NetBeans best kept secret

NetBeans best kept secret has to be its Platform – the NetBeans Platform is the engine behind the NetBeans IDE.

If you’re writing client-side business applications (and not just IDEs!), you need not reinvent the basic user interface (windows, menus, toolbars), settings and configuration management, modular architecture with dependencies, storage management, etc… The Netbeans Platform does it all for you in a Java cross-platform way.

Here’s and example usage: NetBeans Platform Feed Reader Tutorial (nice use of JDIC btw).

At a different scale, Nokia has used it for its services management platform. See and the corresponding JavaOne’04 presentation.

Update: I forgot to mention another interesting use of the NetBeans platform: MC4J, a JMX application management console. Version 1.2 beta 8 was just released. It now supports Sun’s Java Application Server 8.x.

Author: alexismp

Google Developer Relations in Paris.

6 thoughts on “NetBeans best kept secret”

  1. Hi Freddy,

    Well I really wasn’t trying to compare different solutions…

    Since RCP came up… to me it could be interesting if it wasn’t for SWT. SWT and RCP are Eclipse side effects and the Netbeans Platform is more mature than RCP, IMO.

    The other problem I see is the lack of openess in Eclipse – I mean there’s a big community of users and plugins, but that doesn’t make Eclipse a truly open community and if Eclipse is last for full Tiger support, it’s probably because IBM, not the community, decided it wasn’t important to have. So my point here is that it’s even harder to get an Open RCP community to get this technology started.
    I don’t know about Spring. Haven’t looked at it. Any good intro?
    BTW, how big is the RCP runtime?
    Anyhow, 2005 will be the year of the desktop that’s pretty obvious.

    PS: is it snowing yet in your side of the country?

  2. Hello, it’s Noniko again. It was really a matter of locale, it worked in US-English environment and by installing US-English together with Japanese utf-8, it also worked in Japanese Environment. Thank you for your advice. I was really encouraged that Sun people is on my side.

  3. Alex, I’m kind of baffled at your two statements “the NetBeans platform is more mature than the RCP” and “Eclipse is not open”. If you’re going to make such (outrageous IMO) claims while defending a tool that has a minuscule market share compared to its competitors, the least you can is back them up with some data.
    Come on, now…

  4. Cédric,

    “More mature” is for things like runtime size, module dependencies, node API, etc… but I guess I can agree to mature being a subjective term.

    “not open” is explained above and relates to the way the platform is being developed (not the plugins).

    As for miniscule market share, I haven’t seen any numbers for NetBeans or Eclipse (or others) when it comes to a rich client framework. I mention a few example usages of the technology above and I know of several demanding customers using it extensively (X men-years development and business critical).
    Can you provide some marketshare numbers? My marketing department is interested ;-)

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