Native methods


Java’s motto is “write Once, Run Anywhere.” In order to accomplish this, Java is designed to provide all we need to write a platform-independent program. However, there may be a time when we need to access a platform-dependent function or method. These platform-dependent functions or methods are written in a non-java language (typically C or C++) and are referred to as native methods. Reasons for using native methods include interfacing with a legacy application and accessing capabilities that are not present in the Java API.


The java Native Interface (JNI) provides the capability to access native methods through shared dynamic link libraries (DLL).


Accessing Native Methods

1.Create a java class for the native method and include code to load the native method’s shared library.

2. Use javah to create C language header files for the native method

3. Implement the native method as a C function library

4. Compile and link the C code to create the shared library.


An example: Fibonacci


The native application program


Class NativeApp{

    Public static void main(String[] args){

       If(args.length ! = 1){

        System.out.println(“Usage: java NativeApp n”);



int n = new Integer(args[0].intValue;

int answer = new Native().fibonacci(n);





The Native class

Class Native{

   Public native int fibonacci(int n);

   Static {





Using javah


Ř      javah –jni Native

Ř      a header file would be generated called the Native.h


3. Implementing Native Method (NativeImp.c file)


#include <jni.h>

#include “Navigate.h”


int fibo(int n){

  if(n<=1) return 0;

if (n = =2) return 1;

return fibo(n-1) + fibo(n-2);




Java_Native_fibobacci(JNIEnv *env, jobject obj, jint n){

Return fibo(n);




Creating a shared library

All we need to do is compile NativeImp.c in such way that it produces a shared library. Using version 2.0 of Microsoft c++ compiler:


Cl  -ic:\jdk1.3\include –ic:\jdk1.3\include\win32 –ic:\msvc20\include –LD NativeImp.c c:\msvc20\lib\*.lib –Fenative.dll


Putting it all together

Ř       java NativeApp 22

Ř       10946