Opinion: NetBeans 5.5 adds an extra shot of Java EE 5 development ease.
Im tempted to take the phone off the hook and send a regretful
email to my editors, telling them not to expect any attention from me
for a day or two or threebecause my week is being kicked off with
the release of NetBeans
, and Id really like to take it out for a nice twisty drive.
For now, Ill have to settle for the impressions I was able to form
during an extended teleconference and desktop-sharing session with Sun
engineers late last week in advance of todays broad release. The good
news begins with the NetBeans Welcome screen, where the ever-tighter
connection of developers to their tool community is evidenced by the
inclusion of blogs as well as community
Rapid development of Web applications begins with a click on a project
type selection, with seriously streamlined access to a variety of
persistence frameworks as one of the first productivity highlights to
be encountered in this 5.5 release. Rapid navigation through a few
well-designed dialog boxes will quickly generate the needed XML.
A complete, if skeletal, CRUD
application (create, read, update, delete)
is ready to run in
moments and is easily tailored by editing Plain Old Java code. The bad
new days of abstruse vendor-specific notations seem to be on their way
down the drain with yesterdays grounds.
I dont want to spend much time making distinctions between the core
NetBeans and the enlarged version that includes the Enterprise
and I cant think of many readers of these letters who wouldnt want to
take advantage of the latters capabilities. One point that was made to
me by Sun personnel is that NetBeans 5.5 marks a tipping point for Sun
developer technology, after which all new Sun tools will make their
entry through NetBeans rather than appearingfor examplein
something like Suns Java Studio
. NetBeans Plus Enterprise Pack is thus the new center of
the universe for developers who want to take full advantage of Java EE 5
That doesnt mean, though, that NetBeans isnt important to
developers who use languages other than Java. If youre into the
potential of BPEL
the visual tools that NetBeans 5.5 provides for wiring up BPEL diagrams
and for dragging the WSDL description of a Web service into the visual
constellation of service objects for assembly are really sweet. You can
debug at the level of BPEL, looking at XML variables and the like,
without ever being bothered by the lower-level implementation thats
generating the BPEL trafficor you can concurrently attach, for
example, a Java debugger as well as a BPEL debugger and listen as your
application talks out of both sides of its mouth.
Integration of testing facilities into NetBeans 5.5 is quite nicely
done. Skeleton code generation upon initial test execution makes it easy to say,
"Yes, that outcome is the correct result and should become the
criterion for test success."
One of my pet peeves in the era of
has been the proliferation of tools that demo well, but that
dont scale at all to the needs of great big industrial-strength
schema. Im therefore really pleased with the XML schema browsing,
visualization and editing aids in this new NetBeans epoch. A
multi-column browser, which some will compare to Apples iTunes but
which I prefer
, makes it easy to use any of several different
attributes to dig out what you need.
More to come as I fightor perhaps, give in tomy temptation
to spend more time with this exceptional set of tools.
Tell me what NetBeans inclusions and omissions matter most to you at
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