The newest version of the Oracle NetBeans IDE (integrated developer environment) will come with support for the latest versions of PHP and C++.
NetBeans 7.2, released in beta form Thursday, will also offer the ability for users to easily deploy their applications on the Oracle Public Cloud, now offered as a preview service. Applications can also be uploaded to the Amazon Beanstalk service, also in beta mode.
Oracle plans to release the full, production-ready version of the software in July.
One of two Java IDEs that Oracle offers, NetBeans is marketed for developers who want to try Java's latest features. NetBeans can be used to create Java applications for desktops, servers and 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. (Oracle's other IDE, JDeveloper, is targeted more toward production work in Oracle shops.)
This latest release of NetBeans, though appearing relatively quickly after the release of version 7.1, comes with myriad new features and updates.
Support for the PHP language, most often used to build interactive websites, has been strengthened. This is the first version to support the recently released PHP 5.4, including new features such as traits and short array syntax. This version also offers, for the first time, a built-in PHP server, so developers can check their work without running it on external Web server software.
Support has also been added for the latest version of C++, C++11. A user can specify if the entire project should be built in C++11, or that only individual files be compiled under the new version of the language. Various C++ debugging and code assistance improvements have also been added.
Of course, improvements have also been made to how NetBeans handles Java. For instance, the package view now has a new view mode, called reduced tree, which doesn't show all the subdirectories of package like the tree view does, but reveals an additional layer over the plain list view. Static code analysis capabilities have also been strengthened, according to Oracle.
Other various improvements have been made. Package indexing should now go more quickly, thanks to a parallel indexing engine. The search bar can now do word completion. The interface now allows multiple rows of tabs. NetBeans 7.2 has also been prepped for additional cloud work: The software has been tweaked so it runs more quickly on remote file systems.
NetBeans 7.2 should run on any platform that runs the JVM (Java Virtual Machine), and has been tested to work on different versions of Windows, Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X.
(Chris Kanaracus in Boston contributed to this report.)