Netbeans vs. Eclipse: Comparing Two Java IDEs

By Carey Wodehouse

solar eclipse and earth

Why would you use an IDE over a text editor when creating an application? While text editors like Sublime allow you to write and edit code easily, for Java developers in particular sometimes you need a little more under the hood to get started and stay organized. When more complicated Java concepts come into play (things like Applets, the Swing GUI, frameworks like Struts, or Servlets) that’s where an IDE like Eclipse or NetBeans can really accelerate productivity.

From small applications to large applications with millions of lines of code and thousands of libraries, IDEs can make life a lot easier, giving developers helpful tools and more visibility into their code. An IDE bundles modules that help you get started quickly and extend capabilities with plugins and support for different languages, servers, and frameworks. All told, many developers who have worked extensively with the top Java IDEs find each to be great in its own right. So, how do they stack up with one another?

The Java community is divided between a few options including NetBeans and the long-time frontrunner, the Eclipse IDE. Eclipse has lost some of its market share over the years to IntelliJ IDEA (the basis for Android Studio) and the NetBeans IDE. Here’s a look at NetBeans vs. Eclipse to see how these two IDEs compare.

Note: With regular version updates, things are always changing in the IDE world. Things that may be lacking or lagging at the time of this article may be updated and upgraded in a soon-to-come release. For the best comparison possible, developers should give each IDE a try and see which best suits their workstyle and preferences.

Intro to NetBeans

Current release as of March 2017: 8.1

Neither NetBeans nor Eclipse is just an IDE—they are entire platforms, with IDEs being just part of the offering. For the sake of this comparison, we’ll just look at the IDEs—starting with NetBeans. NetBeans describes itself as an IDE that “lets you quickly and easily develop Java desktop, mobile, and web applications, as well as HTML5 applications with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.”

It’s a great tool for large-scale projects and makes it easier to bring on new developers because the structure is so visible.

Some quick points about NetBeans:

  • NetBeans is module-driven. Nearly everything in NetBeans happens via modules, which power and extend all of its functionality. There are reusable features for UI development, data storage, and more. One great feature to note: with the Update Center module installed, developers can update features in an app without users having to download a new release.
  • NetBeans is excellent for converting to Java 8. If you want to upgrade to Java 8 and take advantage of the language’s new features, NetBeans makes this pretty seamless.
  • It’s not just for Java developers. NetBeans has sets of tools for both PHP and C/C++ developers, as well. The JavaScript editor bundle also offers support for JavaScript, AJAX, and CSS. It offers support for Gradle, Maven, Ant, and includes a debugger tool.
  • Other modules to note: NetBeans’ Go to the full article.

    Source:: Business2Community