++ was mainly created for the development of systems and applications. It was C++ language that first brought in concepts such as classes and objects. It is capable of encapsulating both low-level and high-level features of C, while it is considered as an intermediate-level language as well.


What is Java?

Java is built using a virtual machine, which allows developers to maintain the security of the code and make it highly portable. Java is integrated with a comprehensive library that offers support for abstraction. This language is specifically created to program applications. Moreover, Java’s interpreting functionality assists in printing systems, which has led to the development of network computing.

You can learn more about these programming languages by watching this video tutorial:

Now, you will read about C++ and Java differences on the basis of which you can choose the language that suits your requirements.


C++ vs Java

After getting briefly acquainted with Java and C++, let’s take a look at the differences between them.

  • Codes in C++ need to be compiled into every platform you use it on. However, Java is portable, allowing it to be executed on all platforms.
  • C++ source code is compiled in the form of an object code that produces an output when executed, while Java source code is a byte code, which makes it platform-independent.
  • In C++, developers need to allocate and deallocate memory to the code manually with operators like new and delete, but that is not the case with Java as the system allocates the memory for the code on its own.
  • Unlike C++, Java does not support multiple inheritance. However, Java can use interfaces to gain the same result as in multiple inheritance.
  • C++ is an object-oriented and procedural programming language, which is why it does not follow specific root hierarchies, while Java is completely an object-oriented language with one root hierarchy.

10 Key Differences Between Java and C++

Platform IndependencePlatform-dependentPlatform-independent
Interpreter and CompilerCompiled programming languageCompiled and interpreted language
PortabilityNot portablePortable
Memory ManagementManualSystem-controlled
Multiple InheritanceSupports single inheritance and multiple inheritanceOnly supports single inheritance
OverloadingBoth operators and methods can be overloadedAllows only method overloading
Compatibility with Other Programming LanguagesCompatible with CNot compatible with any language
PointersSupports pointersSupports pointers with restrictions
Documentation CommentDoes not support documentation commentsHas built-in documentation comments support (/**…**/), allowing Java files to have their own documentation
Thread SupportDoes not support threadHas built-in thread support via the “thread” class

The differences listed above are some of the significant ones between the two languages, based on which developers generally pick their choice. However, these aren’t all. Let’s take a further look at some of the other differences between the languages.

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Other Comparisons Between Java and C++

  • There is no root hierarchy in C++ as it is a hybrid language that supports procedural and object-oriented programming. However, Java is a single root hierarchy as it is completely object-oriented programming.
  • In C++, there is no particular relationship between file names and class names. This allows C++ to have several classes with any file name, and the file name does not need to match the class names. But in Java, a close relationship between the two is enforced, so the name of the class with the source code should be the same as the file name.
  • C++ is a better option for system-level programming since it offers direct calls to libraries, while Java does not allow it. In Java, however, developers can call the libraries using Java Native Access or Java Native Interface.
  • Features based on object-oriented language and procedural language distinguish C++ from other languages. On the other hand, Java’s automatic garbage collection is its distinguishing feature.

C++ vs Java Salary

As per Indeed, the average annual salary of a C++ professional is US$105,852 in the United States, while in India, they earn about ₹812,724.

Java professionals, however, earn over US$105,215 per annum on average in the United States and about ₹493,208 per annum in India.

So far, you have gained in-depth knowledge of the differences between C++ and Java, and you have also learned the salaries offered to these professionals. Now, you will get answers to some of the questions that are often asked with respect to Java and C++ programming languages.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Java and C++

1. What are the advantages of Java over C++?

Some of the advantages of Java programming language over C++ are as follows:
●       Java has an automatic memory management feature called garbage collection, while this component is not available in C++.
●       Programs in C++ are complex and slow compared to Java.
●       Java uses the binary format, however that is not the case with C++.
●       Java supports dynamic linking, but C++ does not.
●       Unlike C++, Java is portable.

2. Which is better, C++ or Java?

When it comes to choosing between the two languages, Java and C++, it all boils down to the features you need for your project and code. Both these languages have their own sets of merits and demerits, and based on this, you can make your choice.
C++ is the best choice for system programming, while this cannot be done using Java. Java, instead, is a great option when used in applications such as desktop, web, and more.
With C++, developers have the flexibility to do anything from system and enterprise programming to gaming. There are a few low-level programs for gaming and other applications that developers cannot create using the Java language.
Hence, the choice of a programming language depends solely on the application that needs to be built. To make the choice, you can create a list of the pros and cons of both languages. Then, you can check which features are best for your program and select the language accordingly.

3. Is C++ more powerful compared to Java?

Java is easier to learn and use in terms of language and syntax. However, when it comes to low-level applications, including system programming, C++ tops the list.
Java can be considered more powerful due to its automatic garbage collection feature and the absence of multiple inheritance and pointers, but C++ is powerful in terms of speed. Besides, in gaming and other applications where the state needs to be recorded, the garbage collection feature can make matters worse, not better.
So, on the basis of what application you need to build and the features that you are looking for, the more powerful language can be determined.

4. Is it possible to learn Java without having knowledge of C/C++?

Yes. It is possible to learn Java without any prior knowledge and experience in C/C++. You can start learning Java once you have an understanding of the programming fundamentals and the concept of object-oriented programming.

5. Are Java and C++ alike?

Java and C++ have a few similarities and a set of differences. You can say that they are similar in some ways but different in others.
Both Java and C++ are object-oriented programming languages that have similar syntax and are used to develop applications.
However, in terms of inheritance, polymorphism, memory management, and other features, these two languages are at the opposite ends. They also differ in matters such as object handling, primitive data type, and pointers.

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Choose Your Language

In this ‘C++ vs Java blog, you have learned in detail about the two languages, their similarities, and especially their differences. You have also read the answers to some of the most common questions on Java and C++. Though they may have a few similar features, they are completely different languages.

Clear your queries by posting them on our Java Community and C Programming Community!

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