Computer programs that are written in java programming language require a special environment in order to be deployed or run on another computer rather than the one they were developed on. At the end of the software development process, the Java developer needs to package all the files containing the program source code into a single package that the end user can run. In this case, the target user must download Java Runtime Environment (JRE) which is available free of charge on the web.
Simply put, the java runtime environment offers a virtual machine which makes java programs such as applets to be executed on any platform. As the name suggests, JRE offers the environment that your computer needs in order to run java programs. For instance, the same version of a java applet will run on computers running both Windows and Linux operating systems if you download Java Runtime Environment and install it on them.
The java virtual machine converts the program instructions into java bytecodes which can be understood by any of the above software platforms. New versions of the java runtime environment also include Java Plug-in, an extension that integrates with web browsers and enables them to run java based applications. In essence, JRE provides an interface between the machine and the java program so that any machine can understand the instructions in the program. This is referred to as portability of software applications that have been developed in java programming language.
The popularity of java and the fact that there are millions of java applets on the web today means that almost every computer needs to have the java runtime environment. Most UNIX operating systems will automatically install the JRE package during setup. However, users of Windows based operating systems will have to download Java Runtime Environment to be able to run java programs. The software package is frequently updated to add more functionality and fix security issues.
Category: Windows Tools