For quick and easy developing, there are various IDEs available packed with tons of features to increase the developer's productivity by improving code quality and performance. Some of best Java IDEs are available free of charge, demanding different levels of expertise and providing the user with the opportunity to directly contribute to the advancement of the IDE by developing its code. The following is a comprehensive list of some of the most popular and praised IDEs for Java.
1. NetBeans - The Smarter and Faster Way to Code
NetBeans is an IDE for Java, PHP, C/C++ and HTML5 programmers that can be used on Windows, OS X, Solaris and Linux operating systems. Applications developed using NetBeans are based on modules, and they can also be extended by independent developers. NetBeans is an open source project, allowing individuals or companies to contribute to its development, in addition to being able to use it for free.
2. Eclipse - Eclipse IDE for Java Developers
Eclipse is one of the most popular IDEs for Java that can be used from a web browser wherever you are. One of the most popular features of Eclipse is its code autocompletion, which saves time as the developers never have to look at the API documents. Just like NetBeans, Eclipse is open source, so the users can contribute to both the desktop and the web IDEs by creating their own plug-ins to customize Eclipse to meet their specific needs.
3. IntelliJ - The Most Intelligent Java IDE
IntelliJ is an IDE for Java with two editions, the Ultimate Edition, which unlike NetBeans or Eclipse isn't free, and the Community Edition, which is free and open source. IntelliJ is known for catching developers' errors during the editing process, thus saving time and increasing their productivity.
4. Android Studio - Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA
Android Studio by Google is an IDE that is based on the IntelliJ IDEA, and it is designed for Android developers. Android Studio can be used on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The trial version of the Android studio is available for free. Android Studio is in beta stage, and once it is ready it will be the official Android IDE.
5. jDeveloper - Productive Java-based Application Development
jDeveloper by Oracle is an IDE by Oracle Corporation that aims to facilitate the process of application development by producing a leading-edge coding environment while focusing on the visual and declarative features of application development. jDeveloper offers various code editors and increases the developers' productivity using features such as code auditing, integrated testing and profiling.
6. BlueJ - A free Java Development Environment designed for beginners
BlueJ is a free IDE geared towards junior Java developers and used mostly for education, so it is not surprising that its design is a little different compared to other IDEs. BlueJ focuses on objects for applications that are under development, and its straightforward interface makes it a user friendly IDE for beginners.
7. jGRASP Java IDE
jGRASP is another popular IDE for Java that is centred around visualization, and can be used on Windows and Mac Os, as well as on Linux, but only in a form of a ZIP file. jGRASP focuses on the visualization of the application that is being created in order to make the source code more readable. jGRASP is available free of charge and its development has been supported by the National Science Foundation.
8. jCreator Java IDE
jCreator is an IDE written in C++, and it claims to be more productive and more reliable than some of the other Java IDEs. It is used by beginners and experts alike, and it takes pride in some its features which include a customizable, debugger interface, project management and code completion, just to name a few. Unlike some of the earlier mentioned IDEs, jCreator cannot be used for free.
9. jBuilder Java IDE
jBuilder is a development tool for creating enterprise Java applications originally developed by Borland, but later purchased by Embarcadero. jBuilder focuses on improving productivity by providing new and existing comprehensive code, and by increasing code quality and performance. jBuilder is a closed source software, and its source code cannot be changed, studied or distributed.
10. Dr. Java Java IDE
Dr. Java is another Java development software used for educational purposes by junior developers and students. Although Dr. Java does come with various features for more professional users, it is available for free under a BSD-style licence, and its code is under constant development at Rice University.
11. Java Inventor Java IDE
Java Inventor is a free Java IDE for developing applications and websites by junior developers. Java Inventor reduces the learning curve for Java by allowing its users to quickly create apps, graphically design pages, create tables and queries, as well as manage data. Java Inventor enables its users to create rich applications full of interesting features without having to learn a stockpile of other technologies.
Developing applications using one of the IDEs for Java can be a rewarding experience given the fact that there is a plethora of different tools and software features available to developers with different levels of expertise.