Difference Between C++ and Java

Computer programming languages are programs or a set of instructions to communicate with the computer. There are a host of languages used, however, the most common ones include C++ and Java.

C++ and Java are both object-oriented programming (meaning data is stored in objects) languages but differ in multiple ways.

C++ vs Java

The main difference between C++ and Java lies in their dependency on the platform. While C++ is platform dependent language, Java is a platform-independent language.

C vs Java

However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both the terms on certain parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:


Comparison Table Between C++ and Java (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonC++Java
Based on the concept ofWrite once compile anywhereWrite once run anywhere everywhere
Type of Programming LanguageProcedural and object-oriented languageOnly object-oriented language
Type of LanguageCompiledCompiled + Interpreted
Dependency on platformPlatform dependent languageNot dependent on platform
Other languages compatibilityYes, with most high-level languagesNot compatible, no backward compatibility
Mechanism of InputInput/output statementsMore complex
Relationship of source code and filenameNo relationshipYes, relationship exists
Interface with librariesAllows direct calls to native system librariesOnly through Java native interface
PortabilityNot portablePortability is there as it can be executed on any platform
Is operator overloading allowed?YesNo, only method overloading allowed
Type of root hierarchyNo root hierarchyFollows single root hierarchy
Access controlFlexibleComplex
Detection of runtime error responsibilityResponsibility of programmerSystem controlled
Management of MemoryManualSystem-managed
Whether in-built thread support exists?No, relies on third party librariesYes
Hardware relationshipClose to hardwareNot much interaction with hardware
Consistency between primitive and object typesYesNo
Support for compiler and interpreterOnly for compilerBoth compiler and interpreter
Support for pointersProvides strong support for pointersProvides limited support
Virtual Keyboard supportYesNo
Programming SupportBoth procedural programming and object-oriented programmingOnly object-oriented programming model
Support for structuresYesNo
SuitabilitySystem Programming, operating system, gaming applicationsApplication programming, web based applications


What is C++?

C++ was first developed by Bjarne Stroustrup of AT & T Bell Laboratories in 1979. C++ is an intermediate programming language (having all properties of C language i.e. built on C) and both high and low-level language attributes.

C++ is also known as hybrid language as it supports both procedural and object-oriented programming.

The idea behind C++ program is “write once and compile anywhere”. C++ language is compatible with most of the other high-level languages and supports various types of inheritances (even multiple inheritances).

C++ is a very useful program due to its portability feature.

Other advantages include its object-oriented feature which enables code reusability, providing programmer control over memory management, multi-paradigm programming, exception handling, and function overloading.

C++ is not free from drawbacks and the ordinary ones include more memory consumption due to use of pointers, security issues, absence of built-in thread, becomes complex in a high-level environment, difficulty in applying to web applications, no support for garbage collection.

C++ is mainly used in application and system development.

Other uses where C++ could be ideally deployed include well-known operating systems, digital image processing, 3D graphics, real-time arithmetical simulations, cloud storage, programming telephone switches, and even in core-banking application systems.


What is Java?

Java is a multi-purpose, high level and advanced programming language developed in 1991 by Sun Microsystems. Java was initially called OAK but later renamed to Java in 1995 to take benefit of the world wide web.

The idea behind Java program is “Write once run anywhere everywhere”. This concept is possible in reality as byte code generated by Java compiler is independent of platform and can run on any machine.

Java is an object-oriented language but with advanced attributes. Java can run on the majority of systems as Java virtual machines exist for multiple systems.

Java offers a number of advantages that make the language suitable to be used on the web. In fact some applications/websites may not even open or work unless Java is installed.

Java is not free from drawbacks. Java only supports single inheritance though effects of multiple inheritances can be achieved using interfaces.

Other drawbacks of Java include non-compatibility with other languages, more memory consumption, programs taking a long time to run, and increased cost of hardware.

Java is mainly used for application programming and is the most preferred language in the software industry. Also, Java is utilized for developing web content.

Java is present on the majority of mobile phones. Other areas of use include business applications, cloud computing, enterprise applications, animation and gaming. Java is considered the future of artificial intelligence(AI) and big data.

java 1

Main Differences Between C++ and Java

  1. C++ is procedural plus object-oriented programming language not following any specific root hierarchy. Java is mainly an object-oriented programming language having a single root hierarchy.
  2. C++ is based on the notion of “Write once compile anywhere” and compatible with most of the other high-level languages. Java is based on the idea of “Write once run anywhere everywhere” but not compatible with other languages.
  3. C++ is faster, but harder to program. Java is more compact.
  4. C++ only uses a compiler. Java uses both compiler and interpreter.
  5. C++ supports operator overloading, multiple inheritances and has support for pointers. Java does not support operator overloading, multiple inheritances and pointers.
  6. C++ does not provide built-in support for the internet, and is not portable. Java has built-in support for the internet and the byte code is portable and executable on any platform.
Difference Between C and Java



Using either C++ or Java will be based on ease of use, individual preferences, work needed to be completed, and type of system or application under development. Both C++ and Java have their pros and cons.

If someone is interested in doing system programming, C++ would be a good choice and for those desirous of pursuing application or web-based programming, Java could be an apt option.

It would be an ideal practice to understand the requirements and assess the parameters of comparison of C++ and Java before making the decision.

Key Differences Between C++ and Java (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between C++ and Java



  1. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ee70/65c3970b4c27d9d4bfa57ab45ba545481232.pdf
  2. https://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/co/2012/10/mco2012100088.pdf
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