Top 5 NetBeans Platform Enhancements in 6.9

In the NetBeans Platform (i.e., not the tool NetBeans IDE, but the Swing framework beneath it [and many others]), 6.9 brings many enhancements. These, in my opinion, are the most important:

  1. NetBeans Platform as a Product. As announced by Jim Parkinson, Sun exec at the time, the post 6.8 scene, in terms of the NetBeans project, is markedly different from before, where there really only was one official project, that is, the IDE. That heralds a totally new vision to the pre-6.9 world: "With the release of NetBeans 6.8, you'll see a more public effort to support the NetBeans Platform as a product. This is being driven by overwhelming support, by our customers and the open-source user community". (More on that here).

  2. OSGi Interoperability. Now you can (a) create OSGi bundles in your NetBeans Platform application, (2) import OSGi bundles into your application, (3) convert all your NetBeans modules to OSGi bundles. With that, the standard module system (OSGi) and the standard UI toolkit (Swing) are supported, for the first time, both simultaneously within the same framework, i.e., the NetBeans Platform.

  3. NetBeans Platform Samples. The 6.9 release packages a set of complete samples, in addition to the standard Feed Reader and Paint Sample. Of particular value is the CRUD Sample (built from this tutorial), which represents the most typical business application on the NetBeans Platform, i.e., including database connectivity, save, undo/redo, and much more besides. Other samples are a REST client, Felix integration, and Equinox integration.

  4. Separated Lookup API. The most frequently used NetBeans API, the Lookup API, is now within its own module, rather than within the grab bag "Utilities API". That's a much more convenient place to put it and it was always kind of odd to need to explain that the key NetBeans API class was found in a utilities module. (More on that here.)

  5. NetBeans Platform 6.9 Developer's Guide. Packt's brand new offering NetBeans Platform 6.9 Developer's Guide, once published, will really tie everything together and present the NetBeans Platform coherently, showing you how to build an application from scratch, while highlighting the most important APIs and features that the NetBeans Platform has to offer.

Other new features relating to NetBeans Platform 6.9 include the enhancements for Maven-based NetBeans Platform applications, the simplified ModuleInstall lifecycle, the new installer support, the branding editor, the enhancement in the layer view whereby deleted items are crossed out in the explorer view, and many other features highlighted in the new and noteworhy, as well as in the API changes document.

Do you have particular NetBeans Platform 6.9 features that you've been enjoying? Or specific features that you still find to be missing? Feel free to leave a comment here (and make sure to have created an issue for anything you're commenting on as being missing)!


I can't wait for Netbeans 6.9 and NetBeans Platform 6.9 Developer's Guide release, i've already pre ordered the book !!!

Greetings !!!

Posted by Daniel Dario Morales Salas on May 30, 2010 at 07:26 AM PDT #

I'm very interested in the maven build for the platform. But it lacks documentation at this time. If you know more about this feature, a few blog posts would be great.

Do they take about the maven build in the book ?

Posted by johann sorel on May 30, 2010 at 08:19 AM PDT #

Great news! when 6.9 reach the stable tag I will begin to migrate my 6.8 projects to 6.9, right away.

I will also request the NetBeans Platform 6.9 Developer's Guide.

Netbeans Platform is the best of the best!

I would like to see these features in the next releases of Netbeans (platform), not all of these are directly related to nb platform, but closely related:

1. Better integration/dynamic with Java library projects into Netbeans library wrapper modules.

2. Better integration with Glassfish v3 (for now I can only use Glassfish v3 EJB in my Netbeans platform patching Glassfish).

3. A more easy way to create toolbars and menus.

Thank you in advance.


Posted by Xavier Callejas on May 30, 2010 at 11:04 AM PDT #

Johann, here's the docs you're looking for, please leave a comment at the end of that article about anything missing or anything you'd like documented or anything else Maven-related that the writer needs to know about:

Posted by Geertjan on May 30, 2010 at 10:08 PM PDT #

Since this blog entry is about the NetBeans Platform, any comments received to it relating to any other product, such as NetBeans IDE, will not be published.

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on May 31, 2010 at 01:35 AM PDT #

Hello Geertjan ,
When i read the part about OSGi Interoperability new features for netbeans . I've said to my self this is cool but couple of questions poped into my head i have to ask them

Will we have the same performance if i choose to write OSGi bundle over a Netbeans Module for netbeans platform application ?

I am a beginner at both technology and I've just started my learning trail with netbeans platform i really would like to learn the Netbeans Module but my conscious tells me to follow the standard and i feel guilty for ditching OSGi now i have both choices with netbeans platform now should i continue my learning process with netbeans module or should i start with OSGi ?

i really would like to hear your opinion about this ? and what is your personal choice for your future netbeans platform development will it be OSGi or NBM ?

one more question , are we going to see the day when OSGi takeover the netbeans platform and there will be no more Netbeans Modules ?

Posted by Abdullah AlDwyish on May 31, 2010 at 02:40 AM PDT #

I too have pre ordered the 6.9 developers guide (pdf and paperback) and am exited about the new 6.9 release. I have a question about how the osgi support for equinox handles osgi bundles that require SWT, is this requirement mapped to the swing equivalents? If not then it seems that many osgi bundles would not be able to be used until this is handled.

Posted by adam on May 31, 2010 at 03:17 AM PDT #

NBM is useful technology, but it is not ever going to be industry standard. However it is our goal to support whatever standard industry agrees on. Thus we support OSGi now and will support any future standard for Java modularity. On top of that we are about to somehow support any existing offerings we provide.

Posted by Jaroslav Tulach on May 31, 2010 at 03:40 AM PDT #

Comments that do not relate to this blog entry have been deleted. If you have something to say that does not relate to this blog entry, please use the appropriate place to do so (Issuezilla, a mailing list, your own blog, etc).

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on May 31, 2010 at 07:37 PM PDT #

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Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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