Java is one of the first truly cross-platform programming languages responsible for the creation of numerous programs across multiple platforms. Its notable cross-platform software programs are available on Apple’s OS X, Windows, Linux operating systems, and web browsers like Google Chrome & Mozilla Firefox. Moreover, Java also powers software applicable for various televisions and game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, etc..
All these products rely on Java to run their programs. With a market share of 35.35% as per Statista, Java ranks 4th in the most used programming languages list. If you are thinking of Java development, you’ll want to pay attention to the open-source projects that could reshape your coding environment in the coming years.
Here are the Top 8 Java Development Tools that make programming straightforward and convenient for users worldwide:
#1: IntelliJ IDEA – Leverage Shortcuts for Everything
Developed by JetBrains, IntelliJ IDEA is a well-known and popular Java IDE. It comes with advanced features, including refactoring tools, code analysis, Maven & Ant builds support and plugins for virtually any language you’re likely to encounter.
This tool also offers options for dedicated version control. With a shortcut for almost everything, IntelliJ Idea is a compelling tool for diverse kinds of projects.
- Smart Code Completion
- Advanced Refactoring
- Detecting Duplicates
- Inspection & Quick Solutions
- Navigation & Search
- Advance Code Analysis
Whether Open-Source: Free & Paid Versions Available
#2: Gradle – Experience Declarative Language Elements
Source: C# Corner
Ever since its introduction, Gradle hasn’t stopped evolving. With each release, Java development tools like Gradle and Maven have been getting smarter, making them indispensable for Java development tasks. Many developers are already using these tools extensively in their workflows today.
Gradle unique design allows for a more natural, readable, and concise approach when writing build scripts. Moreover, it saves development costs and time by reducing or eliminating redundant tasks. Maintaining an application’s overall effort gets reduced by automating much of its build process.
One thing to note about Gradle is that it can be used both as a command-line tool and as an embedded domain-specific language (DSL) inside your IDE, which makes it easy to use with whichever you prefer.
- Build automation
- Code quality analysis
- Faster builds
- Less manual work
- Easier dependency management
- More rapid and more stable deployment
- Better continuous integration
- Improved collaboration between teams
Whether Open-Source: Yes
#3: Maven – Easily Write Plugins
Maven is a top-rated build automation tool used for Java projects. It’s part of a software project lifecycle aimed at automating repetitive tasks, and all Java developers will want to use it as it standardizes an important development element.
At its core, Maven is designed to facilitate communication between programmers and stakeholders with its strict structure and versioning mechanisms. Programmers define modules using Maven’s project object model (POM) files.
Maven encourages modularity, making it easier for developers to work on parts of a project without being overwhelmed by its complexity. It results in better collaboration between team members and increased efficiency when adding new features or fixing bugs.
- Simple Setup
- Consistent Usage
- Organized Repository of Libraries and Dependencies
- Automated Builds, Testing, and Deployment
- Versioning of Code, Libraries, and Dependencies
- Integration with IDEs
- Support for Repositories Other Than Maven Central
Whether Open-Source: Yes
#4: Javadoc – Support for Documentation Comments
If you can’t stand writing documentation, Javadoc is for you. This tool takes a snapshot of your code and automatically generates an HTML page for every class. In other words, no more manual outlining and documenting. It’s not just static content, either. It allows developers to insert code examples and interactive tools that users can run right within their browsers.
Thus, Javadoc leads to detailed documentation of the project in no time. It facilitates hiring new developers with ease and comfort and a better understanding of code for existing developers. The tool is also straightforward and can be easily integrated into any IDE or build process.
Integrable into any IDE or build process
Generate documentation for your code
No coding required
No need for a manual outlining & documenting
Detailed documentation of your project within no time
Easy to use and simple
Whether Open-Source: No
#5: SonarQube – Continuous Inspection of Your Code Base
When discussing top java development tools, the list is incomplete without SonarQube. This tool offers a complete platform for continuous inspection of your code base for defects or issues. It comes with wide capabilities to help you detect bugs and security vulnerabilities. In addition, coders can also use it for code analysis and quality metrics.
The best part about SonarQube is that it allows you to run both static and dynamic analysis on Java applications. So, if you want to avoid bugs and errors in your code before they happen, then it’s a must-have tool for you!
- Finds Security Vulnerabilities
- Detect Bugs
- Complete Support for Java Applications
- View Build Status
- Dashboard for Quality metrics
- Test Coverage Reports
Whether Open-Source: Free & paid versions are available
#6: NetBeans – Highlights Source Code Syntactically and Semantically
First released in 1999, NetBeans is a popular open-source IDE (Integrated Development Environment) used by Java developers worldwide. Users praise its interface and extensibility. However, Oracle’s announcement that it will discontinue JavaFX support (in favor of Web technology HTML5) may cause developers to turn away from NetBeans. It could result in a decrease in developer popularity for NetBeans.
However, Java is still one of the most popular programming languages. It is a powerful language that offers a wide range of options for hiring java developers. It means that there will always be a need for tools like NetBeans.
NetBeans’s interface is clean and easy to use, making it an excellent option for developers starting with Java development tools. The interface also allows you to customize it to fit your needs perfectly.
- Easy-to-use Interface
- Batch code analyzers
- Cross-platform support
- Compatibility with Multiple Languages
- Support for multi-threaded applications
Whether Open-Source: Yes
#7: Jenkins – Self-Contained Java-based Program
Source: Statista – Development Tools
Jenkins is undoubtedly among the top Java development tools, if not the best. Its user interface can be overwhelming at first, but it offers tons of features that make it worth learning how to use it. It comes with a diverse range of plugins and extensions, and it’s an excellent tool for continuous integration.
For example, you can set up pipelines for your projects. They are automatically tested and deployed on a separate server or even multiple servers whenever you push code changes! It makes it easy to test new features before releasing them.
This tool is also top-rated among open-source developers. There’s no surprise there: it’s free and flexible, and lots of plugins are available.
- Works with GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket.
- Very flexible
- Support for multiple programming languages and testing frameworks.
- Automatic deployment and testing of new features
- Excellent integration with CI tools such as Jenkins, Bamboo, and TeamCity.
- Great for large projects with lots of branches and repositories (e.g., Android)
Whether Open-Source: Yes
#8: Selenium – Handling of Dynamic Web Elements
Selenium is a popular tool for automated testing of web applications. With Selenium, you can write tests that simulate real user actions and check whether your app behaves as expected. The language used for writing these tests is Selenese, which is very similar to Java.
Selenium is so popular that it’s straightforward to get started with. If you’re familiar with Java, you can get up and running with Selenium quickly by writing a few lines of code. Moreover, it comes with good documentation, making it an excellent choice for beginners who want to write automated tests.
Recently, there have been significant improvements in Selenium. The biggest change was switching from WebDriver (the original API) to WebDriverIO (WDI). WDI offers several benefits over WebDriver: better integration with other tools (like Git), better error handling, and support for more browsers.
- WebDriverIO Test Runner
- Error handling
- Browser support
- High-speed performance
- Mouse Cursor and Keyboard Simulation
- Mature Community Support
Whether Open-Source: Yes
Analyze Your Requirements before Choosing
Before you decide which tool you want to use, you must understand your project’s needs. It appears a good idea to choose an early-stage platform or library at first glance. However, the tool will not prove fruitful to the project when it lacks key functionalities necessary for the project.
Analyze the following aspects before you choose a java development tool:
- How easy is it to learn and leverage?
- How mature is it?
- What libraries does it offer?
- What are its main strengths and weaknesses?
- Is there a community around it that can help you out if you get stuck?
- Is it open-source?
- What is its track record?
- What are its licensing terms?
- Does it integrate with other tools you’re using?
- How does it handle concurrency?
- Is there a good IDE for it, or do you have to use an external one?
- What kind of documentation does it have available?
Java Development Company can help you choose the best tools based on advanced project research and recommendations.