Oracle recently released NetBeans IDE 7.1, the latest version of its free, open source integrated development environment that gives developers the power to create a variety of applications using Java, PHP, and C/C++. The release is of particular importance to the Java community, as NetBeans 7.1 represents the first IDE to include full support for the Java platform’s latest standards in the form of JavaFX 2.0 and JDK 7.
Ted Ferrell, chief architect and senior VP of Oracle’s Tools & Middleware division, spoke of the new IDE’s appeal to Java developers in the official press release. He said: “The latest NetBeans IDE release provides the Java developer community with many new features to help them create leading-edge Web, mobile and enterprise applications. As the first IDE to support JavaFX 2.0, NetBeans IDE 7.1 not only gives developers rich support for developing JavaFX 2.0 applications, but also ensures they have access to all of the advances delivered in the latest Java platform releases.”
NetBeans IDE 7.1 comes with a host of new improvements aimed at making developers more productive through its support across several technologies. The improvements are highlighted by the aforementioned support for JavaFX 2.0 and the Applet, Desktop, and JNLP deployment models. Preloaders have also been added to enhance the application loading experience and customized user interface controls with CSS3.
Java improvements include advanced Javadoc highlighting, formatting, and inspect and refractor, plus a new visual debugger that can aid with controlling execution flow. Gaps can also be visually maintained in columns and rows thanks to gap support in the GridBagLayout customizer.
Attention has been given to Java EE in NetBeans IDE 7.1 with support for the recently announced Oracle WebLogic Server 12c. The move effectively brings Java EE 6 support to developers employing the WebLogic platform to create applications. Over 50 support enhancements have been added to the Java Editor, plus support for cluster and instance deployment for GlassFish Server. Users should also notice certain JSF component suite improvements.
In the PHP realm, NetBeans IDE 7.1 offers improved debugging. Uploads for (S)FTP clients should be quicker thanks to keep-alive. Smarty templates are supported as well. Web language enhancements include CSS3 support in the NetBeans CSS editor, new additions in terms of browser-specific properties settings, and more. The NetBeans platform receives some new Windows system APIs in version 7.1 of the IDE, in addition to other notable features such as pluggable multi-view components, a visual window layout designer, and improved TopComponentGroup behavior. Multiple window layouts are also supported.
Last, but not least, are the IDE’s advancements in terms of version control and bug tracking. Git support comes integrated right out of the box, and mercurial branches and tags are supported as well. Users can view change history via a new history tab on the file editor window. Files can also be locked and unlocked in the Subversion working directory.
Praise for the NetBeans IDE is high, and it should only get better with the innovative release of version 7.1. Ernest C. Loetter of the Institute of Mine Seismology commented on the new release, saying: “We standardized on the NetBeans IDE as our Java IDE of choice eight years ago and this new release continues to reinforce our decision. The IDE is very easy due to its natural and user-friendly design and the support for Java EE and multiple languages is essential for building maintainable code for our expanding services.”
NetBeans IDE 7.1 is now available for the Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, and other Linux distributions, as well as the Mac and Windows environments via the official NetBeans download page. You can access the page and its different download bundles by going to http://netbeans.org/downloads/index.html.