Best IDEs in Java for App Development 2020
In this post, we'll discuss what are IDE, Why to use IDE?, and some of the best Java IDE to choose from.
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Gone are the days when text editors were being used to write and execute programming files. This is the age of IDEs, an integrated development environment software for building applications that can merge developer tools into standalone GUI.
While developing large-scale projects, developers do need technical support to type the code and IDEs make this whole process much smoother and hassle-free.
Mostly developers go for an IDE that is best suited for their project. And the big question that arises is- What is Java IDE, Why use Java IDE? Which IDE to choose from?
It is an application that offers comprehensive facilities to programmers for development. An IDE contains a source code editor, a debugger, and build automation tools to navigate through codes and to facilitate code completion and support for refactoring. Also, they make testing and debugging the code easier!
Why Use Java IDE?
Following are the main reasons-
- Java IDE automatically validates syntax.
- Supports syntax coloring
- It provides a readymade code template.
- Supports code refactoring
- Offers a Robust Debugger and Java Editor
- Allows you to set breakpoints.
Presenting below a list of top Java IDEs to choose this 2020 for your App/ software development projects:
BlueJ is an integrated development environment for Java (first released in 1999), designed specially to support user education. It is considered a suitable IDE for small-scale software development.
This multi-platform Java IDE allows an effortless, smoother interaction with objects, where developers can call methods on objects, inspect object values, and pass objects as parameters.
With BlueJ, understanding more advanced concepts like the variable scope is made easier as you can visualize the structure of the code through different background colors. And user don’t have to rely on indentations to identify which method falls under which class as you can see the blocks of the code.
BlueJ’s primary screen displays the class structure of the application under development. Other powerful development features offered are creating dynamic objects, scanning the code visually and also allowing interactively creating and testing objects.
- Runs on multiple platforms. Supported platforms are Windows, Mac OS X, and Ubuntu. It has a smaller, simple, and portable interface.
- Scope coloring
- Runs without USB stick installation
- Object bench
- Supplementary BlueJ textbook
- Portal of teaching resources
- Interaction among objects
- Code Pad
- It allows you to run Java objects while you run the program.
2. IntelliJ IDEA
First released in January 2001, IntelliJ IDEA comes under the most powerful big 3 of Java IDEs developed for JVM languages like Java, Scala and Kotlin. It is available in two different editions- Apache 2 licensed community edition and a propriety commercial edition.
It is one of the most powerful IDEs to maximize developer productivity and on diving deeper into Java code, IntelliJ IDEA allows cross-platform refactoring and data flow analysis features.
Some of the other useful features are- chain completion, language injection, static member completion, static code analysis, clever code completion and smart completion. Also, with the help of plugins, it can be extended for a polyglot experience and advanced error checking feature allows for a faster and easier error checking.
- Platform – Linux/macOS/Windows
- Analyses source code between all project files and languages.
- It allows cross-language refactoring. Searches duplicate code fragments on the fly. Inspections and quick fixes. IntelliJ IDEA offers an editor-centric environment. It allows users to use static methods or constants easily. Language injection Detecting duplicates
Codenvy is a commercial cloud based Java IDE built on top of Eclipse Che, accessible by all major browsers. It was first released in 2012 and has a total of 3 variants to choose from- developer, enterprise and team (aims at collaboration) and is known as on-demand developer workspace.
It is an open-source cloud application that includes a multi-user remote development platform. This tool offers SDK (System Development Kit) for creating plugins for frameworks, tools, or languages.
Codenvy editor simplifies programmer’s life by offering effective ways to edit, build, and debug applications in their hosted cloud IDE while being simultaneously able to share and collaborate during development. One can also publish it to repository like Git or on other deployment platforms.
- Up to 3 GB of free RAM for running and testing code on different tech stack with single or two machines.
- Work online or offline with CLI push, pull, and clone.
- Teams and easy collaboration for building any project.
- Launch simultaneous processes to run, build and deploy.
- Can start a project in seconds from any computer.
- Code development with portable Docker runtimes.
First Released in November 2001 by IBM, Eclipse- an open-source, dedicated Java IDE is often regarded as the face of all Java IDEs (gets listed as one of the big 3 of Java IDEs).
This modern IDE is available in both desktop and cloud editions (named Eclipse Che, allows programmers to develop apps via a web browser). Both editions are equipped with ample required/ additional functionality utilizing plugins. To hasten the application development, Eclipse flaunts powerful tools for charting, modelling, reporting, and testing.
It is used to develop rich client applications, integrated development environments and other tools and to facilitate the incremental compilation of Java code, Eclipse comes with a custom compiler.
For programmers looking to develop specific functionality for Eclipse, a PDE (Plugin Development Environment) is available. Although, it was developed for Java applications, it can be used with other programming languages (with the help of plugins) like- typesetting languages such as LaTeX and networking applications such as database management systems.
- It provides readymade code template and automatically validates syntax. Supports code refactoring Modelling and control language Can be used on Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris and OS X Enables Remote management. Runtime core Collection of libraries User-friendly interface with drag and drop facility. You can extend the functionality of Eclipse using plugins. Interfaces for embedding into host environment.
Created by Genuitec, MyEclipse is a proprietary IDE build on top of the Eclipse platform. MyEclipse and Eclipse are totally different. Eclipse is a plugin for an architectural pattern, whereas MyEclipse is a full-featured platform for the software development application. It is an enterprise-class plugin and works by offering an optional technology bundle.
MyEclipse is a simple Java IDE that offers real-time validation of errors as you write the program. The wide variety of tools available can be used for both Java app development as well as web development.
Notable features-Maven project management, Spring Tooling, and WebSphere connectors.
- Supports syntax coloring. Java EE development Built-in libraries and Wizards It allows you to set breakpoints. Offers a robust debugger. You can quickly open a file and run your code. Write code from the browser. It has a built-in Tomcat server.
- Easy Testing of App Servers
- Form-Based Editors
- Web Services
- Database Persistence and Support
- Database Connectors
- Reverse Engineering
- Simplified SQL
- Database Visualization
- Spring Tooling with Bean Tooling and Scaffolding
- WebSphere Connectors with RAD Migration
- Enterprise Reporting
- Web Development
- Angular Support
- TypeScript 2.x Coding
- Angular HTML Template Intelligence
- Angular-CLI Integration
- Syntax Highlighting
- Intelligent Content Assist
- Fast and Accurate Validation
- Integrated Debugging
- Call and Type Hierarchies
- Source Refactoring and Formatting
- Jump to Declarations
- Better Visualization of Code
- Occurrence Highlighting
- Validation and Auto-Complete for HTML
- Code Live with Live Preview
- Platform – Linux/macOS/Windows
Xcode was developed in 2003 by Apple exclusively for MacOS. It is an incredibly productive environment for building apps for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV, available completely free of cost. Some of the highlights of Xcode are an inbuilt debugger, GUI builder, and profile autocomplete.
Xcode has a built-in version control support so if you want to push a repository into git, the functionality is already added to it. Besides Java, Xcode provides support for AppleScript, C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Python, Ruby, and Swift.
- Quick Access
- Schemes Management
- Platform – MacOS
- Can quickly open any file. Split Window View Version Editor Source Control It allows you to compare 2 files graphically. Coding Assistant Debug the program easily using Xcode debugger. Code filter User Interface Prototyping Xcode offers an assistant editor that shows helpful files like callers, header counterpart, etc.
One among big 3 of Java IDEs is NetBeans. First released in 1997, this open-source IDE is free Java IDE and official IDE for Java 8. The dedicated Java IDE is available in 28 different languages.
One of the most widely used IDEs, it is used to build desktop, mobile, and web applications by offering a range of potent tools and features.
- Cross-platform support
- Multiple language support
- Visual debugger
- NetBeans Profiler
- Static analysis tools
- Project management
- Code editor
- Batch code analyzers
- Code converters
jGRASP is one of the best lightweight IDEs for Java. It runs on all platforms with a JVM and provides an automatic generation of visualizations to improve the comprehensibility of software.
It has an integrated debugger as well as a workbench with various tools for Java developers and is configured to work with most free and commercial compilers for any programming language.
Although written using Java, it can create control structure diagram for C, C++, Python, Ada and Objective-C.
- Graphical debugger. The source code can be easily folded depend on CSD (Control Structure Diagram) It provides syntax-based coloring. jGRASP has icons and menus for compile, run, and debugging any program.
Developed by Xinox software, JCreator is another lightweight Java IDE, faster than other competing Java based IDEs. Its interface is quite similar to that of Microsoft’s Visual Studio and is available in 3 variants: Lite (LE), Pro edition (Pro) and Lite-Pro (LE-PRO). The paid version of JCreator comes with Ant support, code wizards, and a debugger.
JCreator is developed entirely in C++ and doesn’t require a JRE for executing Java code. For this reason, the developer community regards it as faster than most conventional Java-based IDEs.
Unlike others, JCreator has no advanced features and extensibility via 3rd-party plugins is unavailable. It is smaller, faster and considered ideal choice for beginners.
- Block Selection
- Colored Bracket Matching
- Code Templates
- Word Wrap
- Tabbed Documents
- Docked Toolbars and Workspaces
- Full-Screen Mode
- Intelligent Docking Assistants
- File Templates
- Workspace Structure
- Mounted Projects
- Virtual Folders-Based Projects
- File Properties Viewer
- Integrated CVS
- Class and Interface Wizard
- Implement Interface Wizard
- Insert Bean Methods
- File Splitter
- Project/Folder/File Building
- Execute and Build Project
- JDK Tools
- JDK Profiles
- JDK Debugger
- Classpath Management
- Code Identifier
- Code Completion
- Code Refractory
- Optimize Imports
- Symbol Check
- Import Suggestion
- User Class Coloring
- Context-Sensitive Help
- Source Code Navigation
- Runtime Configurations
- Java Console
Oracle JDeveloper is an open-source freeware IDE that covers the complete development lifecycle. By working together with the Oracle ADF, it provides a visual and declarative development approach and simplifies development.
- Offers a user-friendly interface. You can easily connect your java program with the database. JDeveloper can simplify Java-based applications by enabling you to manage the full software lifecycle.
- Visual and Declarative Editors
- Java SE and Java EE Environments
- Full Database Development Environment
- Visual HTML 5 Editor
- Drag-and-Drop Function
- Web and Mobile App Development
- Oracle Fusion Middleware
There are numerous IDE options available, ranging from fully-featured commercial software to free and open-source ones. The selection of the Java IDE depends on the requirement of your projects and expertise level of the developers. The more a developer is informed and hands-on, the better options he will deploy for that particular project.
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