Java 8, which Oracle released last March, brings advanced automation to application development and deployment. Its not-so-secret weapon is integration with Project Lambda, a programming approach with a simpler language structure and new capabilities that speed up the software design process.
The buzz: Say good-bye to the Java 7 shortcomings that advocates of competing languages like Scala and Clojure were happy to point out. It was slow. It was cumbersome. It couldn’t scale. Java 8’s new way of formatting code, called lambda expressions, lets developers write complex programs in fewer lines. And with less coding, there’s a smaller chance that bugs will be introduced. Java 8 also has a slew of built-in optimizations that will make code run faster and scale better without developers even knowing about them.
The reality: Expect to see Java 8 take off in startups and businesses built on cloud, mobile and other new technologies. But bigger organizations will try to extend investments in previous Java versions, which they may have only recently adopted. And the changes in Java 8, though welcome, aren’t exactly earth-shattering. In fact, Java is really playing catch-up with Scala and Clojure, which aren't held to the same strict standards and broad review process as widely used Java is. That means innovative features can more easily be added to them, giving leading-edge developers a reason to limit their Java intake.