While working mainly with Eclipse in Vaadin R&D, I have personally used NetBeans from time to time to get some precious oversight on what other IDEs can do. Most often that has happened after banging my head to a wall with Eclipse issues :-). From what I have learned, NetBeans excels at least in Maven support and JPA features. The current stable release also already has a built-in support for Java 8.
Our very own Denis Anisimov has been working for Vaadin since 2012. In his previous job at Oracle he was tightly involved in NetBeans development. Although IDE integrations are not his main task here at Vaadin, it didn’t take too long for him to decide that something must be done for our a bit harsh NetBeans plugin. That little something has escalated into some amazing enhancements.
Overall, although my fingers really haven’t yet found the right keyboard shortcuts like with Eclipse, I really don’t know why Eclipse has such a strong lead among the two major open source Java IDE’s. Thanks to the recent work by Denis, I foresee a trend to turn to NetBeans, at least among Vaadin users.
So what is so great about Vaadin NetBeans plugin? Let me list some:
- Amazing Vaadin add-on support: just by using code completion from your IDE, you’ll get updated dependencies and a widgetset. NetBeans is directly integrated to the Vaadin Directory and all its add-ons.
- A versatile new widget wizard for add-on developers: the developer can choose their desired server side super type and class stubs from three different presets.
- Based on a build system (Maven): the project is easy to build on a CI system, no need to handcraft a separate build script.
- Based on a common build system (Maven): your team mate with another favorite IDE can use that as well without time consuming IDE configuration. Just import it to IntelliJ or Eclipse and start coding.
- Based on Maven: I know some of you don’t exactly love it, but the fact is it is the most commonly used build system in JEE development. With NetBeans, you can actually use the Vaadin plugin with your Maven build real world projects as opposed to our current Eclipse plugin, that is designed for Eclipse WTP projects only.
- Lots of other nice features
Our official Eclipse plugin still has some lead in e.g. the visual editor, but in case you are fed up with fighting with Eclipse or just need some alternation for your daily work, I suggest to give NetBeans a try. It is a serious contender for Eclipse.
We have a Webinar coming up about NetBeans and Vaadin together in building JavaEE applications. Sign up now below to join:
Matti Tahvonen is a Vaadin "R&D veteran" who has been working with our products for over 6 years. His current responsibility is to keep you up to date with latest and greatest Vaadin related technologies. You can follow him on Twitter – @MattiTahvonen