Best JAVA IDEs to use in 2020

Popular JAVA IDEs in 2020

While working on largescale projects, a developer might need technical support while typing the code and IDEs take this to a whole new level. Let’s look at JAVA IDEs that are hot in 2020.

Traditionally, text editors have been used to write and execute any programming file. However,
those days are long gone since the introduction of IDEs. An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software for building applications that merges common developer tools
into a standalone graphical user interface (GUI).

It includes a compiler, a debugger and a code editor. IDEs provide easy navigation through codes and code completion and support for refactoring, while also making it easier to test and debug code.

Today, most enterprise development teams opt for an IDE that is best suited for their necessity
and the real question that arises is: Which IDE to choose from the bunch? With that being said,
it’s time to take a look at the best Java IDEs for you to get started.

Developed mainly to assist with user education, BlueJ has quickly turned into a reliable IDE for
small-scale software development. If you are new to Java, it may be difficult to understand the more advanced concepts like variable scope. With BlueJ, this confusion is eliminated as you can visualise the structure of the code through different background colours. You don’t have to rely on indentations to know which method falls under which class as you can see the blocks of code. Keeping in mind that this IDE was developed for educational purposes, it falls short behind all-purpose IDEs such as Eclipse and NetBeans.

It is basically an IDE on the cloud and is accessible by all major browsers. It might be
more appealing to a developer since it debugs applications in their hosted cloud IDE while being
able to share and collaborate during development. One can also publish it to a repository like
Git or to a number of deployment platforms.

Some salient features of Codenvy are:

  • Up to 3 GB of free RAM for running and testing your code on different tech stack with single or two machines.
  • Teams and easy collaboration for building any project.
  • Code development with portable Docker runtimes.

Just like BlueJ, the DrJava IDE is beginner-friendly and provides an intuitive interface and the
ability to interactively evaluate Java code. It is an editor with syntax highlighting along with a
whole host of features such as integrated JUnit testing, code coverage and Javadoc API
generation. The lack of autocomplete and the interactions pane are by far the best features yet. No, autocomplete because it’s critical for beginners to actually write their own code and learn the syntax. Similarly, the interactions pane allows you to treat Java as an interpreted language.
Without a doubt, it is the best IDE for an absolute beginner.

We have all heard about Eclipse, the face of all Java IDEs. Primarily developed by IBM, Eclipse is
an open-source IDE that is mostly written in Java. It can be used to develop rich client
applications, integrated development environments and other tools. Although Eclipse was originally developed for Java applications, with the help of plugins, it can be used with other programming languages, typesetting languages such as LaTeX and networking applications such as database management systems. This and more are reasons why Eclipse continues to trend in a healthy, positive direction.

Another excellent choice for beginners is Greenfoot, which was developed by the same creator
as BlueJ. Greenfoot is a more specialized IDE than BlueJ and is mainly targeted at a younger
audience and novice programmers to create 2D games, animations and simulations.
However, this hasn’t stopped users from leveraging the full power of the Java programming
language for advanced programming. Greenfoot is an introductory vehicle for anyone new to
Java and is not yet ready to build enterprise-level applications.

IntelliJ IDEA:
It is one of the most powerful IDEs designed to maximise developer productivity. It is
mainly developed for JVM languages such as Java, Scala, Kotlin, but with the help of plugins, it
can be extended for a polyglot experience. It provides features such as clever code completion,
static code analysis, and refactoring. The advanced error checking feature allows for a faster and easier error checking. IntelliJ IDEA comes in two editions: Commercial and Community.

Developed by Xinox software, JCreator is asserted to be faster than other competing Java-based
IDEs. Its interface is similar to that of Microsoft’s Visual Studio and it’s available in three
editions: Lite (LE), Pro edition (Pro) and Lite-Pro (LE-PRO). Since it is Developed in C++, it doesn’t require a JRE for executing Java code and is faster than other IDEs. Additionally, developers can easily access their API documentation to get assistance. Unfortunately, JCreator is only available for Windows OS at the moment; LE and Pro editions run adequately on Linux.

Oracle JDeveloper is an open-source IDE that covers the complete development lifecycle
starting from design through coding and debugging to deploying. By working together with the
Oracle ADF, it provides a visual and declarative development approach and simplifies
development. It is free and offers complete end-to-end development for Oracle’s platform and Oracle’s applications. Apart from Java, it can be used for various technology stacks including Java, SOA, Oracle WebCenter, SQL and PL/SQL, HTML and JavaScript.

It is implemented in Java and runs on all platforms with a JVM. It provides an automatic
generation of visualisations to improve the comprehensibility of software. It also has an integrated debugger as well as a workbench with various tools for Java developers. It’s configured to work with most free and commercial compilers for any programming language. Although it is written using Java, it can create a Control Structure diagram for C, C++, Python, Ada and Objective-C.

As the name suggests, MyEclipse was built upon the Eclipse platform and is a commercially
available Java EE IDE. This makes sense as it is created and maintained by Genuitic, a founding
member of Eclipse Foundation. It has two main editions, Professional and Standard, with the
latter adding database tools, a visual web designer among other competitive features.
Contrary to popular belief, MyEclipse and Eclipse are totally different. Eclipse is a plugin for an
architectural pattern, whereas MyEclipse is a full-featured platform for the software
development application. It is an enterprise-class plugin and works by offering an optional
technology bundle. Notably, it supports web development as well.

One of the most widely used IDEs, NetBeans is a platform of modular components used for
developing Java desktop applications where functions of the IDE are provided by modules.
NetBeans modules include NetBeans Profiler, a Graphical User Interface (GUI) design tool and
NetBeans JavaScript Editor. Besides Java, it also supports development for other languages like
PHP, C/C++, HTML5 and Javascript.

Rational Application Developer (RAD) for WebSphere Software
This Eclipse-based IDE is developed by IBM that Java and web application developers use to
design, develop, deploy, test and analyse their applications. Eclipse doesn’t have a server built
in to run web pages on and RAD is Eclipse with some more features added to it. That is, to
develop for Java EE you’ll need an Eclipse bundle for Java EE developers and RAD is based on
that. Besides the specialised wizards, editors, RAD also provides tools to improve code quality. It also provides UML visualisations, code coverage tools, static code analysis and dome extensions in profiling tools.

The last IDE on the list takes a turn from the original Windows-based and Linux-based IDEs.
Xcode is developed by Apple exclusively for macOS and is an incredibly productive environment
for building apps for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Xcode also has a built-in version control support so if you want to push a repository into git, the functionality is already added to Xcode with a few clicks. It supports source code for the programming languages Java, C, C++, Ruby, Python and so on.

Integrated Development Environments support jumping to functions, skipping to the previous
editing position, landing at variables and generally making a developer’s life easier. This list of
Java IDEs is enough to prove that IDEs are not meant only for large-scale enterprise developers
but also for budding learners as young as 14 years old. All there is left to do is choose the
right one for you and start coding.

Want to learn more about IDEs in different languages? Click here.

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