The Best Java Netbeans IDE Plugins

In this programming article, we will look at some of the best Netbeans IDE plugins you can use to make the most out of your Java applications. We will be showcasing add-ons for several different categories, including reporting, mobile app development, database development, and GUI (graphical user interface).

One of the most important abilities for any application you develop is to be able to print out reports based on user submitted data or data from a database. This can include information for financial programs, user management – virtually any information you want to see in a clean layout.

While you can achieve this solely with the Java language and some formatting functions, at the end of the day why bother when you can use a pre-built, tested plug-in? Keeping that in mind, the first plug-in I want to highlight is very popular for creating reports – in fact, it is one of (if not the) most downloaded Netbeans plugin out there:  JasperForge’s iReport.

Created around 2006, is home to a community of developers with a focus on business intelligence and reporting apps, including its main core:

  • JasperReports
  • iReport
  • JasperServer
  • JasperAnalysis
  • JasperETL

iReport works off of the JasperReports library, giving you the ability to simply create reports in html/on the web, .doc/.docX, PDF, OpenOffice and others.

To utilize the full power of iReports, JasperForge suggests you use the JasperReports library, the iReport plugin, and JasperServer in conjunction, but this isn’t wholly necessary, as you can deploy it on your own server if you like (though you will lose some of the built-in functions of JasperServer; it all depends on your personal needs).

To download iReport, you can visit:
For more information or technical support, you can go to JasperForge’s site:

{mospagebreak title=Best Java Netbeans IDE Mobile Development Plugins}

The fastest growing segment for developers has got to be mobile development. There’s an app for everything and everyone nowadays, and if there isn’t, then you should pitch the idea, because it’s destined to be picked up.

That being said, part of the problem of mobile development is that there are so many platforms. Do you want to develop for BlackBerry, Android, Apple products like iPhone or iPad, or Windows Mobile? Pinpointing the best plugin for Java mobile apps depends on your platform, but as you can imagine, there are really only a few good options. One, for Android, I personally do not recommend. Another is for BlackBerry (which makes sense, because BlackBerry’s platform is built on Java technology).

I won’t spend too much time on the Rim BlackBerry Plugin, because if you are interested in Netbeans plugins and mobile development, then you no doubt are already aware of this plugin. If not, let me just say that it is a great tool for building BlackBerry projects, and you can find it here:

Another plugin for mobile development to consider is the hip-named JAM Plugin.

JAM is used to develop mobile websites. It works off the Netbiscuits platform, using the BML – also known as the deliciously named Biscuit Markup Language. It’s a pretty sweet tool that helps validate code, allows drag and drop functionality, editing capabilities, and code generators when you need a script on the fly.

The JAM plugin is located at:

{mospagebreak title=Java Netbeans GUI and Database Plugins}

If you have ever been to a website where you need to book a date for a reservation or an event, or want to view archives from a certain period in time, you have probably seen those cool-looking date pickers that let you click on a specific date or a range of dates.

You can achieve this same effect using a Netbeans plugin – specifically JDateChooser. In addition to letting you create the plain-looking single and multiple date calendar selections, JDateChooser gives you the possibility of creating your own background images, which of course is great if you have a customized theme and want the widget to blend in well.

It is fairly simple to use, and the output couldn’t be easier to implement. If you want to download the plugin, you can find it either at the Netbeans repository:
or at its SourceForge page:

If you want a good database editor with PL/SQL in mind, one that has quickly climbed in popularity is the simply named PL/SQL Editor. It works within the Netbeans IDE and supports Oracle functions, packages, procedures, and object creation/manipulation. It also does code indentation and highlighting, making it a pretty decent tool to work with.

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