Sunday, June 26, 2022

Java Stream Intermediate and Terminal Operations

Java Stream API operations that returns a new Stream are called intermediate operations. Most of the times, these operations are lazy in nature, so they start producing new stream elements and send it to the next operation. 

Intermediate operations are never the final result producing operations. Commonly used intermediate operations are filter and map.

Java 8 Stream API operations that returns a result or produce a side effect. Once the terminal method is called on a stream, it consumes the stream and after that we can’t use stream. 

Terminal operations are eager in nature i.e they process all the elements in the stream before returning the result. Commonly used terminal methods are forEachtoArrayminmaxfindFirstanyMatchallMatch etc

You can identify terminal methods from the return type, they will never return a Stream.

Java Stream Short Circuiting Operations

An intermediate operation is called short circuiting, if it may produce finite stream for an infinite stream. For example limit() and skip() are two short circuiting intermediate operations.

A terminal operation is called short circuiting, if it may terminate in finite time for infinite stream. For example anyMatchallMatchnoneMatchfindFirst and findAny are short circuiting terminal operations.

Java Stream Examples

I have covered almost all the important parts of the Java 8 Stream API. It’s exciting to use this new API features and let’s see it in action with some java stream examples.

Creating Java Streams

There are several ways through which we can create a java stream from array and collections. Let’s look into these with simple examples.

We can use Stream.of() to create a stream from similar type of data. For example, we can create Java Stream of integers from a group of int or Integer objects. :

Stream<Integer> stream = Stream.of(1,2,3,4);

We can use Stream.of() with an array of Objects to return the stream. Note that it doesn’t support autoboxing, so we can’t pass primitive type array.

Stream<Integer> stream = Stream.of(new Integer[]{1,2,3,4});
//works fine
Stream<Integer> stream1 = Stream.of(new int[]{1,2,3,4});
//Compile time error, Type mismatch: cannot convert from Stream<int[]> to Stream<Integer>

We can use Collection stream() to create sequential stream and parallelStream() to create parallel stream. :
List<Integer> myList = new ArrayList<>();
for(int i=0; i<100; i++) myList.add(i);
//sequential stream
Stream<Integer> sequentialStream =;
//parallel stream
Stream<Integer> parallelStream = myList.parallelStream();

We can use Stream.generate() and Stream.iterate() methods to create Stream. :
Stream<String> stream1 = Stream.generate(() -> {return "abc";});
Stream<String> stream2 = Stream.iterate("abc", (i) -> i);
Using and String.chars() methods.
LongStream is = long[]{1,2,3,4});
IntStream is2 = "abc".chars();

Converting Java Stream to Collection or Array

We can use java Stream collect() method to get List, Map or Set from stream.
Stream<Integer> intStream = Stream.of(1,2,3,4);
List<Integer> intList = intStream.collect(Collectors.toList());
System.out.println(intList); //prints [1, 2, 3, 4]
intStream = Stream.of(1,2,3,4); //stream is closed, so we need to create it again
Map<Integer,Integer> intMap = intStream.collect(Collectors.toMap(i -> i, i -> i+10));
System.out.println(intMap); //prints {1=11, 2=12, 3=13, 4=14}
We can use stream toArray() method to create an array from the stream.
Stream<Integer> intStream = Stream.of(1,2,3,4);
Integer[] intArray = intStream.toArray(Integer[]::new);
System.out.println(Arrays.toString(intArray)); //prints [1, 2, 3, 4]

Java Stream Intermediate Operations

Let’s look into commonly used java Stream intermediate operations example.

Stream filter() example: We can use filter() method to test stream elements for a condition and generate filtered list.:

List<Integer> myList = new ArrayList<>();
for(int i=0; i<100; i++) myList.add(i);
Stream<Integer> sequentialStream =;
Stream<Integer> highNums = sequentialStream.filter(p -> p > 90); //filter numbers greater than 90
System.out.print("High Nums greater than 90=");
highNums.forEach(p -> System.out.print(p+" "));
//prints "High Nums greater than 90=91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 "

Stream map() example: We can use map() to apply functions to an stream. Let’s see how we can use it to apply upper case function to a list of Strings:
Stream<String> names = Stream.of("aBc", "d", "ef");
System.out.println( -> {
return s.toUpperCase();
//prints [ABC, D, EF]
Stream sorted() example: We can use sorted() to sort the stream elements by passing Comparator argument.
Stream<String> names2 = Stream.of("aBc", "d", "ef", "123456");
List<String> reverseSorted = names2.sorted(Comparator.reverseOrder()).collect(Collectors.toList());
System.out.println(reverseSorted); // [ef, d, aBc, 123456]
Stream<String> names3 = Stream.of("aBc", "d", "ef", "123456");
List<String> naturalSorted = names3.sorted().collect(Collectors.toList());
System.out.println(naturalSorted); //[123456, aBc, d, ef]

Stream flatMap() example: We can use flatMap() to create a stream from the stream of list. Let’s see a simple example to clear this doubt.:

Stream<List<String>> namesOriginalList = Stream.of(
Arrays.asList("David", "Lisa"),
//flat the stream from List<String> to String stream
Stream<String> flatStream = namesOriginalList
.flatMap(strList ->;

Java Stream Terminal Operations

Let’s look at some of the java stream terminal operations example.

Stream reduce() example: We can use reduce() to perform a reduction on the elements of the stream, using an associative accumulation function, and return an Optional. Let’s see how we can use it multiply the integers in a stream.:
Stream<Integer> numbers = Stream.of(1,2,3,4,5);
Optional<Integer> intOptional = numbers.reduce((i,j) -> {return i*j;});
if(intOptional.isPresent()) System.out.println("Multiplication = "+intOptional.get()); //120

Stream count() example: We can use this terminal operation to count the number of items in the stream:
Stream<Integer> numbers1 = Stream.of(1,2,3,4,5);
System.out.println("Number of elements in stream="+numbers1.count()); //5

Stream forEach() example: This can be used for iterating over the stream. We can use this in place of iterator. Let’s see how to use it for printing all the elements of the stream.:
Stream<Integer> numbers2 = Stream.of(1,2,3,4,5);
numbers2.forEach(i -> System.out.print(i+",")); //1,2,3,4,5,

Stream match() examples: Let’s see some of the examples for matching methods in Stream API.:
Stream<Integer> numbers3 = Stream.of(1,2,3,4,5);
System.out.println("Stream contains 4? "+numbers3.anyMatch(i -> i==4));
//Stream contains 4? true
Stream<Integer> numbers4 = Stream.of(1,2,3,4,5);
System.out.println("Stream contains all elements less than 10? "+numbers4.allMatch(i -> i<10));
//Stream contains all elements less than 10? true
Stream<Integer> numbers5 = Stream.of(1,2,3,4,5);
System.out.println("Stream doesn't contain 10? "+numbers5.noneMatch(i -> i==10));
//Stream doesn't contain 10? true

Stream findFirst() example: This is a short circuiting terminal operation, let’s see how we can use it to find the first string from a stream starting with D.:
Stream<String> names4 = Stream.of("Pankaj","Amit","David", "Lisa");
Optional<String> firstNameWithD = names4.filter(i -> i.startsWith("D")).findFirst();
System.out.println("First Name starting with D="+firstNameWithD.get()); //David

Java 8 Stream API Limitations

Java 8 Stream API brings a lot of new stuffs to work with list and arrays, but it has some limitations too.

Stateless lambda expressions: If you are using parallel stream and lambda expressions are stateful, it can result in random responses. Let’s see it with a simple program:
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;
public class StatefulParallelStream {
public static void main(String[] args) {
List<Integer> ss = Arrays.asList(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15);
List<Integer> result = new ArrayList<Integer>();
Stream<Integer> stream = ss.parallelStream(); -> {
synchronized (result) {
if (result.size() < 10) {
return s;
}).forEach( e -> {});

If we run above program, you will get different results because it depends on the way stream is getting iterated and we don’t have any order defined for parallel processing. If we use sequential stream, then this problem will not arise.

  • Once a Stream is consumed, it can’t be used later on. As you can see in above examples that every time I am creating a stream.
  • There are a lot of methods in Stream API and the most confusing part is the overloaded methods. It makes the learning curve time taking.

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