Oracle gears Netbeans for building better user interfaces

The newly released NetBeans version 7.1 comes with full support for Swing, JSF and Oracle's newly updated JavaFX

With its newly updated NetBeans Java IDE (integrated developer environment), Oracle has focused on updating the tools and libraries so they can be used to build more sophisticated user interfaces.

"There are a lot of interesting new features scattered throughout, but the bulk of the effort has been around improving interfaces, both for the desktop and the Web client," said Bill Pataky, Oracle vice president for product management.

For the desktop, NetBeans IDE 7.1, released Thursday, updated the software's Matisse editor, which now uses the latest version of the Java Swing GUI (graphical user interface) library. NetBeans 7.1 is also the first IDE to fully support the latest release of Oracle RIA (Rich Internet Application) library, JavaFX version 2.0.

The software also comes with a visual debugger for Swing and javaFX, one that can be used to pinpoint elusive problems in the code. "You can look at every property as it is being executed inside the user interface," Pataky said. "It makes debugging for the desktop client much, much easier."

For building Web clients, the software has expanded support for both the Java Server Faces (JSF) library and the latest version of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), version 3. Web developers will be able to enjoy code completion, syntax highlighting and many of the other advanced features long used by their peers building desktop applications.

NetBeans is one of the many technologies Oracle acquired when it purchased Sun Microsystems early in 2010. The company has continued Sun's tradition of offering the developer software at no cost, as well as posting the source code. Along with the open source Eclipse, JetBrains' IntelliJ, and Oracle's own JDeveloper, NetBeans is one of the chief developer environments written for Java and other languages based on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

Since the acquisition, Oracle has positioned NetBeans as the IDE for developers interested in exploring Java's latest features. In contrast, JDeveloper is aimed at Oracle customers using the Oracle Application Developer Framework (ADF), a technology Oracle acquired when it purchased BEA Systems in 2008. The company also contributes to the Eclipse project as well, in recognition of that IDE's large user base.

NetBeans can be used to create Java applications for desktops, servers, and for the Web. It also can be used to create applications in PHP and C/C++, and an array of JVM languages such as Scala and Groovy.

Other new features include integration with the open source Git version control system, which allows multiple programmers to work on a single program at the same time. A developer can view earlier versions of a program through a tabbed interface. The software also now allows "mercurial branches," Pataky said, in which experimental versions of a program can be created and removed if not successful. Debugging for PHP has also been improved.

Oracle also tied the software in more closely with its own technologies. Users can build programs using the latest JDK (Java Development Kit version 7), as well as Java EE 6 (Java Platform Enterprise Edition version 6). NetBeans streamlines the process of deploying programs on the latest version of Oracle's application server, WebLogic Server 12c.

NetBeans is available for Oracle Solaris, Linux, Apple Mac OS and Microsoft Windows.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?