Best Java IDE 2019 | Most Popular Java IDE

Java IDE

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Java is one of the leading programming languages. It is widely employed for developing robust and secure desktop apps, enterprise applications, mobile apps, and web applications.

There is a multitude of IDEs available for working with Java. While Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans are the big three of Java, there are numerous other IDEs for developing apps using Java in an effective way.

Best Java IDEs

Here we present you with our pick of the 13 best Java IDEs to work with. Whether you’re looking to just start with Java or seeking new Java IDEs to toy with, these are some of the finest integrated development environments to work with Java.

BlueJ

BlueJ Java IDE

Platform – Linux/macOS/Windows
First Released – March 1999

BlueJ is an integrated development environment for Java. Though mainly designed with educational intent, BlueJ is apt for small-scale software development. Despite being developed as a ready-to-go IDE for beginners, the Java IDE is widely preferred by Java veterans.

The primary screen of BlueJ displays the class structure of the application under development. It also allows for interactively creating and testing objects. The multi-platform Java IDE allows programmers to interact effortlessly with objects.

Developers can call methods on objects, inspect object values, and pass objects as parameters using the BlueJ Java IDE. Other powerful Java application development features offered by BlueJ include creating dynamic objects and scanning the code visually.

Codenvy

Codenvy Java IDEPlatform – Linux/macOS/Solaris/Windows
First Released – 2012

Codenvy is a commercial Java IDE that is built on top of the Eclipse Che. There are a total of 3 variants of the IDE that Java programmers can choose among; developer, enterprise, and team.

Codenvy is a cloud-based and on-demand developer workspace. In addition to writing Java code using the browser-based editor offered by Codenvy, Java programmers can benefit from powerful features like code completion, refactoring, and syntax highlighting.

The Codenvy editor also makes life easier for programmers by offering an effective way to build, debug, edit, and run various projects. The team edition of Codenvy is aimed at collaboration.

In addition to Java, Codenvy provides support for a plethora of interpreted as well as compiled programming languages. This includes C++, C#, JavaScript, and PHP.

DrJava

DrJava Platform– Linux/macOS/Windows
First Released – June 2002

Maintained by the JavaPLT group at Rice University, DrJava is a lightweight Java Integrated Development Environment. It is specifically developed for beginners and students. Though not as powerful as other big names for Java development, DrJava has a remarkably clutter-free interface.

Other than offering a JUnit test facility, DrJava flaunts the ability to interactively evaluate Java code from a console as well as to present the output to the same console. Like its contemporaries, DrJava assists programmers with features like go to line and find/replace.

For advanced programmers, DrJava offers autocompletion, automatic indentation, brace matching, commenting, and syntax coloring. On top of all, DrJava can be integrated to Eclipse via a plugin.

DrJava, unlike other Java IDEs, has a consistent appearance on different platforms. This is because it is designed using Sun Microsystems’ Swing toolkit.

Read More: Java Cheat sheet: Basics of Java Programming

Eclipse

Eclipse Platform – Linux/macOS/Solaris/Windows
First Released – November 2001

A dedicated Java IDE, Eclipse gets listed as one of the big three of Java IDEs. The popular integrated development environment is available in both desktop and cloud editions. The cloud edition of the Eclipse, named Eclipse Che allows programmers to develop apps via a web browser.

Both editions of the Eclipse IDE can be equipped with required/additional functionality by means of plugins. There is an array of plugins available for the IDE on the Eclipse Marketplace. In order to facilitate incremental compilation of Java code, Eclipse comes with a custom compiler.

For Java programmers looking to develop specific functionality for Eclipse, a PDE (Plugin Development Environment) is available. To help Java developers hasten the application development, Eclipse flaunts powerful tools for charting, modeling, reporting, and testing.

Eclipse supports application development in a number of programming languages via plugins. C, C++, Clojure, Groovy, Haskell, JavaScript, Julia, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Rust, and Scala are some of the various programming languages supported by Eclipse.

Greenfoot

GreenfootPlatform – Linux/macOS/Solaris/Windows
First Released – 2003

Greenfoot is designed especially with an educational intent for high school and undergraduate students. The Java IDE facilitates the development of two-dimensional graphical apps, including simulations and interactive games.

Developed and maintained at King’s College London with support from Oracle, Greenfoot is a completely free-to-use software. In order to motivate learning, Greenfoot offers easy access to animated graphics and sound.

Greenfoot’s interactive environment is designed to illustrate important abstractions and concepts of object-oriented programming, including class/object relationship, methods, object interaction, and parameters.

IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ IDEAPlatform – Linux/macOS/Windows
First Released – January 2001

IntelliJ IDEA is one of the big three of Java IDEs. It is available in 2 different editions, an Apache 2 Licensed community edition, and a proprietary commercial edition. In order to allow developers to dive deeper into the Java code, IntelliJ IDEA boasts cross-language refactoring and data flow analysis features.

Other features offered by IntelliJ IDEA that eases the life of a Java developer are chain completion, language injection, smart completion, and static member completion.

In addition to supporting Java and a galore of Java frameworks, IntelliJ IDEA also provides support for other JVM-based programming languages, such as Kotlin.

JCreator

JCreatorPlatform – Linux (via Wine)/Windows
First Released – N/A

Developed by Xinox Software, JCreator is yet another lightweight Java IDE. JCreator flaunts an interface much similar to Microsoft’s Visual Studio. It is available in three distinct variants; Lite Edition, Pro Edition, and Life-Pro Edition.

Unlike leading Java IDEs that are developed using Java, JCreator is developed entirely in C++. Furthermore, it doesn’t require a JRE for executing Java code. For this particular reason, the developer community advocates that JCreator is faster than most conventional Java-based IDEs.

The paid version of JCreator comes with Ant support, code wizards, and a debugger. Unlike the leading Java IDEs, JCreator has no advanced features. Also, extensibility via 3rd-party plugins is unavailable. On the flip side, it is small and fast, making it ideal for newbies starting with Java.

(Oracle) JDeveloper

Oracle JdeveloperPlatform – Linux/macOS/Windows
First Released – 2005

JDeveloper is a freeware Java IDE by Oracle. It offers an integrated development framework with a plethora of features and several visual development tools. JDeveloper covers entire development lifecycle; coding, designing, debugging, optimization, profiling, and deploying.

Oracle JDeveloper is able to integrate with the Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) to further simplify application development. In addition to Java, JDeveloper can also be used to develop applications in GTML, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, and XML.

jGRASP

JGraspPlatform – Linux/macOS/Windows
First Released – N/A

jGRASP is undoubtedly one of the best lightweight IDEs for Java. Other than offering an integrated debugger and a workbench for Java developers, jGRASP also allows the generation of complexity profile graphs and UML class diagrams.

jGRASP is particularly designed for providing automatic generation of software visualizations that improves the overall comprehensibility of software. The lightweight Java IDE is capable of producing static visualizations of source code structure as well as visualizations of data structures at runtime.

Though implemented in Java, it is in jGRASP’s ability to produce CSDs (Control Structure Diagrams) for other programming languages. The list includes Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, and Python.

jGRASP serves as a useful source code editor for non-Java programming languages. The free IDE is configurable to work with most of the free and commercial compilers for different programming languages.

MyEclipse

MyEclipsePlatform – Linux/macOS/Windows
First Released – N/A

Created and maintained by Genuitec, MyEclipse is a proprietary IDE build on top of the Eclipse platform. The wide variety of tools available in MyEclipse can be used for both Java app development as well as web development.

In addition to providing support for Angular, HTML, JavaScript, and TypeScript, MyEclipse allows support for application server connectors and database connectors. Other notable features of the IDE include Maven project management, Spring Tooling, and WebSphere connectors.

NetBeans

NetBeansPlatform – Linux/macOS/Solaris/Windows
First Released – 1997

Another name in the big three of Java IDEs is NetBeans. In fact, NetBeans is the official IDE for Java 8. The open source IDE facilitates Java programmers to build desktop, mobile, and web applications by offering a range of potent tools and features.

In addition to being available for a variety of platforms, NetBeans also comes in a feature-limited OS independent version. Each novel version of the NetBeans boasts an improved and reworked Java editor.

The Java editor offered by NetBeans makes it easier for Java programmers to build custom software apps by highlighting Java code syntactically and semantically. Inbuilt tools in NetBeans makes it possible to refactor the code as well as writing bug-free code.

In order to design and develop GUIs for Java SE, a GUI Builder is put on offer by NetBeans. The dedicated Java IDE is available in 28 different languages. NetBeans has extensions available for working in C, C++, HTML5, JavaScript, PHP, and other programming languages.

RAD for WebSphere Software (Rational Application Developer)

RAD for WebSphere SoftwarePlatform – Linux/Windows
First Released – January 2005

RAD is a popular commercial Eclipse-based IDE developed by IBM. Designed specifically for Java development, RAD provides tools for analyzing, developing, visually designing, and deploying applications developed in Java.

In addition to English, RAD is available in 10 other languages. Other than Java and Java EE, RAD provides support for hybrid mobile, portal applications, Web 2.0, Web and REST services.

Xcode

XcodePlatform – macOS
First Released – 2003

Available completely free of cost, Xcode is an IDE developed for macOS by Apple Inc. In addition to allowing programming in Java, the IDE comes with a multitude of software development tools for developing software for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

Some of the important highlights of Xcode are an inbuilt debugger, GUI builder, and profile autocomplete. In addition to Java, Xcode provides support for AppleScript, C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Python, Ruby, and Swift.

Summary

As we can see, there are a plethora of IDE options available for Java developers, ranging from fully-featured commercial software to free and open-source ones. The selection of the Java IDE, to some extent, depends on the project that needs to be completed.

However, it boils down to personal preference. The more a developer knows, the better options there are to choose from.

If you haven’t acquainted with Java yet, now might be a great time to get started with it. And why should you learn it? Because it is one of the leading programming languages to learn and earn in 2019.

Start Learning Java

Which Java IDE do you think is the best? Let us know in the comments.

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32 Comments, RSS

  1. Avatar

    Monica Mccoy February 7, 2019 @ 11:37 am

    Which Java IDE is best for beginners?

    • Avatar

      Tanner Negrete February 20, 2019 @ 3:01 pm

      BlueJ and IntelliJ IDEA are the best JAVA IDEs for beginners. These are simple to use and fast to work. Rest are for those who are well versed with the basics of coding.

  2. Avatar

    Wilbur Lamb February 7, 2019 @ 11:38 am

    Which is a better IDE for Java programming?

    • Avatar

      Cristopher Mortensen February 20, 2019 @ 3:02 pm

      A better IDE for Java Programming is that which makes your workflow more productive and efficient. Eclipse is most popular in this list. NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA, BlueJ etc. are also included in the top JAVA IDEs list after Eclipse.

  3. Avatar

    Lowell Gardner February 7, 2019 @ 11:38 am

    What Java IDE do most companies use?

    • Avatar

      Fredric Glaser February 20, 2019 @ 3:02 pm

      Eclipse is the most popular IDE which is used by most of the companies. It supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Solaris. It is available for both desktop and cloud editions.

  4. Avatar

    Ruth Ortega February 7, 2019 @ 11:42 am

    What IDE should I choose between Netbeans or Eclipse for Java programming if I am a beginner? What difference will it make?

    • Avatar

      Cletus Petrie February 20, 2019 @ 3:03 pm

      Both are popular IDEs with the great features but Eclipse is preferred mostly over NetBeans. But at the end, it’s depend on your software requirement to choose the one of them. Features includes of them that both of the IDEs support automatic code completion. The major difference is Eclipse is general purpose IDE while NetBeans is made for Java Programming only.

  5. Avatar

    Andrea Flowers February 7, 2019 @ 11:42 am

    Which IDE is best for Java web development?

    • Avatar

      Shayne Coburn February 20, 2019 @ 3:03 pm

      There are several IDEs available for Java Web Development but most popular and most used are Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA, and BlueJ. You may choose between them which suits to your need.

  6. Avatar

    Rogelio Conner February 7, 2019 @ 11:43 am

    What’s your favorite Java IDE for Mac and why?

    • Avatar

      Olin Levin February 20, 2019 @ 3:04 pm

      IntelliJ won this battle for Mac just because of its unbeatable features such as amazing look, awesome coding style, auto completion/templates, powerful enough for pros & good for noobs etc. Else after this Eclipse and NetBeans are most popular and supported by Mac.

  7. Avatar

    Freda Ingram February 7, 2019 @ 11:44 am

    What is the best cloud based Java IDE (in the browser)?

    • Avatar

      Hilario Norfleet February 20, 2019 @ 3:04 pm

      Codenvy and Eclipse Che next generation of Eclipse IDE are the real contenders in this segment. Both products were authored primarily by Java and intended to create open source alternative to IntelliJ.

  8. Avatar

    Johnnie Mathis February 7, 2019 @ 11:44 am

    What is the best IDE for java in Ubuntu?

    • Avatar

      Olen Parrish February 20, 2019 @ 3:05 pm

      Java is a cross-platform language so it can compile and run on any platform. The top 3 IDE for Ubuntu are again IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans, and Eclipse. All comes with great features.

  9. Avatar

    Sabrina Lloyd February 7, 2019 @ 11:45 am

    Should I learn Java using an IDE or text editor?

    • Avatar

      Jamal Grooms February 20, 2019 @ 3:05 pm

      If you want to go long ride with the coding, you must prefer text editor as it will polish your coding skills to the root level. You may use Notepad++ or sublime. Developers also suggests to start with the editors first.

  10. Avatar

    Toby Love February 7, 2019 @ 11:46 am

    What’s the best IDE for Java and Python for an aspiring programmer?

    • Avatar

      Jerrell Couture February 20, 2019 @ 3:06 pm

      I would suggest Eclipse and IntelliJ are the best Java IDEs for an aspiring programmer. You have to pay for the IntelliJ’s portable version which lets you code in Python. Eclipse is in top and free.

  11. Avatar

    Walter Wright February 7, 2019 @ 11:49 am

    Which Java IDEs do professionals use?

    • Avatar

      Shad Herrington February 20, 2019 @ 3:07 pm

      Eclipse, NetBeans and IntelliJ IDEA is the top choice of professionals. IntelliJ’s paid version is better than free.

  12. Avatar

    Rene Walsh February 7, 2019 @ 11:50 am

    What are the advantages of Eclipse IDE?

    • Avatar

      Marcellus Mcgregor February 20, 2019 @ 3:07 pm

      Eclipse has a lot of advantages such as it is Free and Open Source, Mostly used Java IDE, general purpose IDE which can be used to develop applications in other languages such as C++, Ruby, HTML5, PHP, etc., this is a Rich Client Platform, Refactoring, auto code completion, extensions and plugins, and tools etc. makes it popular and preferable.

  13. Avatar

    Bertha Poole February 7, 2019 @ 11:52 am

    What is the difference between Eclipse IDE for Java EE developers and Eclipse IDE for Java?

    • Avatar

      Elisha Sawyers February 20, 2019 @ 3:08 pm

      Eclipse IDE for Java EE developers- Here EE stands for Enterprise Edition. This is best if you want to make full software using Java and it has all useful plugins preinstalled.
      Eclipse IDE for Java- It is a basic IDE with libraries, swings, and GUI. However, it lacks useful plugins for database and web development.

  14. Avatar

    Jeanne Phillips February 7, 2019 @ 11:58 am

    Which programming language(s) have the best IDE? Why?

    • Avatar

      Luigi Boothe February 20, 2019 @ 3:08 pm

      Eclipse is the best and most popular IDE used by Java and other languages also. Eclipse is a general purpose IDE. This supports many languages.

  15. Avatar

    Jeffrey Wolfe February 7, 2019 @ 2:27 pm

    Eclipse, NetBeans or IntelliJ: Which is the best Java IDE?

    • Avatar

      Trenton Palumbo February 20, 2019 @ 3:09 pm

      I personally suggest IntelliJ over the Eclipse and NetBeans. No doubt they both come with power packed features but IntelliJ is on the Top in the current list and it is cool and fast to work with.

  16. Avatar

    Dan Campbell June 17, 2019 @ 10:18 pm

    JCreator has almost non-existent customer support, for at least the last couple of years.

    There also haven’t been any updates, for 4 years. I can’t even use the version I paid for, anymore ; it keeps re-asking to activate.

  17. Avatar

    Christin July 12, 2019 @ 5:13 pm

    Why don’t you have Gitpod in your list? I think its awesome!