Netbeans Por Daniel Zambrana

Using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing applications saves you time by managing windows, settings, and data. In addition, an IDE can store repetitive tasks through macros and abbreviations. Drag-and-drop features make creating graphical user interface (GUI) components or accessing databases easy, and highlighted code and debugging features alert you to errors in your code.

The NetBeans IDE is open source and is written in the Java programming language. It provides the services common to creating desktop applications — such as window and menu management, settings storage — and is also the first IDE to fully support JDK 6.0 features. The NetBeans platform and IDE are free for commercial and noncommercial use, and they are supported by Sun Microsystems.

This tutorial is aimed at those who are new to using IDEs, fairly new to programming, and new to the Java platform. You'll learn to create a simple desktop application with a GUI interface and functionality that calculates overtime pay using basic features of the NetBeans IDE. This tutorial provides explanations for the code where appropriate, as well as links to the Java API and information about objects as they are introduced. Though the NetBeans environment also provides many rich features for the various Java platforms, such as Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME), this article covers only Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) technology, which is generally the entry point for new developers and programmers. Future tutorials will discuss more advanced features.

To follow this tutorial, you need to have downloaded and installed the JDK and the NetBeans IDE. Or you can download JDK 6 and NetBeans 6.1 separately to ensure that you have the latest versions.

NetBeansIDE Nuts and Bolts

Because the NetBeans IDE is open source is undergoing continual improvement, you may notice slight differences between the screen captures in this article and the latest download. This tutorial is based on NetBeans 6.1 and may vary slightly from later versions as they become available.

Features and Tools

The NetBeans IDE has many features and tools for each of the Java platforms. Those in the following list are not limited to the Java SE platform but are useful for building, debugging, and deploying applications and applets:

Source Code Editor

Syntax highlighting for Java, JavaScript, XML, HTML, CSS, JSP, IDL
Customizable fonts, colors, and keyboard shortcuts
Live parsing and error marking
Pop-up Javadoc for quick access to documentation
Advanced code completion
Automatic indentation, which is customizable
Word matching with the same initial prefixes
Navigation of current class and commonly used features
Macros and abbreviations
Goto declaration and Goto class
Matching brace highlighting
JumpList allows you to return the cursor to previous modification
GUI Builder

Fully WYSIWYG designer with Test Form feature
Support for visual and nonvisual forms
Extensible Component Palette with preinstalled Swing and AWT components
Component Inspector showing a component's tree and properties
Automatic one-way code generation, fully customizable
Support for AWT/Swing layout managers, drag-and-drop layout customization
Powerful visual editor
Support for null layout
In-place editing of text labels of components, such as labels, buttons, and text fields
JavaBeans support, including installing, using, and customizing properties, events, and customizers
Visual JavaBean customization — ability to create forms from any JavaBean classes
Connecting beans using Connection wizard
Zoom view ability
Database Support

Database schema browsing to see the tables, views, and stored procedures defined in a database
Database schema editing using wizards
Data view to see data stored in tables
SQL and DDL command execution to help you write and execute more complicated SQL or DDL commands
Migration of table definitions across databases from different vendors
Works with databases, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, PointBase, Sybase, Informix, Cloudscape, Derby, and more
The NetBeans IDE also provides full-featured refactoring tools, which allow you to rename and move classes, fields, and methods, as well as change method parameters. In addition, you get a debugger and an Ant-based project system.

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