NetBeans Java IDE 7.2 - Comments From An Eclipse User


I've been using Eclipse for Java development for over 5 years. I'm currently using Eclipse 3.7. Recently NetBeans 7.2 beta was released and I decided to give it a try. I'm working on refactoring/improving a large Java project that was written over 4 years ago. I'm adding Spring, Maven, unit tests and improving the projects flexibility and maintainability. I spent a day using NetBeans 7.2 beta instead of Eclipse to see how well I liked using NetBeans.

NetBeans Improvements


This version of NetBeans is advertised at being faster and I found that to be the case. I was never waiting on the IDE. Tasks that may take some time are run in the background so I can continue working. I don't know if NetBeans 7.2 is any faster then Eclipse 3.7 but it definitely isn't slower for the tasks I performed.

FindBugs Built In

This feature was very helpful. The old code I'm refactoring has lots of questionable practices. NetBeans with FindBugs built-in provides me much more information as I'm working in a class to identify code that needs to be redone. For example, the IDE flagged places where the code was using Hashtable. There were other places where the code was using StringBuilder but appending to the StringBuilder object a series of Strings (e.g. stringBuilderObject.append("String 1" + "String 2" + stringVar).

Delete With Find Usage

If I select a class for deletion, the IDE will give me the option of first searching for where that class is being used. In a large code base that I'm not extensively familiar with this can be very helpful. It will also search the comments through out the project for a reference to the class--helpful for keeping comments updated.

Maven Support

Build into NetBeans 7.2 is support for Maven 3.0.4. One nice feature I noticed is that if I select a test class and choose Run Test File the IDE runs the maven test goal just for that class. In Eclipse 3.7 I have to create a special build configuration to just run a single test class using Maven. Another helpful feature is a drop-down on the main IDE screen where I can select which Maven profile I want to apply when executing Maven goals (test, package, etc) from the menu system.


I liked NetBeans 7.2 enough that I will keep using it for a while longer. I've not found anything I did in Eclipse 3.7 that I cannot do just as easily in NetBeans 7.2. If you want to learn more about NetBeans 7.2 consult the references below.


  1. NetBeans 7.2 New and Noteworthy -
  2. NetBeans 7.2 Beta Release -

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
I have been using Netbeans for years - and it's the best IDE for Java, Java EE and also better than Eclipse for CSS, HTML and JavaScript.

But for Android development Netbeans's nbandroid plugin is not yet good enough. That's the reason why I have to use Eclipse way too often. With Oracles lawsuit against Google neither Google nor Oracle cares about Android support for Netbeans. What a shame :-(
# Posted By Wolfram Rittmeyer | 5/26/12 2:33 PM
I am NetBeans user, but I want switch to Eclipse because of Geronimo support. But Eclipse has no support SVN, Maven. There are 3-rd party software, but is not integrated like in NetBeans :(
# Posted By jamcito | 5/28/12 7:23 AM
Same here: Netbeans is great but lacks essential plugins such as a android plugin with GUI and others (Ateji, for instance). I hope the Netbeans team realizes that the plugin ecosystem is key...
# Posted By Clement | 5/29/12 8:18 AM
I don't think, that netbeans team can do much more about plugins - it is really easy to write plugins in netbeans (compared to eclipse), the documentation is great (compared to not only eclipse, but most software products I've been using ever), API is consistent and sensible. It is not the netbeans team role to build plugins is it ?
# Posted By psychollek | 5/30/12 2:43 AM
I had been an eclipse user for many years way back when IBM converted from Visual Age for Java to Eclipse. I use NetBeans exlusively. It is a great product, easy to use, and full of great plugins. Great NetBeans Developers!!!
# Posted By mike | 5/31/12 5:26 PM
Actually Eclipse *does* have support for SVN, through the Subversive plugin which was taken over by the Eclipse team. As for Maven, or any other technology, just because it isn't installed with the Eclipse download doesn't mean it doesn't work. That's sort of the point of Eclipse, 3rd party plugins that give just about any feature you want.
# Posted By Keith | 6/1/12 7:57 AM
I complety agree with other comments.
For me NB is better IDE with excellent MVN support, faster in new 7.2 version, easy of use with very nice features like Alt+Insert...
But the lack of some good plugins like the Android one force me to use Eclipse a lot of times.
# Posted By lujop | 6/5/12 5:04 AM
I have been using netbeans for about 3 year and I love the IDE. It find it comfortable developing web applications with the IDE.
# Posted By Mag | 6/8/12 1:40 AM
I've also been using Netbeans for more than 2 years already, but during my college days I was using eclipse and JCreator, I liked Netbeans more than those IDE's i've used before because its a lot easier to use and lots of very nice plugins as well. The only thing I do in eclipse is develop android applications co'z in eclipse its a lot easier to develop android, hopefully android plugin in netbeans get better than eclipse..
# Posted By backlinks | 6/8/12 9:31 PM
I'm a Netbeans user for a very long time. I've tried Eclipse as well for 3 months, and I went back to netbeans after. What I love with Netbeans is it just works straight out of the box, compared to Eclipse. In the office today, where people would worry about installing all plugins (SVN, Maven, Glassfish, Tomcat, FindBugs, PMD, etc.). Refactor feature is also the best.
# Posted By Roy Donasco | 6/19/12 6:58 PM
Hopes died, same ugly thing. I was netbeans user for a few years ago, but I am switched to Eclipse 2 months ago. As functionality both IDEs are so similar. The think that disappoint me in netbeans is the UI, as linux user, I have some negates about it. I see tickets that are opened from more than 6-7 years about it but nobody from devs care it, now there are troubles and with menus in gnome3.

After all, I don't love Eclipse, i don't like it but it is just work. And I don't hate netbeans at all, I just hate it's UI under linux, and I will not using it anymroe.
# Posted By e01 | 6/27/12 1:51 PM
I am a huge fan of NetBeans. I hate using eclipse since a developer has to be configuring here and there whereas NetBeans automates configurations. I have no option though when I am developing for Android cuz nbadroid just sucks. I always recommend NetBeans for beginners so they don't go through the hussle and buzzle of configurations. I just use the right tool I feel comfortable with for the right job.
# Posted By Sadart Abukari | 6/28/12 1:56 AM
I used Eclipse for years now and tried to switch to Netbeans 7.1.2.
Basically Netbeans does the job, but lacks some features I regularly use in Eclipse:
- create a new method in other project (e.g. typing service.myNewMethod in webapps maven module, then I want the method to be created in service-interface in the business module). Seems that Netbeans cannot create missing methods in other projects that are opened in netbeans, because these dependencies are just as binary JAR-files included.
- the hibernate mapping file creation (hbm-files) exists, but is very rudimentary: just file and table tag is created, properties-mapping is missing. (and please don't tell me to use annotations, I want HBM-files for better separating of domain objects from persistence stuff!)
- small but annoying: you cannot unfold all open projects like in eclipse: you have to do it manually
- most annoying: local variables are not shown during debugging (!!!). so this gives netbeans the biggest bummer... (anyone can help here?)
# Posted By Ralf Eichinger | 7/3/12 7:46 AM
Do you know how to get apache shiro to work on netbeans?
# Posted By anne | 2/4/13 5:38 AM
Same here: Netbeans is great but lacks essential plugins such as a android plugin with GUI and others (Ateji, for instance)
# Posted By dating nigeria | 3/6/13 5:08 AM
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