Not to be outdone by Eclipse’s fifth anniversary, Sun Microsystems Inc has released the next version of NetBeans. The highlights are inclusion of optional ‘packs,’ or extensions, that contain functionality previously only available through Sun’s old Java Studio Creator product.
The result is that capabilities that you used to buy are now available for free download as part of an open source offering. Of course, that’s not such a startling development, as most vendors aside from Microsoft are following similar courses for their IDEs.
NetBeans 5.5 includes separate packs for mobility, which lets you build Java ME 5 applications; a visual when pack, which applies many of the productivity features from the old Java Studio Creator product while adding support for developing Ajax-enabled Java Server Faces (JSFs); an enterprise pack that provides the ability to write, test, secure, and debug SOA applications; and a C/C++ pack that lets you use the NetBeans IDE to develop in those languages.
Other enhancements include a new code profiler that lets you see the resource consumption for applications carrying Java EE features such as Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs).
In a related announcement, Sun unveiled a new third party program providing joint marketing and free technical support for NetBeans partners or customers. Among the 17 third parties singed up for the program are Amazon, JBoss, and Sprint.