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Last modified: April 8, 2020

We usually use the Java Stream API for processing collections of data.

One nice feature is support for operations on numeric streams, like the *sum *operation. However, **we cannot process all numeric types in this way.**

In this tutorial, we'll see how to perform the *sum* operation on streams of numbers like *BigDecimal*.

The Stream API provides streams of numbers, including *IntStream, DoubleStream, *and* LongStream. *

Let's remind ourselves how these work by *c*reating a numeric stream. Then, we'll calculate its total with *IntStream#sum*:

```
IntStream intNumbers = IntStream.range(0, 3);
assertEquals(3, intNumbers.sum());
```

We can do a similar thing starting with a list of *Double*s. By using streams, we can convert from an object stream to a *DoubleStream* using *mapToDouble*:

```
List<Double> doubleNumbers = Arrays.asList(23.48, 52.26, 13.5);
double result = doubleNumbers.stream()
.mapToDouble(Double::doubleValue)
.sum();
assertEquals(89.24, result, .1);
```

So, it would be useful if we could sum up a collection of *BigDecimal *numbers the same way.

**Unfortunately, there isn't a BigDecimalStream.** So, we need another solution.

Instead of relying on *sum*, we can use *Stream.reduce:*

```
Stream<Integer> intNumbers = Stream.of(5, 1, 100);
int result = intNumbers.reduce(0, Integer::sum);
assertEquals(106, result);
```

**This works on anything that can be logically added together**, including *BigDecimal*:

```
Stream<BigDecimal> bigDecimalNumber =
Stream.of(BigDecimal.ZERO, BigDecimal.ONE, BigDecimal.TEN);
BigDecimal result = bigDecimalNumber.reduce(BigDecimal.ZERO, BigDecimal::add);
assertEquals(11, result);
```

The *reduce* method takes two parameters:

*Identity*– is the equivalent of*0*– it is the starting value for the reduction*Accumulator function*– takes two parameters, the result so far, and the next element of the stream

In this article, we looked at how to find the sum of some numbers in a numeric *Stream*. Then we discovered how to use *reduce* as an alternative.

Using *reduce* allows us to sum a collection of *BigDecimal* numbers. It can be applied to any other type.

As always, the code for the examples is available over on GitHub.