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Java platforms

David Lithicum clarifies the differences between Java platforms J2ME, J2SE and J2EE.

What is the difference between J2ME, J2SE and J2EE?

In computing, the Java Platform, Micro Edition or Java ME (previously known as Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition or J2ME) is a specification of a subset of the Java platform aimed at providing a certified collection of Java APIs for the development of software for small, resource-constrained devices such as cell phones, PDAs and set-top boxes.

Java Platform, Standard Edition or Java SE is a widely used platform for programming in the Java language. It is the Java Platform used to deploy portable applications for general use.

In practical terms, Java SE consists of a virtual machine, which must be used to run Java programs, together with a set of libraries (or packages) needed to allow the use of file systems, networks, graphical interfaces, and so on, from within those programs.

Java Platform, Enterprise Edition or Java EE is a widely used platform for server programming in the Java programming language. The Java EE Platform differs from the Standard Edition (SE) of Java in that it adds additional libraries which provide functionality to deploy fault-tolerant, distributed, multi-tier Java software, based largely on modular components running on an application server.

This was first published in August 2007

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