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Top 10 popular Java IDE: Choose the Best IDE for Java

Published on Jun 27,2019 346 Views

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Java is one of the easiest programming languages. It is widely beneficial for developing robust and secure desktop apps, enterprise applications, mobile apps, and web applications. There is an abundance of IDEs available for working with Java. This article will help you choose the best Java IDE. 

Below are the points that I will be discussing:

Let’s get started!

What is an IDE?

Java - Best Java IDE - EdurekaAn Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is an application which facilitates the application development. In general, an IDE is a graphical user interface (GUI)-based workbench. It is designed to help a developer in building software applications with an environment combined with all the required tools at hand.

Selecting a good IDE is based on factors, like language support, needs of the OS and costs associated with using the particular IDE, etc.

Now, let’s move ahead and take a look at the advantages of using an IDE.

Advantages of using an IDE

Using an IDE will save you a lot of effort while writing Java programs. Some advantages include:

1. Less time and effort: The entire purpose of an IDE is to make the development process much faster and easier. Various tools and features help you organize resources, prevent mistakes, and provide shortcuts.

2. Enforce project or company standards: Simply by working in the same development environment, a group of programmers will bond to a standard way of doing things. Standards can be further enforced if an IDE offers predefined templates, or if the code libraries are shared between different team members/ teams working on the same project.

3. Project management: Many IDEs have documentation tools that either automate the entry of comments by the developer or that may actually make the developers write comments in different areas.

Now, let’s move ahead and understand the top 10 most preferred Java IDEs to use.

Top 10 Java IDEs

First, we’ll understand the most popular IDE, Eclipse. 

Eclipse

Eclipse logo - Best Java IDE - Edureka

Many Java developers out there would have worked on this amazing IDE.

Eclipse is a new age, cross-platform which is open source and a freely distributed IDE available for enterprise Web Development. IBM Software Group in 1998 conceived of an IDE that could penetrate deep into the competitive IDE space and be a leader. And that’s what led to the inception of Eclipse as one of the best Java IDE for web development.

This is a dedicated Java IDE which gets listed as one among the best Java IDEs. The popular integrated development environment is available in both desktop and cloud editions. The cloud edition of the Eclipse is named Eclipse Che and allows the programmers to develop apps via a web browser.

Interestingly, Eclipse is itself an example of best Java applications as it’s mostly written in Java. It is meant to be a robust, full-featured, commercial-quality platform for developing modern web applications.

Major features of Eclipse IDE

  • Provides support for Java 8.0 and 9.0.
  • Helps you with code refactoring, editing with prompt validation, incremental compilation, cross-referencing, code suggestions.
  • Integrated static code analysis.
  • Intelligent code completion and provides quick fixes.
  • Excellent usability and performance.
  • Support for Windows/Linux/Mac OS X.
  • For Java programmers looking to develop specific functionality for Eclipse, a PDE (Plugin Development Environment) is available.
  • To help Java developers expedite the application development, Eclipse flaunts powerful tools for charting, modeling, reporting, as well as testing.

IntelliJ

IntelliJ - Best Java IDE - EdurekaIntelliJ IDEA is also considered as one of the best Java IDEs. It is available in 2 different editions, an Apache 2 Licensed community edition, and a proprietary Ultimate(commercial) edition which is a paid version. In order to allow developers to dive deeper into the Java code, IntelliJ IDEA comes up with features like cross-language refactoring and data flow analysis.

Community edition of IntelliJ

The Community edition is an open source IDE and is intended for JVM(Java Virtual Machine) and Android development. It supports Java, Kotlin, Groovy, and Scala, Maven, Gradle, SBT, Git, SVN, Mercurial, CVS, and TFS.

Ultimate edition

The Ultimate edition is intended for web and enterprise development and also supports Perforce in addition to the other version control system. It supports JavaScript and TypeScript, Java EE, Spring, GWT, Vaadin, Play, Grails, and other frameworks. It also supports database tools and SQL.

NetBeans

NetBeans is another most important Java IDE. NetBeans is the official IDE for Java 8. It allows the applications to be developed from a set of modular software components called modules. It runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Solaris. Pretty much like the other IDEs.

NetBeans - Best Java IDE - Edureka

Features:

  • It is an open-source IDE which is easy to install, can run across different platforms, and is easy to use.
  • Its adaptability extends to mobile use, making it a popular IDE in the mobile-centric development world.
  • It can also be extended for plug-ins at a later date by third-party Java development team.
  • Each new version of NetBeans comes with an improvised and reworked Java editor.
  • The Java editor makes it easier for programmers to build custom software applications by highlighting the Java code both syntactically and semantically.
  • The tools provided by NetBeans even help developers to refactor and write bug-free code. 

JDeveloper

JDeveloper is a freeware Java IDE developed by Oracle.

Jdeveloper - Best Java IDE - Edureka

Features:

  • It simplifies the development of Java-based applications addressing every step of the application lifecycle. 
  • It mainly offers an integrated development framework with a profusion of features and several visual development tools.
  • This Oracle JDeveloper is capable to integrate with the Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) to further simplify the application development.
  • In addition to Java, JDeveloper can also be used to develop applications in HTML, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, and XML.
  • It also covers an entire development lifecycle: coding, designing, debugging, optimization, profiling, and deploying.

MyEclipse

MyEclipse helps to create simple and dynamic frontend along with powerful backend development. It has a combination that is very critical in today’s enterprise.

MyEclipse - Best Java IDE - Edureka

It was created and maintained by a popular company called Genuitec, a founding member of The Eclipse Foundation.

MyEclipse is available for the various platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Mac, and also offers industry-leading features such as:

  • Ajax & Web 2.0 tooling which include advanced JavaScript capabilities.
  • Hibernate and Spring integration.
  • Support for Maven configurations.
  • Swing GUI design support.
  • Advanced reporting tools.
  • Industry-leading Java Persistence tooling and much more.

BlueJ

It was originally developed for educational purpose. BlueJ has proved handy in software development on a small scale.

BlueJ - Best Java IDE - Edureka

Features:

  • It is currently used widely by Java programmers across the world.
  • Has an interactive interface which is clutter-free, and easy to use and test.
  • Also makes it a great IDE for a beginner to start with.
  • This interface uses boxes in order to represent classes.
  • The cross-platform IDE for Java enables programmers to interact seamlessly with its objects.
  • Easy to inspect object values, call methods on objects, and pass objects as parameters.
  • BlueJ accelerates Java application development by providing an array of robust features.
  • It comes with an editor that allows the developers to scan the code visually, help in creating dynamic objects, inspect them.
  • Also, you can invoke the Java code simply by typing it in without compilation.

JCreator

JCreator is a Java IDE created by Xinox Software. It flaunts an interface which is similar to that of Microsoft’s Visual Studio. It is a lightweight Java IDE.

JCreator - Best Java IDE - Edureka

Features:

  • It is available in three distinct variants; Lite Edition, Pro Edition, and Life-Pro Edition.
  • The paid version of JCreator comes with Ant support, code wizards, and a debugger.
  • Compared to other Java IDEs, JCreator has no advanced features. Also, extensibility via third-party plugins is unavailable.
  • On the brighter side, it is small and fast, making it ideal for newbies who are starting with Java.
  • Despite there are other leading Java IDEs, JCreator is developed entirely in C++. In addition to that, it doesn’t require a JRE for executing Java code. For this particular reason, the developer community advocates that JCreator is faster than most conventional Java-based IDEs.

DrJava

DrJava is yet another lightweight Java IDE which was designed primarily for beginners in Java. It is actively developed and maintained by the JavaPLT group at Rice University. It also includes powerful features for more advanced users. DrJava is available for free. Even though it is not as powerful as other big names for Java development, DrJava has a remarkably clutter-free interface.

DrJava- Best Java IDE - Edureka

Features:

  • DrJava flaunts the ability to interactively evaluate Java code from a console as well as to present the output in the same console.
  • It assists the programmers with features like go to line and find/replace.
  • For advanced programmers, it offers autocompletion, automatic indentation, brace matching, commenting, and syntax coloring.
  • On top of all, DrJava can be integrated to Eclipse via a plugin.
  • DrJava, unlike other Java IDEs, has a consistent appearance on different platforms. This is because it is designed using Sun Microsystems’ Swing toolkit.

    jGRASP

    jGRASP is one of the best lightweight IDEs for Java. Other than offering an integrated debugger and a workbench for Java developers, it also allows successful generation of complexity profile graphs and UML class diagrams.

    jGRASP - Best Java IDE - Edureka

    Features:

    • It is specially designed for providing automatic generation of software visualizations that improves the overall comprehensibility of any software.
    • The lightweight Java IDE is capable of producing static visualizations of the source code structure as well as visualizations of data structures during the runtime.
    • Though it is implemented in Java, it is jGRASP’s ability to produce CSDs (Control Structure Diagrams) for other programming languages.
    • The list includes ADA, C, C++, Objective-C, and Python.
    • It serves as a useful source code editor for other languages as well. The free IDE is configurable to work with most of the commercial compilers for different programming languages.

    JSource

    JSource is again a free Java IDE. This is considered as a good option for Java developers and programmers.

    Features:

    • JSource is available under a General Public License (GNU) version 2.0 (GPLv2).
    • It is useful for creating cross-platform applications for various domains.
    • Extremely lightweight. You can use JSource to run, compile, edit and create Java files.
    • One of the main features is the syntax highlighting for multiple languages and Java Swing components.
    • In version  2.0 of JSource, you can use jEdit syntax packages, plus you can incorporate other open source Java tools used for rapid development.
    • Many tools have been modified to work with the core JSource structure.

    Which is the best IDE for Java?

    If I was given a chance to choose one among the Top 10 best Java IDEs, I would either choose Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate. For developers just starting out, I would recommend NetBeans over Eclipse. Eclipse is more widely used IDE. It provides various options and is user-friendly.

    Also do not forget about the lightweight IDEs, including the ones designed for student use. These are worth experimenting with and could be your best option if you are just learning Java.

    This brings us to the end of this article where we have discussed the Top 10 best Java IDEs in use. Hope you are clear with all that has been shared with you in this tutorial.

    Make sure you practice as much as possible and revert your experience.  

    Check out the Java Training by Edureka, a trusted online learning company with a network of more than 250,000 satisfied learners spread across the globe. We are here to help you with every step on your journey, for becoming a besides this java interview questions, we come up with a curriculum which is designed for students and professionals who want to be a Java Developer. 

    Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of this “Best Java IDE article and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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