Matia Zanella: My Five Favorite NetBeans IDE Features!

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Matia Zanella: 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 Matia Zanella, the Managing Director and Systems Engineering Director at Storm Interactive Technologies. -- NetBeans team.

The Suyara Platform is a Data Storage Platform written in PHP that provides a robust platform, applicable to both personal and business use, for securely uploading and backing up data, as well as sharing files, at blazing speed.

During the years, we have had the opportunity to try different IDE's, including Aptana Studio which is considered ideal for web development. However, for the Suyara Platform, we wanted, from the very beginning, to have a workspace environment. We had three key requirements: "cross-platform", "fast", and "flexible". The latter is important to our team since in our environment integration with a wide range of tools, such as Subversion and team collaboration, is a must.

What are your 5 favorite NetBeans IDE features?

1. Projects Window. For each project, we were used to having all files in one folder with just a couple of subfolders, usually for resources such as scripts or stylesheets or images. When we started with Suyara, we realized we'd have quite a complex enviroment to manage.

The slick functional interface that NetBeans IDE has was certainly a must have in that regard, since it helped us really well in shaping the directory structure from the very beginning. The Projects window gives us an immediate view of the Suyara structure, which is composed of modules, classes, and libraries. NetBeans is just perfect when we need to create new functions or expand into entirely new software areas.

2. Navigator. At the bottom of the Projects windows, we have the Navigator, which is comfortable for every day coding sessions. In some ways, it is similar to what we had with other IDEs. But in NetBeans, the content in the Navigator is collapsible for hierarchical elements, which makes it more complete and helpful.

The Navigator parses code quickly. The result is a useful code organization, especially for front-end pages, where we have a good mix of PHP and HTML and the Navigator displays all the related symbols, grouped by language types, which is awesome!

3. Find and Replace. Find and replace commands are similar to what we're used to from Aptana and other IDE's. In the case of NetBeans IDE, I have found the process is slight faster and more precise when searching, plus it highlights searches, so that you will see immediately all corresponding elements.

4. Diff View.
The thing I think everybody in our team loves is the Diff View. We were heavy users of Meld, which I consider to be one of the best diff viewers. NetBeans IDE is in quite a different category. we can even compare versions local or on SVN and the good thing is totally integrated with the program, in this case I have seen an enormous difference from the past IDE in terms of speed and visual organization that make the work easy.

5. Database support.
Last but not least, we like the Database tools in NetBeans IDE. Though we continue to use Workbench as our primary Database modeling tool and explorer, we recently started using the NetBeans Database Explorer.

We are finding some commands like "edit schema" or "run queries" similar to Workbench. Of course, we will need some time to get accustomed but for now we're feeling quite comfortable with it.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Oracle and the NetBeans team for the continued support of this great software. Thanks to NetBeans, we have been able to think about, design, and develop the Suyara Platform.

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


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