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Difference between JRE and SDK

Difference between JRE and SDK

Oracle provides Java software for both development and runtime environments. The main difference between the JRE and SDK is that the JRE includes a lightweight Java Runtime Environment, while the SDK includes the full development kit with tools, source code, and documentation. This article will help you decide which one to use in your project.

What is JRE?

JRE, or the Java Runtime Environment, is a software package that provides the necessary tools and components for running Java applications. JRE features a high-performance virtual machine that is responsible for executing Java programs, as well as a number of additional libraries and APIs that are used in conjunction with JVM to provide enhanced functionality and performance. JRE also comes with a set of command-line tools that can be used to manage, monitor, or debug running Java programs. Overall, JRE is an essential component for any organization that relies on Java for its development or runtime needs.

What is SDK?

SDK, or software development kit, is a set of tools that software developers use to create new applications and programs. SDKs typically include libraries of code that can be accessed by developers during the creation process. They may also include documentation and instructions on how to use the SDK, as well as templates for creating different types of software. The SDKs provided by different companies will vary depending on the types of programs they specialize in creating. For example, a gaming SDK might provide tools for creating games with 3D graphics capabilities, while an SDK for enterprise software might focus more on business processes and data analytics. Regardless of the type of SDK, though, it is an essential tool for any developer looking to build new software products.

Difference between JRE and SDK

JRE and SDK are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different things. JRE stands for Java Runtime Environment, and it refers to the software that is needed to run Java programs. SDK stands for Java Software Development Kit, and it includes everything that is needed to develop Java applications. In practical terms, this means that JRE is necessary for running Java programs but SDK is needed for developing them. While JRE is often sufficient for simple tasks, SDK is required for more complex ones. For example, SDK is necessary for compiling code, creating jar files, and using debugging tools. As a result, JRE and SDK serve two different purposes and should not be confused with one another.


While the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and Software Development Kit (SDK) may appear to be similar, they have different purposes. The JRE is used for running Java applications, while the SDK is used for developing Java applications. If you are looking for a tool to run Java applications, then you need the JRE. If you are looking to develop Java applications, then you need the SDK.

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