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Difference Between Java and JRE

javaJava vs. JRE

Java is a software platform that allows a unified code base for creating and deploying applications across a wide range of operating systems. Prior to Java, you would need to recompile, and even edit your code, in order to make it run on another operating system. With Java, you can write a program once, and be sure that it will run on a wide range of operating systems, provided there is a JVM, or Java Virtual Machine, that executes the Java application, and acts as a middle man between the application and the operating system. The JVM is packaged along with a collection of software, and referred to as a JRE, or Java Runtime Environment.

The JRE not only contains the JVM, which is the most important software in the package, but extra software as well, that extends the functionalities of Java. This includes AWT, Swing, and a lot of other libraries that can be used by Java applications.

To make it easier for programmers, programming in Java remains the same regardless of the operating system for which the resulting program will be used. However, in order to make Java applications work correctly, you must have the right JRE for your operating system. Java supplies a wide variety of downloadable JREs to suit the great number of operating systems in existence today. You can find a JRE for any operating system, including those for smartphones, like Windows Mobile and GoogleAndroid, and even standard mobile phones. There are different specifications for computers and mobile phones though, as they do not share the same hardware, and computer applications often do not run on mobile phones.

The portability of Java applications is the key to its success. Not only in computers, but also in mobile phones, where the operating system can greatly vary from one manufacturer to another, and even from one handset to another. The great number of JREs available makes this possible, but it is also a bit difficult to maintain. There are also a number of SDKs, the package that contains all the resources needed to create Java applications, but it’s nowhere near the number of JREs. This is because you would run Java applications on mobile phones, but not necessarily run code programs on a mobile phone.


1. Java is a software platform, while JRE is a software package.

2. JRE contains the necessary software for running Java applications.

3. Java is the same, regardless of the operating system, while the JRE differs.

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