An Archive of NetBeans Reviews

This is an archive of NetBeans reviews. If you'd like to add something to this list, or there's something we've missed, please let us know!



Years ago I was all over Eclipse. I used it every day and loved it. I was introduced to NetBeans when I wrote an article comparing the two, but continued to use Eclipse out of familiarity. But when I joined Sun in 2006, I was exposed to it more and more and fell in love with it. It was my IDE of choice for years.

"An excellent, easy-to-use, and complete IDE that supports development in many languages beyond Java. Easier to use than Eclipse, but with a smaller ecosystem of plug-ins, and not as feature complete as IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans is nonetheless the best of the free IDEs reviewed here."

NetBeans has one of the briefest startup times of any of the IDEs. Configuration is minimal; we were up and running in a remarkably short time. And debugging in NetBeans was as easy as it gets. In short, NetBeans PHP just worked -- which is just what you want.

Author John Waters takes a look at the new NetBeans IDE 6.5 Beta offering and it's wide range of language support. Gartner analyst Mark Diver and Forrester analyst Jeffrey S. Hammond also share their take on the release.

The InfoWorld Test Center sifts through nine Rails IDEs and editors to help you choose the tools to suit your development needs.

NetBeans IDE 6.1 wins the highest score out of the reviewed IDEs and editors with a 9.0 and the only rated as Excellent.


Excerpt: The NetBeans IDE might be better compared to a Swiss Army knife; it offers many different tools, and you're almost guaranteed to find something you like or soon need. Unless you're already hopelessly entrenched in a different IDE, you'll be tempted to look at it and try it out. Once you do, you might discover that the NetBeans IDE not only earns a place in your tool box but replaces several individual tools as well. ... The best thing you can do is download the IDE yourself and try it out.

Verdict: What is most striking about this review is that NetBeans and Eclipse are essentially tied. If nothing else, these numbers signify the arrival of NetBeans. For the last two years, I have performed comprehensive IDE reviews. During that time, Eclipse-based IDEs have regularly won top honors, while versions of NetBeans have lagged badly. This is the first review in which NetBeans truly stands on a par with Eclipse, and depending on your weightings could finish ahead. NetBeans has definitely arrived and is worthy of careful evaluation.

Excerpt: Matisse is Java UI building done right. It is familiar, offers drag and drop placement, and sensible defaults that can still be altered and overridden easily for flexibility.

Excerpt: Of all the feedback Sun received regarding previous versions of the NetBeans IDE, the most common theme was that the editor did not compare well to the competition. As a result, Sun listened to the feedback and completely re-implemented the editor framework for NetBeans 6.... NetBeans has enhanced programming language awareness, whether you're writing code in Java, C++, Ruby, Groovy, or any other language for which a NetBeans plug-in exists. In fact, NetBeans 6 includes full-featured editor functionality for all supported languages in addition to Java, such as C++, Ruby, and even JavaScript. No longer are scripting languages treated as second-class; developers will enjoy all of the same NetBeans features they're used to using with Java when working with script code.

Excerpt: The ugly, clunky, slow and not very sexy NetBeans IDE of yesteryear has been showing signs of turn around recently. Sun's open sourcing the project helped, even if much of the open source community remains suspicious of Sun's motives. The interface has improved, performance is a lot snappier and it has scored some definite points by homing in on areas of weakness in other IDEs (not just Eclipse).

Excerpt: Of all the feedback Sun received regarding previous versions of the NetBeans IDE, the most common theme was that the editor did not compare well to the competition. As a result, Sun listened to the feedback and completely re-implemented the editor framework for NetBeans 6.... NetBeans has enhanced programming language awareness, whether you're writing code in Java, C++, Ruby, Groovy, or any other language for which a NetBeans plug-in exists. In fact, NetBeans 6 includes full-featured editor functionality for all supported languages in addition to Java, such as C++, Ruby, and even JavaScript. No longer are scripting languages treated as second-class; developers will enjoy all of the same NetBeans features they're used to using with Java when working with script code.

Verdict: NetBeans 6.0 has gone gold.... NetBeans 6 is a polished, mature product that holds up well when compared to its main rivals, Visual Studio and Eclipse-based IDEs such as MyEclipse and RAD.

Verdict: Sun Microsystems is maintaining its high standards for product quality with this latest version of NetBeans. The IDE has a lot of features that are not present in other editors and will help make developers more productive. One of the highlights of NetBeans is its ease of integration with other products and tools. This is evident from the list of vendors creating plugins for NetBeans. If NetBeans can make improvements at this rate, it will soon have a user base that rivals Eclipse. Eclipse and NetBeans are all set to conquer the IDE market in the next few years. This competition is good for developers as we can expect better features from both the products as the competition heats up.

Excerpt: "...this venerable IDE is starting to look and behave like Eclispe--or even better."

Verdict: 9/10. NetBeans is a "solid performer for all types of Java development, with an outstanding GUI editor and great profiling tools."

"Verdict: NetBeans has the most complete support for Java EE 5 of the open-source Java IDEs. It's an impressive collection of tools; developers contemplating enterprise Java applications should evaluate NetBeans before any other products. It is likely all they will need."

Writer Fernando Cassia reviews a NetBeans Moblility Pack presentation during Sun Tech Days in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

NetBeans IDE 5.0 is a substantial step toward bringing open-source, multiplatform Java tools up to the standard of toolmaking that is arguably defined by Microsoft's Windows-only Visual Studio.

Sun Microsystems, Inc. and the NetBeans Community have chosen not to rest on their laurels following the noteworthy success of NetBeans 4.0 and NetBeans 4.1. Instead, they have pushed forward with the development of NetBeans 5.0 which is currently in its second beta release, and will soon be available to the general public. This newest version of the IDE continues the effort that was started with NetBeans 4.1 to facilitate the development of robust Web Services and other server-side processes. However, version 5.0 also offers a number of new features to help developers build rich clients too. In addition, NetBeans 5.0 offers some other unique development features that basically put this IDE in a class by itself.

Excerpt: NetBeans 5.0 is a substantial upgrade to what was already a very solid IDE. This release reveals many new features, enhancements, and a slight repositioning, as Sun attempts to shine the spotlight on aspects that take NetBeans beyond the pure-play IDE.

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