Learn how to use Base64 in programming languages: C#, C++, C, Java
, ,

Java 7 Guide to Base64 Encoding and Decoding

In contrast to Java 8 and later versions, which introduced the java.util.Base64 class, Java 7 requires a different technique to do similar tasks. This distinction frequently poses a particular barrier for developers who are accustomed to the more streamlined procedure in later versions. In this article, we will look at tactics and techniques for properly managing Base64 encoding and decoding in Java 7, providing insights for anyone working with this version of the language.

What is Base64?

Base64 is a binary-to-text encoding system that is essential for converting digital data into a text-based communication format. It achieves this by transforming binary data into a sequence of printable ASCII characters, allowing for secure transmission across a variety of text-oriented protocols. This encoding method is widely used when binary data, such as images or files, must be represented using just readable characters.

What is Java?

Java is a popular high-level programming language that is well-known for its platform freedom, object-oriented design, and large standard library. Java, developed by Sun Microsystems (bought by Oracle Corporation), was first launched in 1995 and has since grown in popularity due to its adaptability and applicability for a wide range of software development applications.

Base64 in Java 7

Until the java.util.Base64 class was introduced in Java 8, developers had to rely on external libraries or manual implementations to handle Base64 encoding and decoding in Java. However, Java 7 added limited Base64 support via the javax.xml.bind.DatatypeConverter class.

The DatatypeConverter class provides methods to convert binary data to and from Base64-encoded strings. While not as feature-rich as the java.util.Base64 class, it can be used for basic encoding and decoding needs in Java 7 environments.

Here’s a brief overview of how to use DatatypeConverter for Base64 encoding and decoding:

Encoding Binary Data to Base64 in Java 7

To encode binary data to a Base64-encoded string using DatatypeConverter, you can use the printBase64Binary method. This method accepts a byte[] array and returns the corresponding Base64-encoded string.

import javax.xml.bind.DatatypeConverter;
public class Base64Example {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        byte[] binaryData = "B64Encode".getBytes();
        String base64String = DatatypeConverter.printBase64Binary(binaryData);
        System.out.println("Base64 Encoded: " + base64String);

Decoding Base64 to Binary Data in Java 7

To decode a Base64-encoded string back to its original binary form, you can use the parseBase64Binary method. This method accepts a Base64-encoded string and returns the corresponding byte[] array.

import javax.xml.bind.DatatypeConverter;
public class Base64Example {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String base64String = "QjY0RW5jb2Rl";
        byte[] decodedData = DatatypeConverter.parseBase64Binary(base64String);
        String originalString = new String(decodedData);
        System.out.println("Decoded: " + originalString);

Base 64 in Java 7 Example Video

The video below demonstrates the use of Base64 in a Java 7 environment from the Java Made Easy channel.