Java 8 - new features and enhancements with examples

Java 8 introduced lot of exiting new features and enhancements which are useful for developers . This article covers these features ( functional interfaces, lambda expression, method reference, Stream API, default and static methods in interface and more ) with short and simple examples.

  1. Functional Interface ( Annotation : @FunctionalInterface )
  2. default and static methods for interfaces
  3. Lambda Expression
  4. Method reference
  5. forEach() method for Iterable
  6. Stream API for Collections
  7. Concurrency API enhancements
  8. Date-Time packages
  9. Nashorn - JavaScript Engine
  10. Miscellaneous enhancements

1) Functional Interface ( Annotation : @FunctionalInterface )

Java 8 came up with new type of interface called Functional Interface which is any interface with exactly one abstract method. You can mark an interface with @FunctionalInterface to make sure it has only abstract method.

java.lang.Runnable, java.util.Comparator can be treated as Functional Interfaces since they have only abstract method in them.

Note : Any interface is treated as functional interface if it has exactly one abstract method even it is not annotated with @FunctionalInterface.

Examples :

2) default and static methods for interfaces

Now interfaces can have methods with implementation provided that they are marked with keywords default or static.

Example :

3) Lambda Expression

Lambda Expression is a new features in Java 8 , which enables you to provide implementation of functional interface in an easy and compact way.

Syntax :   ( arg1, arg2 , ... ) -> { // body of one and only abstract method of interface }

Examples :

Person p = (stmt) -> { System.out.println("Person said " + stmt) };  // method body with curly braces

Person p = (stmt) -> System.out.println("Person said " + stmt);    // single line method body without curly braces

Full Example @ Java 8 - Lambda Expression example

4) Method reference

Method reference is another way of passing or assigning reference to Functional Interface . It is also more compact way which can replace Lambda expression when expression refers to an existing method simply.

Example :

5) forEach() method for Iterable

Now iterating through any Iterable such as List is made easy. Before introduction of this feature in Java 8, we used to iterate over a Collection such as List either by using a for loop or by using combination of iterator and while loop, but now iterating is made easy and compact so that it can even be written in single line.

Example :

This is just one way of forEach. We have more simple ways to do forEach() in Java 8.

Full Example @ Java 8 - forEach() with full example

6) Stream API for Collections

Java 8 introduced new package which allow us to perform operations like filter , map, reduce on data in collections. You would find this Stream API very much useful if you are a developer working with collections a lot.

Collections interface has been extended with two methods namely stream() and parallelStream() default methods which returns Stream object for sequential and parallel execution.

Example :

Full Example @ Java 8 – Stream API and its benefits with simple examples

7) Concurrency API enhancements

Java 8 introduced new classes and methods for java. util.concurrent package. Few of the improvements are as follows :

  •  newWorkStealingPool() in Executors class : Creates a work steeling thread pool using available processors as its target parallelism level.
  • interface CompletionStage : A stage of an asynchronous computation which performs action upon completion of another CompletionStage.
  • class CompletableFuture : A Future, an implementation of CompletionStage, that can be completed by setting its value and status explicitly, and giving the turn to dependent functions and action to trigger upon its completion.
  • ConcurrentHashMap class introduces over 30 new methods such as forEach methods (forEach, forEachKey, forEachValue and forEachEntry ), search methods (search, searchKeys, searchValues, searchEntries ) and lot of reduce methods ( reduce, reduceToDouble etc ), as a result of newly added streams and lambda expression facilities in Java 8.

8) Date-Time packages

Until Java 7, there was not much flexibility and consistency when working with date and time which comes in classes such as java.util.Date , java.util.Calander, java.text.* etc. and most developers used to go with Joda-Time , an open source date and time library.

Now Java 8 streamlines date and time by introducing new packages java.time, java.time.chrono, java.time.format , java.time.temporal , to work with date, time, time zones, formats etc , which offer lot of flexibility so that there won't be a need to go for third party libraries.

9) Nashorn - JavaScript Engine

Java Nashorn is a new javascript engine introduced in Java 8 which replaces existing Rhino javascript engine. You can execute JavaScript dynamically by embedding in Java source code.
Java 8 also provides new command-line tool jjs to execucte JavaScript.

Example :

Full ExampleJava + JavaScript with example

10) Miscellaneous enhancements

  • jdeps command line tool is provided for analyzing class files
  • jjs command line tool to execute JavaScript files
  • Unicode Enhancements, including support for Unicode 6.2.0
  • The JDBC-ODBC Bridge has been removed
  • JDK 8 includes Java DB 10.10
  • JAXP 1.6 has been introduced in Java 8
  • PermGen space has been removed
  • Enhancements to Java IO package
  • Several security enhancements such as stronger algirithms for password encryptions, keystore enhancements etc
  • Improved type inference
  • Performance Improved for HashMaps with Key Collisions



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