Java Streams

In Java 8, Streams were added as a new feature of the Java toolbox. Streams allow you to quickly and cleanly process Collections. Many functions of the Stream API allow for the use of Lambda expressions, which makes working with Streams an even more fluent process.

Please read the chapter about lambdas and functional programming before continuing.

How it works

The Stream loops the elements of the collection for you. Each intermediate and the terminal operation are called for each object. Once all operations are finished for the first objects, then the second object is loaded.

Important Methods


  • create a Stream from any object from any class implementing Collection
  • create a Stream from an Array

Intermediate Operations

These operations convert the Stream Objects somehow.

  •<In,Out> function): apply a Function to convert In to Out
  • Stream.filter(Predicate<In> predicate): remove Objects from Stream for which the Predicate does not test true
  • Stream.distinct(): remove Objects from Stream which are duplicates
  • Stream.sorted(): sort the Objects in the Stream
  • Stream.limit(int n): end Stream after n Objects

Terminal Operations

These operations receive the Stream Objects and end the Stream.

  • Stream.collect(Collector<In,?,Out> collector): collect all Objects in Stream with the specified Function. (for example
  • Stream.forEach(Consumer<In> consumer): consume all Objects in Stream using the consumer function
  • Stream.count(): count all Objects in Stream
  • Stream.min(Comparator<In> comparator): finds the smallest element with the given comparator
  • Stream.max(Comparator<In> comparator): finds the biggest element with the given comparator
  • Stream.findFirst(): return the first Object of the Stream and stop
  • Stream.anyMatch(Predicate<In> predicate): returns true if any Object in the Stream tests true for the Predicate
  • Stream.allMatch(Predicate<In> predicate): returns true if all Object in the Stream test true for the Predicate
  • Stream.noneMatch(Predicate<In> predicate): returns true if none of the Objects in the Stream test true for the Predicate


// print the length of all Strings in a List for (String string : Arrays.asList("abc", "de", "f", "abc")) { int length = string.length(); System.out.println(length); } Arrays.asList("abc", "de", "f", "abc") .stream() .map(String::length) .forEach(System.out::println); // output: 3 2 1 3
// print all Strings in a List with a Length greater than 2 for (String string : Arrays.asList("abc", "de", "f", "abc")) { if (string.length() > 2) { System.out.println(string); } } Arrays.asList("abc", "de", "f", "abc") .stream() .filter(string -> string.length() > 2) .forEach(System.out::println); // output: abc abc
// create a sorted List with all unique Strings from another List which are longer than or requal 2 List<String> result = new ArrayList<>(); for (String string : Arrays.asList("de", "abc", "f", "abc")) { if (string.length() >= 2 && ! result.contains(string)) { result.add(string); } } Collections.sort(result); List<String> result2 = Arrays.asList("de", "abc", "f", "abc") .stream() .filter(string -> string.length() >= 2) .distinct() .sorted() .collect(Collectors.toList()); // result: abc de
// Examples of extracting properties from a list of objects // Let's say we have a List<Person> personList // Each Person object has a property, age of type Integer with a getter, getAge // To get a list of age from the List<Person> personList // In a typical foor loop: List<Integer> ageList = new ArrayList<>(); for(Person person: personList){ ageList.add(person.getAge()); } //Using streams to achieve the same result as above List<Integer> ageList =;

You can also create Parallel streams if you have a function that takes a long time to complete.

List<Integer> result3 = Arrays.asList(14, 31, 76) .parallelStream() .map(num -> veryLongFunc(num)) .collect(Collectors.toList());

If you already have a stream and you want to make it parallel you can use .parallel().

Stream inputNumbers = Stream.of(13, 12, 87, 21); List<Integer> result4 = inputNumbers .parallel() .map(num -> veryLongFunc(num)) .collect(Collectors.toList());


  1. Processing Data with Java SE 8 Streams, Part 1

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