Sun Ships NetBeans 6.8

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-12-10 Print this article Print

Sun Microsystems and the NetBeans developer community announce the release of a new version of the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment, NetBeans 6.8.

Sun Microsystems and the NetBeans developer community on Dec. 10 announced the release of a new version of the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment, NetBeans 6.8.

NetBeans 6.8 is the first IDE to support Java EE 6 (Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 6) and Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3, both of which also shipped on Dec. 10. Developers can download NetBeans 6.8 at

"The NetBeans IDE 6.8 enables developers to take advantage of the latest Java EE 6 language features that simplify Java application creation ... such as more annotations and less XML configuration," Sun said in the announcement.

"With this new NetBeans release, Sun continues its commitment to delivering open-source developer tools," said Jim Parkinson, vice president of Developer Products and Programs at Sun. "Java EE 6 and GlassFish v3 enable developers to create enterprise applications more easily and with less code, significantly speeding application development and deployment."

Key new features in NetBeans 6.8 include:

"??Ç   Expanded PHP Support: Expands support of dynamic languages with support for PHP 5.3 and the Symfony framework speeds development of PHP Web applications

??Ç   Tighter Integration with Project Kenai: Project Kenai, a collaborative environment for hosting open-source projects, now delivers full support for JIRA and improved instant messenger and issue tracker integration. For more information visit

??Ç   Improved C/C ++ Profiling: Profile and tune C/C++ applications with the new Microstate Accounting indicator and I/O usage monitor

??Ç   JavaFX: Improved code completion, hints and navigation for JavaFX in the NetBeans editor

The NetBeans 6.8 IDE also provides improved support for [JavaServer Faces] JSF 2.0/Facelets, Java Persistence 2.0, [Enterprise JavaBeans] EJB 3.1 including using EJBs in Web applications and [Representational State Transfer-based] RESTful Web services, as well as improvements to the NetBeans Platform. The NetBeans platform is a Rich Client Platform that developers use to shave years off of development time by reusing the modular NetBeans architecture. The platform uses Swing, which is the standard UI toolkit, enabling applications to have a consistent look and feel."

NetBeans is a free, open-source IDE that provides tools for creating "desktop, enterprise, Web and mobile applications with the Java language, JavaFX, C/C++ and dynamic languages such as PHP, JavaScript, Groovy and Ruby. The NetBeans IDE ... runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris," Sun said.

David Folk, director of developer Tools Engineering at Sun, said this release of NetBeans focuses on improvements to the editor more than anything else.

Meanwhile, Folk said, Sun is releasing an early access preview of a tool that enables developers to create form-based applications with JavaFX. The tool, as yet unnamed but currently known as the JavaFX Composer Plug-In for NetBeans, will be available for download during the week of Dec. 14, Folk said.

"This is like Matisse for JavaFX," he said. Project Matisse is the name of an effort to deliver a GUI builder for NetBeans that was delivered in 2005.

The Sun announcement continued:

"In addition to the various features in the NetBeans IDE, developers also have access to a wide range of plug-ins provided by NetBeans partners and the community that supports NetBeans IDE 6.8. Jaspersoft is a leading provider of business intelligence solutions. "With the launch of NetBeans IDE 6.8, we are pleased to continue serving the NetBeans community with the leading open source business intelligence solution," said Jose Morales, vice president of Business Development [at] Jaspersoft. "With the iReport visual report designer, available as a stand-alone NetBeans platform rich client or as the most downloaded plug-in for NetBeans, developers today can easily incorporate business intelligence solutions into their enterprise applications."

In addition, "Microchip sees great potential for the embedded developer base in the new NetBeans IDE 6.8 release," said Derek Carlson, vice president of development tools at Microchip Technology. "While other open-source IDE frameworks have grown cumbersome and required significant customization for the embedded market over the past two-plus decades, NetBeans 6.8 delivers a fully capable, modern, lightweight and flexible platform for future embedded IDEs." 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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