A comparison between the Java IDEs: Netbeans and Eclipse
Unlike other general-purpose programming languages, Java is heavily used by developers to create desktop, web, and mobile applications. But developers are often looking for integrated development environments (IDEs), frameworks, and smart tools to write Java applications efficiently and quickly. Developers can continue to write code quickly and efficiently by using a number of Java IDEs. Both NetBeans and Eclipse are very popular Java IDEs.
Eclipse is written in Java and designed with features to simplify Java application development. Developers can easily extend the IDE further by using a variety of plugins. Additionally, they can use specific plug-ins to develop applications by integrating Java with other popular programming languages, including Ruby, Perl, PHP, Scala, and Groovy. Additionally, Eclipse is an open source IDE and is supported by an active community. Therefore, it is essential for developers to compare NetBeans and Eclipse based on their key features and functionality.
Understand the important differences between NetBeans and Eclipse
Java 8 migration: Oracle recommends that Java developers use NetBeans. Therefore, NetBeans supports the latest version of Java almost immediately after its release. Additionally, it provides a variety of tools to make it easy for developers to migrate their legacy applications to the latest version of Java. Developers can take advantage of the code editors, parsers, and converters provided by NetBeans to move their applications to Java 8 quickly and smoothly. But Eclipse doesn’t provide robust tools to simplify Java 8 migration.
Number of add-ons: Eclipse scores above NetBeans in the plugins category. Many developers choose Eclipse to easily add functionality to their application using the plugins it provides. However, developers often have to use various third-party plugins for Eclipse. The quality and performance of these third-party plugins are different. On the other hand, NetBeans allows users to take advantage of a set of quality and stable plugins.
User interface: The NetBeans user interface is designed based on, while the Eclipse user interface is designed based on SWT. Swift is a Java native lightweight toolkit, while SWT is a Java for the underlying system toolkit. Many developers find the NetBeans user interface simpler and more user-friendly than the Eclipse user interface. Plus, NetBeans’ simple user interface makes it easy for beginners to learn and use the IDE without spending extra time and effort. But Java programmers have to put in more time and effort to work with Eclipse efficiently.
Setting: NetBeans comes with several built-in out-of-the-box functionalities. Out-of-the-box functionality allows users to quickly configure the IDE and perform basic programming tasks without delay. But Eclipse isn’t designed with a lot of out-of-the-box functionality. Users must install and configure Eclipse plugins to perform common tasks and build applications efficiently. These plugins make it difficult for beginners to set up and use the IDE in no time.
Maven support: Both NetBeans and Eclipse support Maven, a widely used project management tool. The complete build lifecycle framework provided by Maven makes it easy for developers to automate the entire build infrastructure. But many programmers find it easier to work with Maven while using NetBeans. They can run Maven targets directly within NetBeans. They can also use a console to view the output of Maven commands directly in NetBeans. NetBeans also makes it easy for users to update Maven dependencies, launch Maven builds, and create new Maven projects.
Android application development: The Java programming language is widely used to develop mobile applications for Android, the mobile platform with the largest market share in the world. Statistics posted on various websites show that most Android application developers prefer Eclipse to NetBeans. In addition to being simple and fast, Eclipse also provides a set of standard user interface tools, Swing, that can be seamlessly integrated into Android applications. Additionally, a wide variety of plugins provided by the Eclipse SDK make it easy for developers to build robust Android applications without spending extra time and effort. However, NetBeans also provides various features and tools to simplify Android application development.
Formatting the source code: Both Java IDEs have the ability to automatically format application source code written in Java. But many programmers find the Java code formatter provided by Eclipse to be more efficient than the code formatting options provided by NetBeans. While using Eclipse, programmers can invoke the Java code formatter directly using the CSF shortcut. Therefore, they can format Java code in a flexible and efficient way.
In general, both NetBeans and Eclipse are open source, cross-platform Java IDEs. But Eclipse is IBM compatible, while NetBeans is Oracle compatible. Each IDE provides several innovative features and tools to simplify and accelerate the development of Java applications. But developers must evaluate the pros and cons of each Java IDE according to the specific needs of each project.