“Get Tomorrow Today” is what, these days, one can read while visiting the NetBeans web site. Well. Indeed. Today, a major update of Suns Java (Enterprise) environment for development, deployment, runtime has been released:
- First of all, NetBeans IDE has bumped up its version number to 6.8, including (not too much of a surprise, I guess…) seamless and production-ready support for Java EE 6 and Glassfish v3, along with improved or newly added toolings and plugins for maven2 (very impressive), Project Kenai, JavaFX, PHP and a whole bunch of other technologies. Adding to that, asides “just” being another multi-language/-technology IDE, NetBeans RCP also is likely to get more support as an RC platform, which surely is a good thing.
- Then, Java Enterprise Edition is available in version 6 (JSR-316), aiming at making Java EE development more slim, more easy and, thanks to the newly added “profiles”, more adaptable to given use cases than ever before. Along with this, there are a bunch of improvements in technologies such as Java Servlets (3.0), EJB (3.1), persistence (JPA 2.0), JCA and, especially notable from my point of view, support for RESTful web services (JAX-RS 1.1).
- Finally, in addition to that, along with Java EE 6 comes Glassfish v3 as its reference implementation and the “open source” platform Suns Java System Application Server is based upon. Along with (obvious) support for all the Java EE technologies, just the last couple of weeks I experienced during FishCAT that GFv3 is a pretty good platform, providing all the strengths so far provided by its predecessors, yet being updated to reflect the changes in Java EE 6 and also providing hosting for in example JRuby applications out of the box. Adding to that, Adam has a more in-depth list of goodnesses that come with GFv3.
So, overally, a lot of great technologies and tools to play (or eventually work :) ) with, but also a moment of thought: Maybe not for NetBeans, but I am pretty sure at the very least for Java EE and maybe Glassfish, this could be the last release made by Sun as an independent business entity, the last releases related to these technology before Sun gets acquired by / gets merged with Oracle, leaving their products end up in the ever-growing Oracle product and services portfolio, some driven forth maybe more enthusiastically, others maybe left out in the cold and eventually discontinued. No matter how, I guess the next year might be crucial to all of these technologies: It will show how Java EE 6 can come up against or side-by-side with latest and upcoming Spring releases, with the whole OSGi movement in general and, especially, the environment to be set up by Eclipse RT project. And it also will show what NetBeans, as an IDE, as a platform, as a community, can come up with to provide viable alternatives and approaches to a load of (unquestionably good) features provided by Eclipse ecosystem, like the whole Eclipse Modeling toolbox or the upcoming XWT and declarative UI technologies in e4. Or maybe (which eventually could be the best of all outcomes) it might show that there is a good reason for different alternatives existing to address different requirements and use cases.
And, overally, no matter how things will move on: At the moment, congratulations to all the engineers, writers, tech people behind these three releases! You did a rather great job again…