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Twelve Reasons to Use Sun Java Studio Creator 2 IDE

Posted by joconner on May 16, 2006 at 4:19 PM PDT

Java Studio Creator 2, based on the popular NetBeans development environment, provides plenty of reasons to start using it today. It's freely available at Sun's Developer site. If you went to the JavaOne session today, you already know the reasons, but if not, I'll share them here with you.

  1. It's a rapid web application visual development tool. You can easily drag and drop JSF components, images, Web Services, etc onto a visual form, instantly seeing your creation. The tool includes comprehensive support for all the components you're most likely to need for web applications, including a bundled Java application server and a database.
  2. Speaking of databases, that's the second reason...database support is excellent. The product bundles Java DB, perhaps better known as Derby. This is a 100% Java DB with an itsy, bitsy footprint...ok, maybe just saying small is appropriate for the 2MB footprint. Don't like Java DB (Derby)? OK, you can easily connect any db you'd like. Being able to drag 'n drop database tables onto a visual form is very convenient.
  3. An application server comes bundled. The Sun Java System Application Server is installed along with the tool itself. However, you can configure Creator to use other application servers too.
  4. Page Navigator. This view shows you all the pages of your app, the connections among them, and the entry/exit points that guide from page to page. Link pages with a point and click.
  5. Data binding via drag and drop. Drop a visual table onto the form. Drop a database table onto that, and now you have a visual table peering right into the actual database table. Yea, I know this has been around with some other IDEs and tools for a while, but this is free. Free is good.
  6. JavaServer Faces components. Want JSF components? The Creator download gives you a great big, heaping serving. Basic components, layout components, composite components, validator components, converter components...<take big breath here>...data provider components, advance non-visual components, and more.
  7. AJAX enabled JSF components. Out of the box (hey, we don't get software in boxes anymore), you get visual components like auto complete text fields, progress bars, rich text editors and non-visual components like geographic points, geocoding service objects, map points, etc.
  8. Portlets. Portlets are a supported project type.
  9. Web services. You can add services to the "servers" window...just by pointing at a WSDL file. Again, drag and drop is your friend.
  10. Consume server side business components, again using drag and drop.
  11. Virtual forms enable you to limit the input fields procession for validation on a page.
  12. You can change themes quickly. Themes are a set of files including a CSS stylesheet, JavaScript files, an icons. Bundle them up in a single jar file, and you have a theme.

Oh, and I don't want to forget my reason for trying Creator...all the functionality is going to be made available as an add-on pack for NetBeans itself. I don't need NetBeans for one set of tasks and Creator for another anymore...I can get all the great visual support of Creator as a plug-in/extension to NetBeans in the near future.

So there they are...at least twelve reasons to use Java Studio Creator 2. I hope you find something compelling...you're gonna like this tool.