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JAVA 20 : Foreign Function & Memory API

Foreign Function & Memory API in Java

JAVA 20 : Foreign Function & Memory API

The Foreign Function & Memory API (FFM API) is an innovative addition to Java 20, designed to enable Java programs to seamlessly interact with external code and data outside of the Java runtime. It provides a safer and more high-level alternative to the Java Native Interface (JNI), eliminating the drawbacks and fragility associated with JNI.

By leveraging the FFM API, developers can call native libraries and process native data in a straightforward manner. This API builds upon the foundation of JNI but offers a more user-friendly interface and a range of additional features, including automatic memory management and type safety.

To utilize the FFM API, one must import the jdk.incubator.foreign package. Once imported, it becomes possible to create a ForeignFunction object, which represents a native function. The invoke() method is then employed to call the native function.

Consider the following code snippet, which demonstrates how to call a native function using the FFM API:

import jdk.incubator.foreign.*;

public class Example {

  public static void main(String[] args) throws UnsupportedError {

    // Create a ForeignFunction object to represent the native function.
    ForeignFunction f = ForeignFunction.getFunction("hello");

    // Call the native function.
    String greeting = (String) f.invoke();

    // Print the greeting.

In this example, the “hello” function is a simple native function that returns the string “Hello, world!”. By utilizing the ForeignFunction class and invoking the function, the returned greeting can be captured and printed.

The FFM API introduces a powerful set of features, enabling Java programs to seamlessly interact with external code and data, enhancing interoperability. It offers a superior alternative to JNI by providing a more user-friendly interface, automatic memory management, and type safety. Furthermore, incorporating the FFM API can lead to improved performance when Java programs interact with native code.

If you desire to enhance the interoperability of your Java programs with code and data beyond the Java runtime, the FFM API is an excellent choice. It presents a powerful and user-friendly solution, empowering you to write better code that integrates seamlessly with external components.


In conclusion, the Foreign Function & Memory API (FFM API) is an impressive addition to Java 20 that significantly enhances the interoperability of Java programs with external code and data. By offering a safer and more user-friendly alternative to JNI, the FFM API enables developers to seamlessly call native libraries and process native data.

The FFM API’s advantages over JNI include a higher-level API, automatic memory management, and type safety. These features contribute to improved code readability, reliability, and maintainability. Moreover, the FFM API can also enhance the performance of Java programs that interact with native code, making it a valuable tool for optimizing system integration.

By importing the jdk.incubator.foreign package and utilizing the FFM API’s ForeignFunction object, developers can easily invoke native functions and retrieve their results. This streamlined process facilitates the integration of external components, resulting in more efficient and robust Java programs.

Overall, the FFM API represents a significant advancement in Java’s ability to interact with external code and data. Its ease of use, safety features, and performance benefits make it an invaluable addition to the Java language. By embracing the FFM API, developers can unlock new possibilities and write higher-quality code that seamlessly interacts with the broader computing ecosystem.

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