Five by five

The top 5 features of NetBeans IDE 8

Geertjan Wielenga

The Beta of NetBeans IDE 8 has now been released! Geertjan Wielenga spotlights some of the coolest bells and whistles.

The Beta of NetBeans IDE 8 has now been released.
NetBeans IDE 8 is the culmination of a diverse development cycle
that incorporates a range of popular technologies in one single
development environment. Its primary driving force is the upcoming
release of Java SE 8, Java SE Embedded 8, and Java ME 8. It’s of
course no coincidence that its release number is also 8, since it
provides the tooling for all these new Java technologies.
Simultaneously, however, there are significant enhancements for the
NetBeans IDE key features Maven, Java EE, and HTML5.

In short, the top 5 features of NetBeans IDE 8 are as

1. Tools for Java 8 Technologies.
Anyone interested in getting started with lambdas, method
references, streams, and profiles in Java 8 can do so immediately
by downloading NetBeans IDE 8. Java hints and code analyzers help
you upgrade anonymous inner classes to lambdas, right across all
your code bases, all in one go. Java hints in the Java editor let
you quickly and intuitively switch from lambdas to method
references, and back again. 

Moreover, Java SE Embedded support entails that you’re
able to deploy, run, debug or profile Java SE applications on an
embedded device, such as Raspberry PI, directly from NetBeans IDE.
No new project type is needed for this, you can simply use the
standard Java SE project type for this purpose.

2. Tools for Java EE Developers. The
code generators for which NetBeans IDE is well known have been
beefed up significantly. Where before you could create bits and
pieces of code for various popular Java EE component libraries, you
can now generate complete PrimeFaces applications, from scratch,
including CRUD functionality and database connections.

Additionally, the key specifications of the Java EE 7
Platform now have new and enhanced tools, such as for working with
JPA and CDI, as well as Facelets.

Let’s not forget to mention in this regard that Tomcat
8.0 and TomEE are now supported, too, with a new plugin for WildFly
in the NetBeans Plugin Manager.

3. Tools for Maven. A key
strength of NetBeans IDE, and a reason why many developers have
started using it over the past years, is its out of the box support
for Maven. No need to install a Maven plugin, since it’s a standard
part of the IDE. No need to deal with IDE-specific files, since the
POM provides the project structure.

And now, in NetBeans IDE 8.0, there are enhancements to
the graph layouting, enabling you to visualize your POM in various
ways, while also being able to graphically exclude dependencies
from the POM file, without touching the XML.


Performance enhancements, as always, are part of the Maven
improvements too.

4. Tools for JavaScript. Thanks to
powerful new JavaScript libraries and frameworks over the years,
JavaScript as a whole has become a lot more attractive for many
developers. For some releases already, NetBeans IDE has been
available as a pure frontend environment, that is, minus all the
Java tools for which it is best known. This lightweight IDE,
including Git versioning tools, provides a great environment for
frontend devs. In particular, for users of AngularJS, Knockout, and
Backbone, the IDE comes with deep editor tools, such as code
completion and cross-artifact navigation.

In NetBeans IDE 8.0, there’s a very specific
focus on AngularJS, since this is such a dominant JavaScript
solution at the moment. From these controllers, you can navigate,
via hyperlinks embedded in the JavaScript editor, to the related
HTML views. And, as shown in this screenshot, you can use code
completion inside the HTML editor to access controllers, and even
the properties within the controllers, to help you accurately code
the related artifacts in your AngularJS applications.

Also, remember that there’s no need to download
the AngularJS Seed template, since it’s built into the NetBeans New
Project wizard.

5. Tools for HTML5. JavaScript is a
central component of the HTML5 Platform, a collective term for a
range of tools and technologies used in frontend development.
Popular supporting technologies are Grunt, a build tool, and Karma,
a test runner framework. Both of these are now supported out of the
box in NetBeans IDE 8.

Moreover, a plugin is available in the NetBeans Plugin
Manager for Avatar.js, enabling you to create new Avatar.js
projects and use the JavaScript editor and other tools for this
newly open source JavaScript framework. The recently added support
for PhoneGap/Cordova and deployment to Android has been upgraded,
with new Android 4.4 WebKit debugging supported for Cordova

Whether you’re doing pure Java development, pure HTML5
development, or hybrid development across these two platforms,
NetBeans IDE 8.0 has the latest tools for you to do so, together
with a range of enhancements in its best of breed support for PHP
and C/C++.

Try it out today! Simply click here:

Geertjan Wielenga

Geertjan Wielenga

All Posts by Geertjan Wielenga

Geertjan Wielenga is a principal product manager in Oracle for NetBeans and has been a member of the NetBeans Team since 2004
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