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Challenges while creating Distributed Java Applications

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Java is undoubtedly one of the most important programming languages used by the web and software application developers all over. Its primary advantage is that the language can be deployed on any hardware platform without the slightest need to modify the code. A compilation of code at the bit level resulting in a compilation of the Java code into a binary life makes it executable on all platforms. As java is a suitable platform, it is deployed over a distributed environment, where systems with different hardware configurations as well as platforms are located over the network.

Top 4 Challenges while creating Distributed Java Applications

As a mainstream programming language, it is of immense use for software development. However, the necessity of deploying it in a distributed environment causes certain difficulties that lead to several challenges. Most importantly, the distributed environment makes it troublesome to identify the issue- causing node due to the presence of large numbers of terminals.

Recognizing these problems and grasping them in details is difficult even for the expert developers. Let us take a brief look into the main challenges in distributed Java applications:
* Degrading Performance- A lot of performance issues arises for applications written in any language. Conventional languages such as C with a stand-alone or server application involve performance issues such as de-allocation of memory, poor use of system APIs as well as improper allocation. These are certainly not the characteristics of the Java language. For instance, the task of relating the code to the way the JVM manages memory is not only difficult but also prone to errors. These performance issues show up in various ways in areas other than the main problem zone. Locating the performance bottlenecks is a challenge too, in distributed application development.

* Lowering Reliability- The distributed enterprise Java applications are necessitated to work perfectly at all times. So, the developers should be in a position to determine the reliability of the applications accurately. When it comes to the distributed applications, assessing the reliability quotient is all the more difficult for even the interacting components need to be analyzed. While this programming language facilitates writing highly threaded applications that are suited in a distributed environment, chances of resource contention or deadlock related issues are much higher.

* Difficulty in Testing- Testing problems are rather common when it comes to Java applications. They are required to be tested thoroughly by the developers, who must also be aware of the extent of the test coverage prior to certifying an application. However, the distributed software systems written in Java are extremely difficult to be tested and debugged. All the components must be tested individually as well as simultaneously because each of the components resides on different computers and should work in harmony for the application to work properly.

* Difficulties in Memory Management- JVMs perform the entire memory management tasks for applications. Hence, it becomes extremely difficult to understand the memory usage of the underlying platform as well as influence memory allocation to affect performance. Conducting an analysis of the usage of the underlying memory is an essential way of building efficient applications that are effective. However, in case of the distributed Java applications, the developers have no easy way of understanding the relationship between the code and the underlying memory use.
Using Software Tools to Solve Issues
The above- mentioned challenges in deploying this programming langusge in distributed applications can be encountered to certain extent by means of the integrated development environments for Java and the tools such as the Compuware or the DevPartner for Java suite. The integrated Java application development environments are suitable for combining visual development, context-sensitive editing, runtime debugging and JIT compilation. The tools, on the other hand, are more useful as, they help in evaluating performance issues; analyze memory usage and threads apart from tracking the testing progress.

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