Anahata: Our Five Favorite NetBeans IDE Features!
Pablo Rodriguez, Founder & Director
Good, Clean Focus on Core Java Technologies
Let’s be clear about it, Anahata is an Oracle partner and we are very happy to be so. We build all our applications using libraries backed by JSR, such as JPA, EJB, CDI, JMS, as well as JavaFX, using GlassFish. NetBeans IDE has great support for all the JSRs within Java EE and great integration with our application server of choice.
Yes, there are lots of great Java frameworks like Spring, Hibernate, GWT, Google Guice and lots of other frameworks with greatly innovative features but, as we prefer to adhere to APIs backed by a JSR rather than working with proprietary frameworks/APIs, we find NetBeans IDE to be the perfect fit.
Some of the NetBeans features that facilitate working with JSR backed APIs are: creation of Java EE objects such as EJBs, Servlets, enterprise application clients, CDI objects, code completion for calling EJB’s, looking up JMS resources, sending JMS messages, and information on CDI injection points, etc.
GlassFish is the Java EE reference implementation and our application server of choice. We have been relying on its Java EE support for years and it not only gives us as much as we can expect of an open source Java EE application server but allows us to develop on the latest and greatest Java EE platform as soon as it is released.
From NetBeans IDE, we can start, stop, restart GlassFish servers, view JDBC and JMS resources, open the Admin console, all of which works both for local and remote servers. Yes, being able to open the logs of a production instance from within the IDE is just great.
A few years ago we had to deploy the application we were working on to a GlassFish cluster and having GlassFish cluster support from within the IDE is just great, as well.
Database IntegrationAll our projects use RDBMS. The ability to connect to all major databases makes it easy for development. Whether I'm testing data or to make changes in the database structure, it’s just a matter of opening another tab. This feature also saves a lot of time by having the query analyzer within IDE. And we can also easily switch between databases.
Writing queries is as easy as any other SQL tool, as it gives you auto complete options as you start typing table names or column names. Features like "Add column" or "Grab structure" of tables are handy while making changes or creating new tables.
Remote Java PlatformsI have always been interested in networking. When it comes to creating applications for embedded devices like the Raspberry PI, I leverage the NetBeans Remote Platform feature for compiling Java apps and deploying them to embedded devices, which saves a lot of time.
Local HistoryThe local history feature is basically like having local source control built into your IDE. It allows you to see a diff between your current code and earlier versions, while giving you options for merging and reverting your code.
Everything is nicely laid out and easy to follow and it’s an absolute joy to use when you have just realized that you did need that code you deleted a few minutes ago.
Code HintsThe code hints feature of NetBeans is really helpful. It allows me to refactor my old code to the new Java features provided by JDK 8.
One among them is the feature to convert complex anonymous inner classes to lambda expressions. It converts so perfectly well that no extra manual refactoring is required and also it is a quick learning experience to get started with the new features of JDK 8.