The NetBeans project released the long-awaited 5.5 version of its IDE. New features include full support for Java EE 5 development, as well as Web services and Ajax application support.
The NetBeans project released version 5.5 of its open-source Java IDE. In an interview with Artima earlier this year, chief NetBeans evangelist Tim Boudreau summed up the new release's main features:
The NetBeans 5.5 release is all about taking a lot of pain out of Java EE 5 development. We added support for EJB 3, and you can use annotations in many places to specify, for example, business methods.
The NetBeans Enterprise Pack, which is also freely available, provides many additional features that were initially in Java Studio Enterprise. Java Studio Enterprise was Sun's commercial offering, bundling NetBeans with additional modules. We released that open-source as well, as part of our strategy of providing a more integrated developer experience, rather than having different IDEs.
The Enterprise Pack offers XML support on steroids, allowing you to refactor your XML, in addition to schema support and basic XML editing. UML support is another important Enterprise Pack feature. And if you have a bunch of Web services and you need to make them all talk to each other, you can use NetBean's BPEL support to orchestrate that.
In addition to the enterprise pack, NetBeans 5.5 offers the following features either bundled with the core IDE download, or as separate downloadable add-ons:
Swing GUI Builder (formerly Project Matisse). See Tim Boudreau's comments to Artima about Matisse in The NetBeans Platform.
Web Application Development. Supports JavaServer Faces (JSF), JavaServer Pages (JSP), Persistence Units, Struts, and the JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library (JSTL). Comes with a visual editor for deployment descriptors and an HTTP monitor to debug web applications.
Web Services and Application Servers. Works out-of-the box with Sun Application Server, Tomcat, Weblogic9 and JBoss 4, and it supports J2EE 1.4 and Java EE 5, including the JAX-RPC and JSR 109 standards.
Version Control. Recognizes your existing CVS working directories automatically. Use the built-in CVS or the Subversion module from the Update Center.
Developer Collaboration. NetBeans Developer Collaboration, an add-in module, lets you share whole projects and files in real time over the network. Allow your co-workers to make remote changes and watch them type and run your application. Review your partner's work and send instant messages in plain text, XML, HTML, or Java complete with syntax highlighting.
Advanced Source Code Editor. The Editor can be fully customized and split vertically or horizontally, and offers well integrated Refactoring, Debugging and JUnit testing.
Java Mobility (Java ME). The Mobility Pack adds all the functionality to the IDE, and lets you develop for devices supporting CLDC and MIDP, or the Mobility Pack for CDC if you develop for smart communicators, set-top boxes, or PDAs.
Visual Web Development. This add-on includes visual editors for building web applications using AJAX, CSS, and JSF.
Profiler. Integrates into the NetBeans IDE work flow, the Profiler helps you build reliable and scalable applications.
C/C++. Supports C and C++ development for a variety of platforms including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Solaris Operating Systems.
What is your experience developing enterprise Java applications with NetBeans 5.5?