"Prepare to be assimilated.... Resistance is futile."
- Borg, "Q,
Who?", Startrek: The Next Generation
Why should a Java developer switch to C#? Here are the major reasons
in alphabetical order:
1. "C Style" memory access
Rather than forcing developers to write code to access application
programming interfaces (APIs) in other languages in order to access specific
memory locations (e.g. hardware-mapped memory), C# allows developers to
use "C style" memory management and pointers when necessary. Of course, one of
the major design goals of the Java language and other object-oriented languages
is specifically to outlaw such access. A fact which Microsoft
acknowledges by forcing the C# programmer to label such accesses with the
2. Extensions for component-oriented development
Visual C# provides developers with a powerful component-oriented development
language that includes support for properties, indexers, delegates, inheritance,
versioning, and attributes, without the need for esoteric or rigid naming
patterns and companion classes.
Java developers will immediately find Visual C# to be familiar and
comfortable. C# is like Java on steroids. There are some extra
keywords; and, Visual C# supports some extra constructs. But, a Java
coder can learn the C# language in a day or two. Learning the APIs is a
4. Interactive XML Web services
Visual C# allows developers to deploy and consume rich, interactive XML Web
services that reduce development time by enabling software aggregation from any
platform. Microsoft is famous for hiding the details from the developer: This is
both good and bad. New developers may not actually know or understand what is
going on under the hood. On the other hand, it does increase productivity. Of
course, Java developers have a variety of IDEs such as Eclipse to choose from.
All of which provide some degree of support for Web services.
5. Leverage the .NET Framework
Visual C# provides developers with access to the Microsoft .NET
Framework--a robust, thread-safe library of collection classes, data
access classes, networking functions, etc. Recently, however, various bridge
software offer .NET access from Java programs as well as access to the
rich Java libraries from .NET languages.
6. Object-based type system
Visual C# provides developers an object-based type system that eliminates the
need for complex, verbose data marshalling code commonly required by Java
7. Standards-based language
Visual C# provides developers with a standards-based
language (ECMA) with all its advantages. This is a significant advantage
over the Java language.
8. Target any device
C# lets developers target desktop computers or a variety of handheld and
wireless devices using identical tools and skills. True, but all the devices
must be Windows based.
9. Visual Studio .NET IDE
Visual C# provides developers with the Visual
Studio .NET integrated development environment (IDE) which includes
support for task lists, property editors, Microsoft IntelliSense®, Forms
designers, etc. For development on Windows platform, Visual Studio is
king. However, Visual Studio lags Eclipse and other IDEs except in
10. XML comments
Visual C# allows developers to use eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Comments
to provide useful and customizable source code documentation. Of course, so does
Java although Microsoft does add its own twists to it.
A form of this top 10 list originated with Microsoft. But, because both Java
software and Visual C# evolve competitively, non-Microsoft oriented
features tend to be matched by each competitor in turn. There is no real reason
to use Visual C# instead of Java in general; because, each has its own
advantages and disadvantages which may or may not be important in specific
situations. Unless you work in a Microsoft-only shop, the requirements of the
project should dictate both the language and other software employed.
"Ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt." - Seneca