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If you haven't tried NetBeans lately--

Posted by caroljmcdonald on January 24, 2007 at 7:45 AM PST

I recently returned to Sun, the past 2 1/2 years I was an Architect for
a loan servicing application being built for one of the largest
automobile companies. At my previous company we were developing
with an agile development process using a lot of open source
tools -eclipse, junit, ant, maven, cvs, cruisecontrol, and not open
source tools- Magic Draw, XMLspy, Jprofiler.

Last week I attended NetBeans and Sun Tech Days in Atlanta. I was
really impressed with how much Netbeans has improved, if you
haven't tried it lately then you really should. Here are some of the
features that were demonstrated which I found nice:

  1. a free UML plugin which
    can be used to draw UML (of course) but also to reverse engineer UML
    from your code and which can stay in synch with any changes. At my
    previous company (which was very cost conscious)  we paid $ for
    that.
  2. Netbeans projects use Ant to build, there is no binary metadata – everything in .xml and
    .properties files which makes it easy to version/share project
    information. You can run headless builds using the exact same build.xml
    as is used by the NetBeans IDE. At my previous job, quite a bit of time
    was spent writing the ant build scripts. There are also plugins for
    Maven.
  3. Refactoring: with the
    jackpot plugin,  A demo showed refactoring code based on Joshua
    Bloch's  Effective Java recomendations.
  4. XML schema editing
    (part of the free enterprise plugin), again in my previous company we
    paid $ for that.
  5. java code Profiler free
    plugin, demos showed how you can profile just one method instead of the
    whole application. Again in my previous company we paid money for a
    profiler and because of the cost we only bought a few licenses so
    everyone couldn't use it. It would have made it easier if everyone had
    this and were profiling slow methods from the start.
  6. Junit, Netbeans generates test code skeletons.
  7. CVS and Subversion are supported.
  8. a lot of helpful stuff for EJBs, Java Persistance API, Webservices, and JSF
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