The Divas are Joining the NetBeans World
By divas on Oct 19, 2006
We have been very silent in this blog lately because we (along with Cindy and Joe) have been busy writing a new set of tutorials for the upcoming Visual Web Pack for NetBeans 5.5. For those of you who have been building web apps using the NetBeans IDE, I think you will find the Creator-like WYSIWYG Visual Designer a nice enhancement. The Visual Web Pack also comes with a cool set of JSF components, including some Ajax enabled components. To build a web page, you drag components from a Palette and drop them on the page. You can then configure the components using the Properties sheet, and you can bind the components to data sources and managed bean properties. The IDE synchronizes the visual work with the JSP, page beans, and web.xml.
For those of you who are using the Sun Java Sudio Creator IDE, there are many similarities, but the Visual Web Pack is not Creator-on-top-of-NetBeans. One advantage of using the NetBeans Visual Web Pack instead of Creator is that it supports:
- JavaServer Faces 1.2 and JavaServer pages 2.1
- Java SE 5 and Java EE 5
- Sun Java System Application Server 9 (also know as GlassFish) and Tomcat 5.5
Another advantage is that NetBeans provides support for building web services and EJBs, so you can build and consume them in the same IDE. You will also find better support for building your Java classes and packages. A trade off is that there is less automation and synchronization. You have to manually implement some of the stuff that Sun Java Studio Creator does for you.
The date that the technology preview for the Visual Web Pack will be available is approaching. Because it is a technology preview, I wouldn't recommending using it for any production work, but you do want to check it out.
So far, we have been focusing on how to make our tutorials work with the Visual Web Pack. Soon, we hope to explore how to use the NetBeans features to facilitate the web development process and how to use the JavaServer Pages 2.1, JavaServer Faces 1.2, and J2EE 5 enhancements. Some of the JSF and JSP features that I look forward to checking out are:
- Unified EL language and support for the
forEachtag with JSF components.
- Easier to interweave JSP with JSF tags.
- Ability to add custom required, converter, and validator messages for a component and to include the name of the component in error messages.
- Improved state-saving makes it easier to have multi-window web apps and provides better support for the back button (hurray!).
- Resource injection instead of deployment descriptor entries making it easier to inject container-managed objects such as data sources and web services.