What You Need to Know About Java 17 and JVM Features

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The newest version of Java, that is, Java 17, has recently been released. What makes it unique is that both the OpenJDK community and Oracle have confirmed it to be a long-term support release, much like Java 11 and Java 8.

Java 17 is full of exciting functionalities for everyone. It’s packed with novel language functionalities and better security. This is the best time for businesses wanting to invest in cutting-edge Java applications to avail custom and secure Java software development services.

Such services are cost-effective and also comprise full-fledged software support and maintenance services. Many of Java 17’s JEPs (JDK Enhancement Protocol) were visible even before its launch. Given below are the four most relevant JEPs that aid immensely in application development. 

Sealed Classes

Sealed classes are a language feature that limits which other interfaces might extend them. A sealed interface can be implemented by only those classes which are allowed to do so.

A class gets sealed by the application of the sealed modifier to its declaration. These classes permit a programmer to declare explicitly the allowed subtypes of a type. It thus prevents others from accidentally implementing or extending it.

Sealed classes facilitate developers to make a set of options that they know are finite. It streamlines the code as they can treat classes like enums. Thus, the classes remove the worry of other code overriding or modifying your code’s behavior. 

Context-Oriented Deserialization Filters

Deserialization filters that are context-specific are an enhancement on functionality released in Java 9. It provided both modifiable per-stream deserialization filters as well as a static JVM-wide filter.

However, the per-stream filters couldn’t scale optimally. JEP 290’s filters cannot enforce filtering on deserialization operations that third-party libraries in an app perform. The JVM-wide filter was specified only once and often was either too inclusive or restrictive. 

The new feature JEP 405 is displayed as a JVM-wide filter factory. The filters are context-specific and dynamic. With a filter factory, it’s effortless to use deserialization filters.

Novel macOS Rendering Pipeline

The dependency of JDK on the Apple OpenGL API gets significantly minimized with the implementation of a Java 2D rendering pipeline for the Mac operating system through the recent Apple Metal API.

This change applies to ARM-based and Intel-based Macs, but it is hidden. According to the JEP 382 documentation, the changes are restricted to code that’s specific to macOS.

Even here, only a small part of the code that’s shared between OpenGL and Metal is updated. There are no new Java APIs and no changes in the previous APIs. The new rendering pipeline is faster or the same as the current graphics performance on macOS. 

JEP 406 – Pattern Matching for Switch

It enables the testing of pattern matching in a switch statement or expression. This feature provides two chief benefits. 

  • The switch statements have become more programmable as patterns can come in case labels. 
  • It offers a developer-friendly framework for dealing with null conditions. Earlier, testing for null needed to be done external of the switch when it supported a handful of reference types. But if the switch permits any selector expression, then the standalone null test appears like a random distinction. It only paves the way for errors to happen.

The modifications in Java 17 are tremendous if you compare it to its previous versions. It showcases how it is developing rapidly.

Organizations in various domains will significantly benefit from working with trusted Java software development services that use the latest technology stack and intuitive methodologies. It, in turn, makes them the beneficiary of minimized costs as they boost their efficiency.

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