Java Versions, Features and History

This article gives you a highlight of important features added in every major Java release. Check this article to know about Java history, I am sure you will find it interesting.

Java SE 8

Java 8 was released on 18 March 2014. The code name culture is dropped with Java 8 and so no official code name going forward from Java 8.

New features in Java SE 8

  • Lambda Expressions
  • Pipelines and Streams
  • Date and Time API
  • Default Methods
  • Type Annotations
  • Nashhorn JavaScript Engine
  • Concurrent Accumulators
  • Parallel operations
  • PermGen Error Removed
  • TLS SNI
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Java Version SE 7

Code named Dolphin and released on July 28, 2011.

New features in Java SE 7

  • Strings in switch Statement
  • Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation
  • Multiple Exception Handling
  • Support for Dynamic Languages
  • Try with Resources
  • Java nio Package
  • Binary Literals, underscore in literals
  • Diamond Syntax
  • Automatic null Handling

Java Version SE 6

Code named Mustang and released on December 11, 2006.

New features in Java SE 6

  • Scripting Language Support
  • JDBC 4.0 API
  • Java Compiler API
  • Pluggable Annotations
  • Native PKI, Java GSS, Kerberos and LDAP support.
  • Integrated Web Services.
  • Lot more enhancements.

J2SE Version 5.0

Code named Tiger and released on September 30, 2004.

New features in J2SE 5.0

  • Generics
  • Enhanced for Loop
  • Autoboxing/Unboxing
  • Typesafe Enums
  • Varargs
  • Static Import
  • Metadata (Annotations)
  • Instrumentation

J2SE Version 1.4

Code named Merlin and released on February 6, 2002 (first release under JCP).

New features in J2SE 1.4

  • XML Processing
  • Java Print Service
  • Logging API
  • Java Web Start
  • JDBC 3.0 API
  • Assertions
  • Preferences API
  • Chained Exception
  • IPv6 Support
  • Regular Expressions
  • Image I/O API

J2SE Version 1.3

Code named Kestrel and released on May 8, 2000.

New features in J2SE 1.3

  • Java Sound
  • Jar Indexing
  • A huge list of enhancements in almost all the java area.

J2SE Version 1.2

Code named Playground and released on December 8, 1998.

New features in J2SE 1.2

  • Collections framework.
  • Java String memory map for constants.
  • Just In Time (JIT) compiler.
  • Jar Signer for signing Java ARchive (JAR) files.
  • Policy Tool for granting access to system resources.
  • Java Foundation Classes (JFC) which consists of Swing 1.0, Drag and Drop, and Java 2D class libraries.
  • Java Plug-in
  • Scrollable result sets, BLOB, CLOB, batch update, user-defined types in JDBC.
  • Audio support in Applets.

JDK Version 1.1

Released on February 19, 1997

New features in JDK 1.1

  • JDBC (Java Database Connectivity)
  • Inner Classes
  • Java Beans
  • RMI (Remote Method Invocation)
  • Reflection (introspection only)

JDK Version 1.0

Codenamed Oak and released on January 23, 1996.

Wishing you a happy new year!

This Core Java tutorial was added on 01/01/2012.

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173 Responses to “Java Versions, Features and History”

  1. Sam says:

    Good post! Its pretty neat for a quick recap of which feature showed up in which release :)

    I didn’t quite catch a few of the feature.

    Whats Automatic Null Handling in Java 7? Do you mean the Elvis operator? It was proposed as part of project coins, but wasn’t implemented in Java 7.

    Also whats the difference between Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation and Diamond Syntax?

  2. Rajeev says:

    very nice post!
    It’s a quick revise of java features.

    Thank you!

  3. John says:

    thank you Joe,I refered your blog for easy reference when I prepared for an interview.Now I am regular reader of your blog. But you should post more often,like once in a week or so.

  4. Bhushan says:

    will help us to get new Features with example.

  5. shubham says:

    i am always appriciated ur updates…….”think hatke”

  6. PRAVEEN KUMAR PC says:

    THANKU SIR FOR UR INFORMATION

  7. Bhushan says:

    Thanks for update.
    This would be more useful to fresher like me , if demonstrative example is given. Like Try with resources means what ? This is very good I liked it but examples could add one more feather in Blog

  8. Bhaskar says:

    java nio package is there from J2SE 1.4 on-wards. What’s new about nio in J2SE 1.7

  9. Amit says:

    Very Nice Post!!
    Thanks

  10. PSG says:

    It is really a nice look-up information page. Lot of features of java6 and Java7 was not known to me due to your share now I know. I am user of Java6. Thanks.

  11. surendra8 says:

    nice share ..

  12. Anders says:

    Java SE 7 referens implementation is not Sun/Oracles any more, it’s OpenJDK. I guess that might be important em enough to be in this list. Oracle has changed the license so it can’t be redistributed in binary form by others any more. That is why Sun JDK will be removed from all distributions in the future.
    Use OpenJDK instead.

  13. vema says:

    thanks a lot nicely explained with images

  14. JavabynataraJ says:

    Hi Thanks for your valuable info.

  15. Tahir Akram says:

    +1

    Never knew the codenames. Now I will not forget.

  16. Raju S says:

    nice explanation

  17. radhika says:

    you explain so nicely if possible please teach the java language in detail

  18. sarath says:

    very nice sir , and i want know about the details of the arrays so could me the explanation in that.

  19. Joe says:

    @Sarath refer the following link for array:
    arrays

  20. josh says:

    Its very nice.
    if u can add more information then that will be more good

  21. Gaptor says:

    Ahoy there Java captains!! Good oh and wonderful news for the Javas out there to be approaching the 7. The best release is the Java 8 which comes from Chian Guk province. It has the support for juice and multi facet persistence with bean promolgation.

  22. aruna says:

    Its very nice….

  23. prakash says:

    Hi joe,

    You told that In jdk1.7 the null will be handled automatically. But when I tried, Its showing exception..

    Could you please explain .? Thanks in advance!!!

    public class nullpointerex {

    public static void main(String args[]) {
    String a;
    System.out.println(a.charAt(1));

    }
    }

    }

  24. shashikant says:

    thanks joe………

  25. Naresh says:

    Thanks Joe….

  26. javajigsaw says:

    wow! that’s cool

    javajigsaw

  27. Raj Kumar Gupta says:

    Grate…. Thanks Joe for sharing this info…

  28. Mangesh says:

    U r mention here every thing but what about J2me. I want to know about J2me concept, want to do project in J2me. so kindly help me for that matter. n yr information is very nice in JAVA hope i can learn so many things with yr information n plz give me more information as per yr connivance.plz reply me

  29. arivoli says:

    Very nice, Regarding this i have search long time, but now only i got a good post.

  30. Java says:

    Very interesting post. It compared with all java version with their feature.

  31. Raju says:

    Hai Very very interesting ….., this blog very very help ful to me……….

  32. Anoop says:

    thank u very much sir….for providing useful information…. it is very useful…. i will be a regular reader in future

  33. Vinya says:

    I was just curious about the naming for each release. Is this really random, or is there a method to this “random naming”

  34. Vinya says:

    Sorry, got the info from here:
    http://java.sun.com/j2se/codenames.html

  35. Venu Gopal says:

    This is excellent stuff..You have provided information with good examples. Thanks :-)

  36. Sridhar Goranti says:

    Thank you very much sir….for providing useful information…. it is very useful for every one….This blog very very help ful to me.

  37. Vikram Bammidi says:

    thank you joe.

    each paper is very usefull.
    very useful content for all & also nice look.

  38. Pradeep T says:

    Hi Joe,information in your blog is very useful to all java developers perticularly for me.I want to know about JNDI indetail.could u please give the information and material if you have about JNDI.
    thanks in advance.

  39. sam_a says:

    Joe nice post.

  40. ashoka says:

    Thanx:-) Nice Post

  41. Anonymous says:

    good info toALL. thnx

  42. asha jyothi says:

    your site is very helpful to the students…its so nice and very user friendly..
    so much of thanks to u..

  43. asha jyothi says:

    i have a small doubt..
    wat r the access modifiers in java..?
    and plz tell me wat r the access specifiers in java?

  44. pal says:

    very good information joe !!!

  45. [...] many times have we used it till now? It is one of the most number of times compiled statement in the history of java. We fondly call it [...]

  46. [...] many times have we used it till now? It is one of the most number of times compiled statement in the history of java. We fondly call it SOP. If you want to dive directly to topic, jump to the first [...]

  47. koti says:

    thanks to you this is helpfull to me

  48. vinit saxena says:

    This is the first time i am reading out ur blog . if I feel any problem regarding java I would like to ask u.Thanks ! vinit saxena Kanpur

  49. Java Timer says:

    [...] from JDK itself, in util package we have Timer and TimerTask and these were available from JDK 1.3 It is a no-nonsense, sleek and simple to use api. Comparison between this utility and Quartz would [...]

  50. Rosemary says:

    very interesting to see the information along with pictures

  51. [...] Javadoc facility gives option for understanding the code in an external way, instead of opening the code the javadoc document can be used separately. IDE benefits using this javadoc as it is able to render information about the code as we develop. Annotations were introduced in JDK 1.5 [...]

  52. Najarhasan Momin says:

    Nice diffrence between all jdk version

  53. Vir says:

    nice post…

  54. Arjun Sanapati says:

    Very nice post of features on each version in JAVA.

  55. ewankosayo says:

    this is bullshit

  56. Amul says:

    Informative and clear.
    Thanks Joe

  57. Ali says:

    Excellent!!!
    Thanks Joe..

  58. Anonymous says:

    Good info..
    Thanks joe

  59. venkat says:

    Good info..
    Thanks joe

  60. balu says:

    good joe
    thanks for ur information

  61. kiruthiga says:

    hi joe
    its very nice and good.this information is very useful

  62. Anonymous says:

    this is not enough with us!!!!!!!!!

  63. selva MCA says:

    very usefull this information….

  64. shyamalabalaguru says:

    very nice information joe…….keep proceeding…….

  65. Gohila priya says:

    What is java 8. My Hr asked me to study java8. I searched in net. but i didnt get proper details. Please explain me or send details to my mail id

  66. lingesh says:

    use full to learn in short time

  67. Deva M says:

    its very good and very usefull this information…. for all java people

  68. Anonymous says:

    i never seen explanation for java with diagrams

  69. sudha says:

    thank you joe…
    its really nice. Easy to learn in short time

  70. Vitthal Shirke says:

    nice post…

  71. Ravi says:

    Its a wonderful thought for quick ref. Kudos Joe.

  72. RajendraKumar says:

    very usefull content….thanks.

  73. Ananda says:

    Nice Blog Joe…. Thanks a lot…

    Regards
    Ananda.K

  74. Anonymous says:

    Nice Blog Joe…. Thanks a lot…

    Regards
    Ananda.K

  75. Really great blog.Keep it up the good work so that it can helpful for newbies like me to keep updated with the Java :)

  76. Anonymous says:

    Hi Joe,

    Great article. However, I have a suggestion. Can you create links to the features and explain them bit in detail with a code example. That should really help the readers than again ‘google’ out those features again somewhere else.

  77. Ramya says:

    Thanks Joe for the clearly segregated and well presented content.

  78. VG says:

    Quick Information on Java Versions.

    Really Nice

  79. Jagan says:

    Yeah it’s Really nice revision about History not only this topic other topics are also explained neatly.
    Thanks for this blog…

  80. tamilmcaudc says:

    very easy to understand

  81. [...] Since JDK 1.5 we have got a class java.lang.ProcessBuilder which is used to create OS processes. This API is available from JDK 1.5 but key features like redirect are added in JDK 1.7. We can use this ProcessBuilder to get current thread’s environment variables as below [...]

  82. Anonymous says:

    hi joe
    easily understandable your content

  83. mayur says:

    hi joe
    this is very important in my or all
    person who related to it field
    thanks……
    mayur

  84. lalit says:

    hi joe
    really very good
    thanks…..

  85. Anonymous says:

    very easy java language but not understanding collage student
    cerfuly you start good action

  86. Anonymous says:

    very easy java language but not understanding collage student
    cerfuly you start good action

    my name ganeshraje from gfcct

  87. Anonymous says:

    Thanks lot Sir, I just understand, the difference between java version

  88. [...] api. This should be implemented separately for every scripting languages. For javascript in the Oracle JDK (from 1.6) by default an implementation is available. Apache commons provides a project Jakarta Bean Scripting [...]

  89. rakheeb says:

    thanks qqqqqqqq so much sir for updates.

  90. krishna chaitanya reddy says:

    thank you sir ………these are very usefull

  91. rana says:

    thnkkkkkooooo

  92. Anonymous says:

    its a very good site,would you have youtube vedio?????

    trupti 8th nov 2012

  93. nithya says:

    can we give links in java ??????

  94. [...] been more than a year now since we had Java SE7 and it comes with great features like nio package. So don’t hesitate to move on it will be worth [...]

  95. Ramana Reddy says:

    I request you to explain the JavaSE7 features with examples. It would be better to understand.

  96. Raju says:

    Its really good and easy to remember the codes..
    simply superb.

  97. anand says:

    Hi Thanks for your valuable info.

  98. Bhavik says:

    Thanksss..for sharinggg..!!

  99. P K Subudhi, India says:

    You are super Joe.

    Extremely happy on your explanation…

  100. Sanjay says:

    Please confirm feature “Automatic null Handling”
    is added in Java 7 or not. I tried with some of the examples which are throwing exceptions. Thanks

  101. Prasad says:

    thanks,
    Its very gud explanation, it would be better for freshers like me if you can provide with some examples for each as links.

  102. praveen d says:

    nice post..

  103. praveen d says:

    yes examples are needed for better understanding

  104. Vaibhav says:

    how to increase heap size in java?

  105. SANJIV BHARTI says:

    Thanks sir. good explanation with pic .
    But sir u should also put some example

  106. Rahul Dhama says:

    Nice Man….ur blog always give a clearer picture…..wishes 2 u and ur conviction

  107. sandeep s says:

    thanks sir, giving this information but i do the project in this semister .tell me detail information of J2ME.

  108. srinvas says:

    superbbbbbb,,,
    Thanks,,

  109. Anonymous says:

    very helpful information…

    can u please send some example based on new feature in java7.

  110. Sreekanth says:

    Nice blog, thanks Joe.

  111. Sreekanth says:

    can u please send some example based on new feature in java 6 and java 7.

  112. Narendra says:

    really grt attempt …..nice collection and nice work

  113. Anonymous says:

    simply awsum…thanx

  114. chinju says:

    simply awsum….thanx

  115. Pooja says:

    thanx

  116. Explain Java says:

    Very nice composition Joe. I found your blog in Google for most of java topics. Keep it up.

    Thank you,
    Ram.

  117. Yadgiri says:

    Kiraaak Rasinav anna…Anna ne article anni mast untai..mast informative…thanks anna

  118. Akki says:

    Simple Explanation in one go … Thanks JOE ..

  119. Ashwini says:

    Thanks a lot !!!! :)

  120. [...] we have got the above real time scenarios and how do we solve it using Java? Java version 7 provided an update for IO package. NIO package was a significant update in this version. It has got [...]

  121. Manivel PG says:

    Nice Post… Useful Post To ALL…

  122. [...] arguments was introduced long long ago in JDK 1.5 But how did we did the same thing before that? We used java array or collections and to some extent [...]

  123. [...] java.lang.String String class will be the undisputed champion on any day by popularity and none will deny that. This is a final class and used to create / operate immutable string literals. It was available from JDK 1.0 [...]

  124. Sourabh says:

    Short and informative post on Java versions.Would really impress the interviewer if your are lucky to have this question and you are gone through this blog just before it.:P

  125. Shailesh says:

    Thanks very much….
    This blog is so useful…

  126. Jaywant Patil says:

    Thanks ,I Got answer.
    This blogs is useful..

  127. unsekhable says:

    Automatic null Handling with ? is proposed in project coin but not implemented, due to some considerations like it may be overused.
    It is available in some other languages like groovy.

  128. Anonymous says:

    it is very nice as well as cool…

  129. Back to Java says:

    I am retuning to Java after a long back and was wondering if I can find difference between java 1.2 and 1.7 :-) I was skeptical if I can find the answer but your blog really helped with this. Kudos for anticipating the need for addressing this need! Many thanks!!

  130. [...] underlying collection. Initially Java had Enumeration to iterate through the collections and from Java version 1.2 Iterator took its place. Java Iterator is a nice implementation of iterator design pattern allowing [...]

  131. harishmathan says:

    superbbbbbbbb…..nice man mr.joe……ur blog gives
    clear cut information for us…….really now only i known about the code names ……..great work.thanks…….

  132. SIMHANI JAGADEESH says:

    Great Job

  133. Anonymous says:

    you give with example more useful

  134. shampi says:

    hi thanks
    this blogs is useful

  135. Veeresh says:

    I truely appriciate for your valuable information.
    Very clearly explaide with figure and date aslo .
    It’s very exiting with this site information .
    Thanks a lot Sir. Keep it update and develope the site .

  136. Santhosh K S says:

    Hi, Very use full resource,
    Thank you verymuch

  137. krish says:

    I think you forgot Stringbuffer feature to ad into java 1.5 version

  138. krish says:

    Sorry not stringbuffer….Stringbulder is correct..

  139. Gani says:

    thank for giving good information

  140. Sanjay says:

    Thank’s
    that help me for study

  141. [...] the release of JDK 1.5, covariant types were introduced in Java. Following example source code illustrates the covariant [...]

  142. Yogendera Rautela says:

    Really good one…..

  143. Vino says:

    @joe What about java enterprise edition. You have not mentioned about it. Will it to be included here or not.

  144. Shiva says:

    This article is helpful for quick summarization. Request you to add Java 8.

  145. Umapathy Ravichandiran says:

    classy explanation !!!

  146. Gayithri says:

    good explanation !!!

  147. […] JDK 1.3 java has direct support for implementing proxy design pattern. We need not worry on mainting the […]

  148. Anonymous says:

    Its really awesome, Its very easy way to remembering features, Thanks.. Thanks a lot

  149. Java History says:

    […] code named Tiger released. Generics is one of the key features. If you wish a detailed account of version and its features for all Java JDK, refer my old […]

  150. suresh says:

    good one. ans also can u pls explain in detail about each and every feature

  151. Ankur says:

    Very nicely explained. Thanks a ton.

  152. Maulik says:

    great article,
    very short but excellence post

  153. Jitendra Kumar Singh says:

    Nice post, Nice Explanation

  154. Kapil Agarwal says:

    Hi joe

    Thanks for your post!

    I think Automatic Null handling is not supported and hence please remove from the list as it is misleading withjava 7 features.

  155. Kapil Agarwal says:

    Hi Joe

    Just want to know that “Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation” features is same as “Diamond Syntax”? if different can you please explain what is meant by “Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation”

  156. Baskar says:

    Hi Joe, I appreciate your efforts. I always refer your blog to refer anything in java. This is very useful for me to know the updates of java. In another one month the java 8 will be released. So i am expecting the update of java 8 too.

    Thanks for the information and keep going

  157. […] These are the two options that are alive and maintained as of now and promises support for latest versions of Java. […]

  158. […] part three of exception handling tutorial, we will see about try-with-resources (ARM) introduced in Java version […]

  159. […] To generate successive elements from a series, we can use java iterator. It is an improvement over Enumeration interface. Iterator takes the place of Enumeration since jdk 1.2 […]

  160. rohit uppal says:

    Sir,

    Thanks for your updates, please also share java 8 new features and also request you to add examples of each features or atleast for important features. Eagerly waiting for updates.

    Thanks.

  161. Anonymous says:

    nice tutorial

  162. Anjana says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the articles. I refer to your blogs all the time. Just wanted to confirm with you if Java Web Start was a feature in J2SE 1.4 or Java 5.

    Thanks,
    Anjana

  163. Amatul Raheem says:

    its really good ; its rightly beneficial for my project

  164. Pushpa Argnurkar says:

    Very Informative!!!

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