Java 6 Backward Compatible with Java 1.4?

   I've inherited a .ear application that was written using Java 2 Platform Std. Ed. v1.4.2. I need to modify it, and any sample code I'm finding is in Java 5 or 6. If I upgrade my Java version, can I feel comfortable that my application will still run? Or should I stick with my archaic version of Java to be safe?
        I'm a Java newbie, so any advice will be appreciated.
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Technically anything running on Java 1.4.2 should work in the future versions.

The technically above is because of external libraries - some of them might not be working as expected... and some might not be available at all and can be causing strange issues.

If it is an ear application, this means a application server, right? Then you are stuck at your java version unless if you want to upgrade the Server as well.
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