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More From NetBeans

Posted by lshevchik on June 27, 2005 at 6:28 PM PDT

For my fifth session of Day One, I attended TS-2670, otherwise known as Twelve Reasons to Use NetBeans. The presenters were Tim Cramer (Director of NetBeans engineering), Inyoung Cho (Java Technology evangelist), Tim Boudreau (NetBeans staff engineer and evangelist), and Charles Ditzel (from the Sun Partner Technology Office).

Tim C. started the session by describing the momentum NetBeans has had in the last year. Since the 2004 JavaOne Conference, the NetBeans team has delivered two new versions of their IDE - 4.0 and 4.1. Version 4.0 has received several awards, including Developer.com's open source tool of the year. Over 1,000,000 downloads have taken place in the last seven months alone. NetBeans has become the basis for Sun's other developer tools: Java Studio Creator and Java Studio Enterprise. And many former Eclipse developers have switched to NetBeans.

The three other presenters took turns describing their reasons to use NetBeans:

1. Out-of-the-Box Experience:

NetBeans is a fast, comprehensive IDE that offers full support for the Java Standard Edition 5, Java Enterprise Edition 1.4, and Java Micro Edition platforms. (It also works with Java SE 6.) The IDE also has a built in GUI builder, debugger, profiler, and visual garbage collector.

2. Full Java EE Support and Java BluePrints Catalog:

NetBeans makes Java EE development and deployment simpler. It supports the JavaServer Pages, Enterprise JavaBeans, Java Servlet, JavaServer Faces, CMP, MDB, JDBC, SQL Query, and web services specifications. It also offers Ant, refactoring, JSP debugging, and WS Registry support. The Java BluePrints catalog has been added to the NetBeans IDE to provide architecture and solutions for real-life projects.

3. GUI Builder:

Otherwise known as Project Matisse, this intuitive drag-and-drop GUI builder makes cross-platform layout as easy as drawing on paper. It is by far the most interesting thing I've seen at the JavaOne Conference! Not convinced? See James Gosling at his keynote session on Thursday where he wil use Project Matisse to design a working MP3 player!

4. Mobility Pack:

The NetBeans Mobility Pack helps you write, test, and debug Java ME MIDP applications. It solves problems associated with device fragmentation and can be dropped into any third party emulator.

5. Ant-based Project System:

This feature was new in NetBeans 4.0 and has been improved in 4.1 NetBeans generates Ant scripts that become your project.

6. Better UI and Performance:

The NetBeans team improved both these features based on feedback from the NetBeans community.

7. Code Debugger:

This award winning feature works with Ant.

8. Profiler, Visual GC, and jConsole:

The Profiler was based on Sun Labs' JFluid project.

9. The (Rich Client) Platform:

It has been possible to develop modular applications on the NetBeans platform since 2000. See the Who's Building on top of NetBeans page for more information.

10. NetBeans IDE Module and Update Center:

Use NetBeans plugins to add and update features to the IDE.

11. Collaboration Service:

Previously only available as a part of Java Studio Enterprise, the Collaboration Service allows developers to communicate with one another in real time via the IDE. It includes instant messaging and voice over IP capabilities.

12. NetBeans: Next and Beyond:

The presenters described features that will be improved or added to the next versions of the NetBeans IDE. These include a new GUI builder, simple CVS support, editor improvements, usability improvements, dynamic scripting language, new code completion features, editor hints, faster reaction to community comments, and much more.

For more information on any of these features, check out theNetBeans website.

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