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What does Oracle mean for NetBeans?

Posted by joconner on April 21, 2009 at 1:00 AM PDT

By now you know that Oracle intends to purchase Sun. It's a welcome deal that will no doubt be approved by stockholders. It certainly has the board's approval. So let's assume that Oracle will own Sun by the end of summer. Now we can start asking some questions.

Will Oracle embrace NetBeans? Like many open source projects, NetBeans gets a lot of support from corporate interest. In this case, it's no secret that Sun pours cash into NetBeans. However, Oracle already supports an IDE. Let's make that two IDEs: JDeveloper and Eclipse. Both receive financial backing from Oracle already, and...well, my first thought is that Oracle simply won't need a third IDE.

As Oracle continues to evaluate its new assets, how will it value NetBeans? Although I personally enjoy and use NetBeans, I don't think Oracle will care much for it. Not that NetBeans isn't an excellent product, but like I said, Oracle already has IDEs. In my opinion, NetBeans and its users will have to find new support elsewhere. I doubt Oracle will continue funding its development.

Hey, this is just speculation. I'd enjoy hearing your ideas, particularly if you think that Oracle will champion NetBeans in the future.

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I would like to correct a couple of these comments. Firstly JDeveloper is both a platform and an IDE, just like Netbeans. SQL Developer is also built on this platform, as is Warehouse Builder. The platform itself doesn't have an open API but it would be easy enough to open it up. JDeveloper does already have an open extension API and there are already plenty of open source plugins. Also, JDeveloper did fork off JBuilder at one point in the dark and distant past, but absolutely *none* of that remains. It was completely redesigned and rewritten, and a new quite beautiful architecture has emerged. The product is now in a different league to the JBuilder clone of the past.

JDeveloper is a fork of JBuilder. A code base that CodeGear (Borland's IDE division spun off into a new company) themselves have abandoned in favor of Eclipse. Netbeans is proabably superior technology engineering wise. I would not be surprised to see JDevloper built on top of NetBeans in the future.

Yes. JME in turn is another of the big questions: will Oracle enter the mobile market? I'd say yes, because if you get Java it makes sense you get all Java.

One plus for netbeans could be java mobile edition. Continuing support of JME could save netbeans because as I know there is no JME support in JDeveloper.


Who knows? The ways of marketing are much below^H^H^H^H^H above the ways of engineering. Anyway, my consideration is: in the past, Oracle had two application servers after the acquisition of BEA; reckoning that WebLogic was superior to its own, it kept the WebLogic (the acquired one). From a tecnologic point of view (and from what we can infer: JDeveloper is not open sourced), NetBeans is superior to JDeveloper. It is not only an IDE, but a Platform and Oracle could have the good idea, not yet enough supported by Sun, of making money directly on the platform. Furthermore, being open source, NetBeans can enjoy plugins from the community. Since JDeveloper is based on Swing, unlike Eclipse, from a gross point of view one could think of migrating the valuable parts of JDeveloper to NetBeans. Again, who knows? PS I agree with the idea that THREE IDEs are too many, but in the end Oracle seems to find itself with FOUR/FIVE databases and it stated it wants to support all of them...

I have serious doubts whether Oracle is really committed to NetBeans going forward - as they already have a (Oracle eBusiness Suite/Applications dedicated) IDE - i.e. JDeveloper. By acquiring BEA last year they also 'bought' (a bit) into Eclipse IDE. On JavaFX there is an interesting point made here: JavaFX might well be the foundation of Oracle 4th generation of 'Oracle Forms'

In some ways, it almost comes down to what Oracle wants with JavaFX no?! As I understand it, most of Sun's current engagements into NetBeans revolves around designing, coding, testing and deploying JavaFX.

he platform itself doesn't have an open API but it would be easy enough to open it up." Of course, it would be easy enough. But it's not... "... there are already plenty of open source plugins" You mean twenty? ;) I am just kidding, so please don't get me wrong. Seriously, jdeveloper is not comparable neither to eclipse nor to netbeans when we are talking about community, open-source and number of oss plugins...

Larry Ellison's ego may keep Netbeans alive. We all know that Eclipse is associated with IBM at some level. IBM is a competitor. Maybe Ellison would like to have his on platform that he drives, maybe he thinks that he could do it better. You think? Plus, with Oracle being about integration and Netbeans being a more naturally integrated platform than Eclipse, maybe it's a natural fit. Right?