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Dental Workflow Management on the NetBeans Platform

· Java Zone

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Kera suite, by Michael Kroll (pictured, right) is a dental workflow management application created for a German dental laboratory. It is a desktop application created on top of the NetBeans Platform.

Some questions about this application, its background, and future plans:

First of all, Michael, who are you?

My name is Michael Kroll and I am a software developer in the automotive industry. Specifically, I write in house software, i.e., not for sale. In my spare time I listen to music and walk my two dogs, Epagneul and Breton.

I also lead the German NetBeans forum, which is found here:


What's Kera and how did you get started with it?

Kera suite is a desktop application built on top of NetBeans Platform 6.5.1. It manages the complete workflow for dentists, from customer to technician to material data to billing to statistics, as well as other miscellaneous tasks relating to dental laboratories.

It started when a friend, for his company, was looking for such an application. But the expense of the solutions he found were prohibitive and did not support extensibility. So I decided to write an application for him. And Kera suite was born! "Kera" is a shortcut from Keradent, the name of the dental laboratory, other than that it has no meaning.

Below are some screenshots to give an impression of this application (click to enlarge them):

Why is this application based on the NetBeans Platform?

As an IDE, I find it is the best "all in one IDE" for work done by many different types of programmers. My first contact was in 2000, when it was still called "Forte for Java".

I find that the NetBeans Platform is the best RCP for saving programming time. When you use it, lot of tasks are already finished, such as the update service, and you can use it as the basis of your own application, which were my reasons for deciding to use the NetBeans Platform.

Which of the NetBeans APIs did you use?

  • Dialogs API
  • Module System API
  • Swing layout Extensions integration
  • UI Utilities API
  • Utilities API
  • Windows System API

Do you have tips & tricks for someone getting started with the NetBeans Platform and APIs such as the above?

Read the NetBeans Platform tutorials on the NetBeans.org homepage (they are great).

What are your plans with this project? When will it be released?

Kera suite is an open-source project and is planned to be released in the third quarter of 2009. However, right now it is already in active use in a German dental laboratory.

And at the moment there's only a German version, but let's see what the future brings!

When you release it into the open source, would you consider using Kenai? Or what are your plans in that regard?

I have read a lot about Kenai in related community websites. It could be a good thing for publishing my application. I may set up a poll at my forum to ask the community what they think!


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