Java application performance is critical for all companies as they shift more development to object-oriented languages. Much more than just a programming language, Java is a powerful platform with a complete set of Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for all types of distributed, complex applications. Widely popular and considered by some as the COBOL of the 21st century, Java runs almost anywhere, on top of existing platforms and is ideal for:

• Programming in the networked, heterogeneous world
• Developing and deploying Web-based and e-commerce applications
• Integrating legacy technologies
• Programming hand-held devices, phones and sensors. 
While Java offers these considerable benefits, they don’t occur automatically. For superior Java application performance, you must focus on these five imperatives:

• Optimize the Java architecture and framework
• Apply appropriate patterns for code componentization
• Adopt best practices for coding and testing
• Design and leverage the database properly
• Avoid common coding mistakes.

Let’s consider each of these critical areas.

Architecture and Framework

Java system and application development for complex businesses can take a long time—even with agile programming methodologies. The project development team must avoid adding too many open source or proprietary software packages into the framework and architecture and minimize the number of dependencies in the application. The central architecture and framework for the Java application should be streamlined to achieve sub-second response times and sufficient transaction scalability performance. 

Most Java application development occurs via an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) tool framework. These IDEs can unnecessarily include or implement additional packages in your application and impact your Java application performance at start-up or during your application flow. You should understand the default settings in your IDE and the packages it automatically installs to minimize application dependencies and overhead in your application. 

Working with application developers and setting up IDEs properly is much easier than trying to track down where the application is accessing an obscure package. Also, you can greatly improve productivity by setting up the application development IDEs in compliance with all company standards, including connections to:

• The Java repository
• Existing test application databases
• Shared Java modules or corporate services.

This standard set-up should also extend to the framework of the Java application architecture. Too often, the entire complex Java application is developed and then delivered in one or a minimal number of Java archive (jar) deployment modules. Applications having only one or a minimal number of jar deployment modules are usually the result of Java application designs that are too tightly integrated. 

Application designers and developers should separate their design into different layers. It’s usually best to separate these layers based on functionality, but it can be done in a variety of ways based on the application type or company standards. It’s paramount to have more than a single module to guarantee good Java application performance. Since code and business logic changes will be needed, each level of your layered design can be tested individually and will help prevent your team from having to verify the entire application performance for every version deployment. Make sure your Java application has an adequate amount of deployment jars for ease of maintenance and deployment.

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