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The Role of Java in Finance Software Development

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The world today is constatly driven by new technologies and the implementation of artificial intelligence in our surroundings. The development of the IT industry and the software products it provides are not what they used to be. Thanks to innovations in programming languages, users could handle the products of their choice in an easy and affordable way. As we are witnessing, the programming languages ​​that are preferred for the development of artificial intelligence are rapidly gaining popularity. When it comes to financial sector, however, Java leads the ranking for financial software development. Its versatility and stability have made it a go-to choice for developing financial software, and its use has only increased with the rise of artificial intelligence in the field.

Why Java Is The Preferred Programming Language By Finance Companies?

Let’s look at the stated thesis from a historical point of view. As we all know, financial software is developed for extremely large groups of people, serving multiple needs, and intended to be in use for years. From practice, we have clear examples of financial applications created in the 90s that have continued to work to this day. Of course, these applications are further developed over the years and enriched with new functionalities. The success of this process is due to the fact Java allows the development of applications that have a stable architecture, clean code, open to improvements and innovations. The language has undergone quite a few changes over the years, but the most important part of all is compatibility between versions. This means that an application written in Java version 1.7 can also work with the current version of the language.


Why is the language still preferred today? It is well known that the financial sector cares a great deal about security in addition to profit. These institutions are not entitled to errors and omissions. Java, which is one of the most secure programming languages, comes to their rescue. It is constructed with precise and clear rules for restricting access to data from external programs and applications. Due to these restrictions, external programs cannot access files on the local computer system and cannot launch applications remotely. Another major advantage of the language is the controlled garbage collection of memory, contributing to the optimization of programs. The migration of applications written in this language is extremely facilitated because the language is WORE (write once, runs everywhere) – this was achieved using the JVM.

When we talk about a financial institution, the first thing that comes to mind are banks. Banks are a clear example of stability and security, some of which are several centuries old. Taking this into consideration, we can conclude that bank management is about strategically sound decisions and an excellent plan to strengthen the structure over the years. A common practice in the banking system is to choose the Java language for managing banking systems.

Judging by the precise management policy of the banks, even an inexperienced person in the world of programming can understand that since most of the banking software relies on the Java language, it means that the banks have seen in it potential, scalability, sustainability and most – the important security. In my professional career so far, I have worked for two of the largest banks worldwide using Java to create their business logic serving the services they offer. One of them is a leading French bank, which dates to the 1990s, and since then its software has been written in Java. Nowadays, the bank continues to work with the same software, but  is enriched with many different functionalities and extensions. The tremendous growth in the number of the bank users should not be missed. From its inception to the present day, they have increased manifold in size, and today there are more than 4 million active customers.  


How Has Java Improved The Years?

The Java programming language is known for being structured in a way that restricts access to data in the program and has various methods and techniques to optimize memory security. Another advantage is the well-structured documentation, corporate support, which should provide updates every six months. The language does not require a large amount of hardware resources. Another key functionality is easy cross-platform portability, which would ease the migration process. The advantages of the language listed so far should be its key paradigm, to be preserved in each new version. In addition, during the development of the language, we observe the inclusion of new functionalities and improvements to existing ones.

With continuous development over the years, various Java frameworks have also emerged that provide a wide range of different libraries, some of which are specifically created for the financial sector. One of these frameworks is Spring. This framework uses a microservices architecture, various dependencies and plugins that support working with various third-party applications, as well as data management of various types of databases in an accessible and convenient way. Spring offers convenient ways to develop a distributed application that can have shared modules to serve different financial branch units.

How Is Java Being Used For AI Projects In Finance?

 In the finance industry, AI and machine learning are playing an increasingly important role in automating various processes and making data-driven decisions. The growth of its utilization as a part of standard applications can be visibly noticed – bots for customer facilitation, recommendations for a given case study, dynamic preparation of steps in the solution of a given problem. In addition to everything listed here, Java embarks on these new trends, expanding its functionalities, adding a wide range of libraries and frameworks for the development of artificial intelligence, such as Apache Jena, PowerLoom, Deeplearning4j and more.

Java is a great choice for businesses that want to combine reliability and performance with modern technology advancements, especially in the age of data-driven operations. Java is constantly updated, so it is not considered a legacy technology compared to AI. Java offers advantages such as easy scaling and integration, and automated memory management, making it a suitable alternative to Python and other interpreted languages in AI, ML, and DS development. Despite Java’s complex syntax and challenging initial setup, these drawbacks can be overcome with a proficient Java team that has experience running and completing fintech projects.


What’s Next For Java In Finance?

Financial institutions like banks cannot take any risks as there are severe repercussions for low performance.  As  one of the oldest and most used languages, Java remains the leading language of choice for software development projects in finance. The language is object-oriented, built using strict rules and supported by a huge set of libraries to facilitate development.

With the increasing demand for data-driven applications and the rise of fintech, Java is likely to continue to play a significant role in finance in the future. Java 20 that was recently released is set to receive premium support from Oracle for only six months as it is classified as a short-term release. However, the upcoming Java 21 will be designated as an LTS (Long Term Support) release and will receive support from Oracle for several years, as previously mentioned. Oracle’s 2-year LTS cycle indicates that Java 21 is scheduled for release in September 2023. Therefore, it is important for finance companies to stay up to date with the latest versions in order to benefit from the latest functionalities and be able to innovate.

Are you looking to migrate your legacy Java applications to a newest version? Do you need more Java developers in your team? Don’t hesitate to connect with us today!

Stefani Paunova is a skilled Software Consultant with expertise in developing cutting-edge software solutions for large financial institutions using Java. She has a keen interest in keeping up with modern technology trends and exploring their potential benefits in software development.


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