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Ivar Grimstad: My Five Favorite NetBeans IDE Features!

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Ivar Grimstad: My Five Favorite NetBeans IDE Features!

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Continuing a series of articles focusing on NetBeans users and their five favorite NetBeans IDE features, here's the next part, by Ivar Grimstad. -- NetBeans team.

Ivar Grimstad is a Software Architect at Cybercom Sweden. He is a member of the Expert Groups for JSR 371 (MVC 1.0) and JSR 375 (Java EE Security API) as well as a frequent speaker at developer conferences.

What are your 5 favorite NetBeans features?

1. Maven support. With the risk of just repeating everybody else, I still think I will have to mention the Maven support as the number one favorite feature of NetBeans. The fact that it uses Maven as the underlying build system ensures that there are no surprises when the code is being built on the build server.

And the Graph view of dependencies is awesome when resolving conflicts in the dependency graph.

2. Developer Productivity. The list of help you get as a enterprise Java developer while coding in NetBeans is exhaustive. Everything you expect from a modern IDE is just there, such as code completion, code generation, code templates and so on. In addition, you get all these cool features such as code inspection, help for migrating to JDK 8, hints for improvements. You even get JavaDoc shown as a tooltip:

Everything helping you be a more productive Java developer.

3. Server Support. Whether you are running Tomcat, GlassFish, WildFy, TomEE or other servers, the support is there. Just point to the location and start deploying, running, testing, debugging, profiling.

4. Complete Tool Suite. With NetBeans, you get a complete tool suite for enterprise development. No need to download anything extra unless you absolutely want to. As mentioned before, the Maven integration is flawless. But there is so much more. From the IDE you can directly interact with your version control system (svn, git, mercurial), your database, server, build system, issue tracker, browser and more. The features get activated when you need them.

5. Extensibility. Even if NetBeans is out-of-the-box ready to use directly after installation, you may occasionally want some extra functionality that is not included in the installation. Luckily there are lots of plugins available, both official and community contributed.

My personal favorite is the Minesweeper plugin which demonstrate DukeScript rendering as well as the game itself.

Another great plugin worth mentioning is the easyUML plugin developed at the University of Belgrade which provides generation of class diagrams from your source code:

Do you and your colleagues also want to share your team's favorite NetBeans features with the world? Write to netbeans dot webmaster at gmail dot com.


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