Java is general-purpose and one of the most popular programming languages in 2023. Developers use java to develop secure and robust desktop applications, mobile applications, web applications, gaming applications, artificial intelligence, etc. There is no doubt that it will continue to be the major programming language in the coming years.
You’ll find numerous IDEs and Code Editors out there for writing java code, but still, it is a challenging task to choose the best IDE that can enhance your programming experience.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top java IDEs and Code Editors along with their key features.
But before diving into the java IDEs, let us first understand what exactly is an IDE and why you need to have an IDE to do programming.
What is an IDE?
An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is computer software that provides an environment and functionalities to write code and build applications.
IDEs are there to make the job of a developer easier by providing a rich set of functionalities and tools. An IDE comes with a source code editor and a compiler or debugger.
Why do you need an IDE?
IDEs are meant to help developers to solve their problems and speed up the process of writing programs. Using an IDE to do programming can save a lot of time during development. Because an IDE comes up with multiple utilities and tools that are essential for setup and the developer doesn’t need to configure them manually.
Additionally, IDE parses the code you have written and identifies the errors like syntax errors you have done in real-time. Some smart IDEs also give you suggestions on how to correct that error.
Recommended Reading: 4 Tips on How to Improve Programming Skills For Beginners
In fact, most of the features of an IDE are to save the time of a developer such as intelligent code completion and AI code generation in modern IDEs that gives you suggestions as you write code and auto-complete so you don’t have to write a complete line of code.
Best IDE for Java Programming
Following is a handpicked list of the Best IDE for java that you can use in your development.
1. IntelliJ IDEA
IntelliJ IDEA is the most popular java IDE in 2023. According to a survey, 62% of java developers use IntelliJ IDEA for their development which makes it today’s most dominant IDE among developers.
It comes in two editions, the first one is IntelliJ IDEA Community which is a free and open-source edition and the second one is IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate which is a premium edition.
IntelliJ IDEA has so many features some of the astonishing features are:
- Available for Windows, Linux, and macOS
- The intelligent code completion feature provides context-sensitive code completion and gives suggestions valid for the current context.
- Enhance debugging features that check over the quality and validity of your code which helps you code faster and confidently.
- With the live templates feature just type the abbreviation in the template and it will automatically insert code constructs into your work.
- Free plugins that allow you to work with other programming languages including Python, SQL, GO, and PHP.
- In addition to this, it provides some amazing tools such as perforce integration, duplicate detection, and database tools in its ultimate edition.
Eclipse is another one of the most popular code editors for java after IntelliJ IDEA. It is a free and open-source java IDE that has captured 48% of the market share.
The Eclipse IDE comes in two editions. The first one is the desktop edition and the second one is the cloud-based edition. As the name suggests, cloud IDE allows developers to create applications from their browser window and save their work on the cloud.
Its marketplace has an extensive plugin system that allows developers to customize their IDE functionalities. Some of the key features of Eclipse are:
- A cross-platform IDE that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Provide a ready-made code template as you create a new project.
- Editing, browsing, debugging, and refactoring are astonishing features of Eclipse.
- A full user-friendly environment with drag-and-drop functionality.
- Support of more than 100 programming languages.
- GUI builder by using their tools.
- Eclipse IDE is totally free of cost.
3. Apache NetBeans
Another amazing IDE for java programming is Apache NetBeans. It is a free and open-source IDE with a user rating of 4.1 out of 5. NetBeans provides a feature of highlighting the source code syntactically and semantically through their handy and powerful tools. This feature helps you to refactor the code and makes it easier for developers to build custom applications.
It has amazing inbuild tools that add value to the software development process, some of the key features of NetBeans are:
- NetBeans is a cross-platform java IDE that runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Solaris operating systems.
- Smart code completion, code suggestions, and error detection.
- Create, debug, deploy, and test applications directly from NetBeans.
- Developers can easily do structural changes, and rename classes and variables using their built-in tools for code refactoring.
- Apache NetBeans is free of cost.
- GUI builder using their tools.
BlueJ is one of the best IDE for beginners to do java programming. It has the simplest user-friendly interface specially designed for beginners.
Initially, it was developed for the education and teaching of object-oriented concepts with visuals. But now it is used by developers to develop small java applications. As per a recent survey, BlueJ has a user rating of 4.2 out of 5 which an amazing user satisfaction with the IDE.
Some of the key features of BlueJ are:
- A cross-platform application that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.
- It is a free, open-source, and lightweight java code editor.
- Smaller and simpler interface than other professional IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans that helps beginners to get started more quickly without being overwhelmed.
- Powerful graphical java interface that allows developers to interact with objects, inspect their values, and call methods on them.
JDeveloper is one of the best code editors for java developed by Oracle Corporation. A top java IDE that simplifies the development of java based applications at every step of the development lifecycle.
Some of the outstanding features of JDeveloper are:
- JDeveloper java IDE is free and available on multiple platforms such as Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- It comes with an integrated Oracle Application Server where you can directly connect your java programs with the database.
- Simple GUI for web development with drag-and-drop functionality.
- Extensive debugging features that can even fix very minor errors quickly.
A lightweight code editor for writing java programs. It is designed and developed by the JavaPLT group at Rice University. DrJava is primarily designed for students and beginners and provided an interactive environment to evaluate java code. It also has some powerful features for advanced java developers.
It offers features such as auto code completion, auto-indentation, brace matching, syntax coloring, and commenting. Other than that some of the key features are:
- Extremely lightweight IDE for java development.
- It has a very interactive user interface and is a good choice for beginners and students.
- Support of inbuilt debugging and testing through Junit.
MyEclipse is one of the best IDE for java enterprise and web development which is developed and maintained by Genuitec. It offers a wide variety of tools and features for both java application development and web development. MyEclipse is not a free IDE, but it offers a 30-day free trial.
It supports the latest web development frameworks such as Angular, React to traditional jQuery, and Bootstrap and allows support to run servers from the IDE. Some of the notable features of MyEclipse java IDE are:
- A cross-platform application that runs on multiple operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Live code preview feature
- Tools to support the complete lifecycle of software development.
- Offers tools to connect to dozens of databases.
This completes our list of the best IDE for java programming. We’ve discussed what is an IDE and why a developer needs an IDE to write code. We’ve discussed some of the top java IDE along with their key features so you Cristal a clear idea of each IDEs. Now you must have an idea about all the java IDEs and you’ll be able to choose the best code editor for java development and put jet fuel to your development process.
Good article 👍