Difference Between Application and Applet (With Table)

Java is a word that is heard very commonly. The advent of technology has made the word Java a popular term. What Java is basically is, it is class-based, high-level programing language which is object-oriented. Java is designed in a way to have as fewer implementation dependencies as can be.

Java was developed by Sun Microsystems. Initially, it was made for developing programs for all kinds of set-top boxes. Later, with the advancements of technology, Java started becoming commonly used for creating web applications. This programming language lets the developers write once and run anywhere, without having to recompile.

In today’s date, Java is one of the most commonly used and the most popular programming language. There are approximately 9 million developers. It is commonly used for web applications concerning client-server.

With Java, it is possible to create four kinds of programs. Out of them, two of the popular programs are Application and Applet.  Though these programs sound similar, they are quite different from each other.

Application vs Applet

The difference between Application and Applet is an application is a standalone program that works with the support of a virtual machine and can run directly on the machine. On the other hand, an applet is specific and can be executed within an HTML document or a web browser compatible with Java.


Comparison Table Between Application and Applet

Parameters of ComparisonApplicationApplet
DefinitionApplications are stand-alone programs that are able to run on their own, without using a browser.Applets are programs which are specific and can run within an HTML web document and need a browser compatible with Java to run.
CreationApplications were created by writing the program within the main method.Applets were created by extending the java.applet.Applet
ExecutionIn order to execute applications, main method() is required.In order to execute applets, inti() is required.


What is Application?

An application is a Java program, which is standalone and functions on an underlying operating system.  It is supported by a virtual machine either on the client or server-side. It performs specific functions on any machine, no matter what the computer architecture is.

Application is made in a general sense and can perform any specific task for the user. It is a large program. It is executed by the users mostly and sometimes by other application programs.

An application can work both with or without a graphical user interface (GUI).

Application programs have the access to all data, information, files, folders and resources that are present on the system. These are trusted, so there are no security restrictions on them.

Database programs, text and image editing programs, spreadsheets and so on are some of the examples of Java Application.


What is Applet?

An applet is another Java program, which is a smaller program. An applet is designed in such a manner that it can be executed within an HTML web document or a Java-compatible browser. It requires a Java plugin on the browser of the client to ensure that it is able to run on the clients’ browser. The code in the applet is embedded in an HTML page.

In a layman’s language, Applet is basically the web version of an application. It works on the clients’ side with less response time. It is generally used in internet computing. It helps in generating dynamic content.

Applet can be executed through various platforms like Mac and Windows. It is possible to transfer an applet from one computer to the other, over the internet. This can be done using any web browser that is compatible with Java. Applets do not have access to any data, folders and files available on the system.

An applet is used to perform several tasks. It can support various applications which are used to create animations, play sounds, show graphics, play interactive games, execute arithmetic operations and so on.

Main Differences Between Application and Applet

  1. Applications are large programs, whereas applets are smaller programs.
  2. Applications are standalone programs that can run independently and do not need a web browser. On the other hand, applets are embedded within an HTML page and need a java compatible web browser to run.
  3. For the execution of applications, main method() is required. On the other hand, for the execution of applets  inti() is required
  4. Applications are able to access all the data, information, folder and file that are available on the system whereas applets do not have access to any data, information, folder and file that are available on the system.
  5.  Applications do not require much security, since they are trusted programs. On the other hand, applets require high-security since they are not trusted programs.
  6. Applications do not require any Graphical User Interface (GUI) to run, whereas Appltes have to run with a Graphical User Interface (GUI).



Applications and Applets are two terms that are often confused with each other. Both of these are Java programming languages, whose usage and execution is quite different from each other. Both of these programs perform their own tasks and have specific importance based on how they are used.

The major difference between both of these is that an application is a standalone program that can run independently whereas an applet can run on a java compatible web browser only.  An application has access to all the resources on a system while an applet does not have any access to the resources on a system.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/663891/
  2. https://academic.oup.com/bioinformatics/article-abstract/14/4/380/190019
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