New Oracle NetBeans IDE Sets Stage For Java 7 Development


Oracle, which acquired the NetBeans IDE as part of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems last year, said the new NetBeans IDE 7.0 release demonstrates its continuing commitment to the NetBeans community.

Support for Java 7 standard edition (SE) is the focus of the new toolset and Oracle claims it is the first open-source IDE to support the JDK 7 preview. Java 7, an upcoming major update to the Java programming language, is currently in the "Developer Preview" stage and is expected to be completed by the Java community this summer.

NetBeans is widely seen as the most popular Java IDE after Eclipse, according to Al Hilwa, an IDC analyst who covers application development software. "This release shows that Oracle understands [NetBeans'] value and continues to invest in it as perhaps the flagship Java IDE," he said in an e-mailed statement. "Support for JDK7 will help speed the transition and allow developers to start enjoying the new capabilities before any other IDE."

Java 7 has been tinged with some controversy. In December the Apache Software Foundation quit the Java standards governing board that's working on the Java 7 SE specifications over a dispute about providing a Java 7 technology compatibility kit license for the ASF's Harmony open-source version of Java. Critics have said that Oracle is dominating the executive committee of the standards organization that's developing the Java SE 7 technical specifications.

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Before acquiring Sun, Oracle's primary Java development toolset was JDeveloper. Oracle has focused that toolset toward developers who work with the company's Fusion-based applications while NetBeans is geared toward the broader Java community.

The new NetBeans release is integrated with a number of key Oracle technologies, including Oracle WebLogic Server 11g, and supports GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 3.1 and Oracle GlassFish Server 3.1. It also supports capabilities within the Oracle Database, including editing and deployment of stored procedures, and supports the HTML5 standard.

Along with the Java platform NetBeans IDE 7.0 supports PHP, JavaScript, Ajax and C/C++. But Hilwa noted that the new release drops support for the Ruby programming language.

NetBeans IDE 7.0 is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Oracle Solaris operating systems.