Over a million developers have joined DZone.

SevenBeans: Tight NetBeans Integration with Windows 7

DZone's Guide to

SevenBeans: Tight NetBeans Integration with Windows 7

· Java Zone
Free Resource

Learn how our document data model can map directly to how you program your app, and native database features like secondary indexes, geospatial and text search give you full access to your data. Brought to you in partnership with MongoDB.

I'm Przemyslaw Sowa, a software developer from Poland turned entrepreneur. Strix Code is my company, which started off by offering developer targeted products for Windows 7 integration, named SevenBeans. However, we are working on interesting end user products too, mainly for the Polish market. We have two prototypes of a small business oriented software and a stock market software for individual investors.


SevenBeans, a module for NetBeans IDE (or any other NetBeans Platform application), provides all Windows 7 taskbar extensions, excluding the thumbnail toolbar, for which I haven't found a good usage yet. First of all, SevenBeans allows you to pin NetBeans IDE to the taskbar. This is very handy if you use the taskbar a lot. Unfortunately, Java applications cannot be pinned to the taskbar so SevenBeans makes a difference here. When you click a taskbar button for NetBeans IDE, a jump list appears:

It contains your recent projects, so you can open them directly. There are also shortcuts for a new project and a new file.

Also, SevenBeans displays NetBeans task progress on the taskbar button, so that you can see at a glance when a build process is finished, etc.

When you are running, debugging, or building a project, a small overlay icon is shown on the taskbar button, so that you can see the NetBeans status at all times:

It also has the the ability to create tabbed thumbnails for open documents, exactly like what Internet Explorer does for open tabs:

The tabs are all updated in real time, so that you can close a document by closing its thumbnail, etc. However, this feature is disabled by default, since if you have many open documents, navigating through the thumbnails becomes a hassle:


There were two reasons for creating SevenBeans. First of all, I had created J7Goodies, a Java library that provides all Windows 7 taskbar features in a developer friendly way. This is a very good product, I put a lot of effort into it so developers using J7Goodies can integrate Windows 7 functionality with their application in just a few lines of code.

Having the J7Goodies library, I was looking for a way to showcase its abilities and I wanted it to be a real world example. Because I'm using NetBeans, which is a great IDE and even greater rich-client platform, I came up with the idea that I could improve the NetBeans experience on Windows 7 and showcase my library at the same time. I believe that it was a good idea because as a user of my own plugin I can tell that its features make the IDE nicer, indeed.

Intended Audience

Anyone using NetBeans on Windows 7 is a potential user of SevenBeans. I'd like to get general opinions about the plugin, suggestions, feature requests or bug reports.

NetBeans Platform

I started reading about NetBeans out of curiosity. Later I was considering it as a platform for an enterprise software project. Unfortunately, this project was cancelled so my chance to build something serious based on the NetBeans Platform was lost. Now I returned to the platform while working on the SevenBeans module. However, I didn't dig deep inside the platform, since the module is just a bridge between NetBeans and my J7Goodies library.

By the way, I have a very obvious tip for developers starting with the NetBeans Platform: if you don't know how to do something, just study the NetBeans Platform's source code. This is a huge advantage of open source projects.

Upcoming Features

Probably I'm going to do some small improvements based on user feedback. There is still the thumbnail toolbar Windows 7 feature that I haven't found any use for yet. I'm also thinking about exporting a public interface so other plugins can use Windows 7 features, in places where that would make sense.

Discover when your data grows or your application performance demands increase, MongoDB Atlas allows you to scale out your deployment with an automated sharding process that ensures zero application downtime. Brought to you in partnership with MongoDB.


Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.


Dev Resources & Solutions Straight to Your Inbox

Thanks for subscribing!

Awesome! Check your inbox to verify your email so you can start receiving the latest in tech news and resources.


{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}