Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Three's Company: Oracle and Three Java IDEs

Many of us have wondered if Oracle would contribute to and support three Java IDEs. Before Oracle's acquisition of Sun, Oracle was already a contributer to the open source Eclipse (EclipseLink, for example) and already had its own free (but not open source) Java IDE in JDeveloper. With the acquisition of Sun, Oracle now has NetBeans in its fold. So far, Oracle seems to contribute and support all three. The following screen snapshot taken tonight demonstrates this (orange circles around the IDE names were obviously added to snapshot for emphasis).

As the screen snapshot above indicates, the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) main page features download-related links for all three of these Java IDEs. Just-released NetBeans 6.9 (15 June 2010) is featured in the right column of "New Downloads" and JDeveloper 11g is featured as a "free product" in the left "Top Downloads" column.

The Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse (OEPE) is also featured on the main OTN page as a "Top Download." OEPE provides significant add-on functionality for Eclipse, including functionality covered in the articles Build a Java Application with Eclipse, Spring, and Oracle WebLogic Server, Web Services Support in Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, and Introduction to Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g JPA Workbench.

This year's JavaOne will be the first in which Oracle is in charge. Several presentations are NetBeans-oriented as documented in NetBeans at the JavaOne 2010 Conference, which lists eleven sessions that the "NetBeans team recommends."

Whereas JavaOne tends to be more general Java and less product specific, Oracle OpenWorld 2010 and Oracle Develop 2010 are being held in conjunction with JavaOne 2010 and offer numerous JDeveloper (especially Application Developer Framework) presentations. I'm not aware of any Eclipse-specific presentations at any of these conferences, but Oracle has shown significantly more interest in Eclipse in recent years than Sun did.

Oracle expressed interest in supporting the JDeveloper IDE, the NetBeans IDE, and the Eclipse IDE in their lengthy 27 January 2010 webcast. A concise summary of their stated plans for the three IDEs is available in the "NetBeans" section of the online post Oracle's Roadmap for Sun Technologies.

Although there are many other text/code editors out there and even other Java IDEs out there, Oracle seems to own or contribute heavily to three of the four "big ones" (IntelliJ IDEA being the lone major Java IDE without significant Oracle affiliation). The Java IDE I "grew up with" in the sense of first learning Java, (Borland at the time) JBuilder, is no longer the force it once was. JDeveloper has some JBuilder heritage, though it has obviously changed significantly since those days.

Based on Oracle's declarations regarding the roadmap for Sun products and based on the products advertised on the OTN page, it appears that the current plan is to continue providing support for JDeveloper, NetBeans, and Eclipse. I admit that I didn't think they'd continue supporting all three, but so far it seems that they intend to do just that.

1 comment:

Dustin said...

See the DZone link to this post for interesting and relevant comments.