Unlike other general-purpose programming languages, Java is widely used by developers to build desktop, web, and mobile applications. But developers are often looking for intelligent integrated development environments (IDEs), frameworks, and tools to write Java applications efficiently and quickly. Developers can write code quickly and efficiently using the Java IDE’s array. Both NetBeans and Eclipse are hugely popular Java development environments.
Eclipse is written in Java and contains features that make it easy to develop Java applications. Developers can easily extend the IDE using a variety of plugins. In addition, they can use dedicated plugins to develop applications by integrating Java with other popular programming languages, including Ruby, Perl, PHP, Scala, and Groovy. In addition, Eclipse is an open source IDE supported by an active community. Hence, it becomes important for developers to compare NetBeans and Eclipse based on their key features and functionality.
Understanding Important Differences Between NetBeans and Eclipse
Migration to Java 8: Oracle recommends Java developers to use NetBeans. Consequently, NetBeans supports the latest version of Java almost immediately after its release. In addition, it provides a set of tools to make it easier for developers to migrate their legacy applications to the most recent version of Java. Developers can use the code editors, analyzers, and converters provided by NetBeans to quickly and smoothly translate their applications to Java 8. But Eclipse does not provide any reliable tools to facilitate migration to Java 8.
Number of plug-ins: Eclipse beats NetBeans in the plug-in category. Many developers choose Eclipse to easily add functionality to their application using the plugins it provides. However, developers often have to use several third-party plugins for Eclipse. These third-party add-ons are distinguished by quality and performance. On the other hand, NetBeans allows users to enjoy a set of stable and quality plugins.
User interface: NetBeans UI is based on, while Eclipse UI is based on SWT. Swift is a lightweight native Java toolbox, while SWT is Java for the underlying system toolbox. Many developers find the NetBeans user interface to be simpler and more convenient than the Eclipse user interface. NetBeans’ simple user interface makes it even easier for newbies to learn and use the IDE without additional time and effort. But Java programmers must put the extra time and effort into making Eclipse efficient.
Configuration: NetBeans comes with several built-in functions out of the box. Out-of-the-box features allow users to quickly customize the IDE and perform basic programming tasks without delay. But Eclipse doesn’t have many out-of-the-box features. Users must install and configure Eclipse plug-ins to perform common tasks and build applications efficiently. These plugins make it difficult for beginners to set up and use the IDE in a short amount of 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 programmers to automate the entire build infrastructure. But many programmers find it easier to work with Maven when using NetBeans. They can run Maven targets directly from within NetBeans. Similarly, they can use the console to view the output of Maven commands directly in NetBeans. NetBeans also makes it easy for users to update Maven dependencies, run Maven assemblies, 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 Eclipse over NetBeans is preferred by most Android application developers. In addition to being simple and fast, Eclipse also provides a standard set of user interface tools, Swing, that you can easily integrate into Android applications. In addition, the wide range of plug-ins provided by the Eclipse SDK makes it easy for developers to create robust Android applications without the additional time and effort. However, NetBeans also provides several features and tools to simplify Android application development.
Source code formatting: Both Java IDEs have the ability to automatically format the source code of a Java application. However, many programmers find that the Java code formatter provided by Eclipse is more efficient than the code formatter options provided by NetBeans. When using Eclipse, programmers can directly invoke the Java code formatter using the CSF shortcut. Hence, they can format Java code flexibly and efficiently.
In general, both NetBeans and Eclipse are open source, cross-platform Java IDEs. But Eclipse is backed by IBM and NetBeans is backed by Oracle. Each IDE provides several innovative features and tools to make Java application development easier and faster. But developers must evaluate the pros and cons of each Java IDE according to the specific needs of each project.