I manage a close knit team of software engineers at Forschung-Direkt, a software development company based in Bulgaria, which I am co-founder of.
Our developers are engaged in creating and extending web-based business solutions and Android applications. I am involved into day-to-day operations, supervision, and sometimes intensive coding sessions.
NetBeans IDE is our platform of choice for the development of Java and PHP web applications.
What are your five favorite NetBeans IDE features?
1. Maven Dependency Management, Graph View, and Wizards. The "Add dependency" and "Show Graph" features save tremendous amounts of time when one needs to build a proper dependency tree, even for relatively small projects. The Graph View points out required, used, and conflicting versions of packages, while giving a clear idea where there is a need for manual intervention.
For developers who are new to Maven, NetBeans IDE offers a great set of Project wizards, which help with initial project setup, with only a few quick clicks.
2. Services Window. NetBeans IDE has reached a level of integration that is barely touched by the other IDEs that I’ve tried, namely the all-in-one integration of external application servers and database engines.
There is no need to switch application windows in order to complete current tasks. I am currently running an application server and making SQL queries, deploying, starting and stopping web apps, all through NetBeans IDE.
I think this is of great value because it keeps the focus of the developer on the current task at hand.
3. Local File History. Not all projects start or end up in a version control repository. NetBeans IDE keeps track of local file changes and presents an immediate diff view, with a single click. This has helped me a lot during intensive coding sessions for small projects.
Getting a diff view of changes between versions is as quick as clicking on the revision entry.
4. PHP Tools. Our team develops both PHP and Java web applications. We have tried different IDEs before NetBeans IDE and we were always missing the “integrated” feeling.
Support for PHP syntax completion, doc lookup, and remote project and code syncing via SSH is what we needed. To our delight, all of it is present in the PHP tools provided by NetBeans IDE.
Additionally, although the team uses different web technologies, we all have the same NetBeans IDE experience.
5. Web Services Features. Personally, for me, coding web services (SOAP or REST) and web service clients has always been tricky, due to the numerous configuration settings, annotations, interface implementations, etc.
NetBeans IDE helps here a lot with its tools for visualizing web services and clients inside its own tree views, which automatically update on changing code or configuration settings.
Do you also want to share your favorite NetBeans features with the world? Write to netbeans dot webmaster at gmail dot com.