Book: The Definitive Guide to NetBeansâ„¢ Platform 7
With this work in your hands, you hold the most current and the most comprehensive guide to the
Swing-based rich client platform, NetBeans Platform 7. This theme-rich client platform is highly topical.
In addition to the NetBeans Platform, Eclipse RCP is also a principal representative of this category. The
development of these two platforms was mainly driven by the NetBeans and Eclipse integrated
development environments (IDEs). Those two IDEs are based on their respective platforms and
represent a rich client application themselves. The NetBeans Platform is completely based on the Java
API with AWT and Swing and integrates the concepts of the Java Standard Edition (JSE), while the
Eclipse RCP with SWT and JFace builds more and more on its own approaches and concepts.
Rich client platforms are flexible and used mainly for their constantly increasing requirements for
applications and their architecture. One crucial aspect is their increased productivity and flexibility to be
able to equip a product depending on its intended usage and to adapt it to a market. This is especially
important for professional applications.
In my opinion, the NetBeans Platform is always worth using, even if an application is very small or
quite huge, because of the comprehensive support actually provided by the NetBeans IDE. It is also
already worth it because of the execution environment, and even more so because of the numerous APIs
that provide practical solutions for frequently occurring problems and challenges with client application
development. These solutions are very close to the practice and the application and increase
productivity a lot.
However, this assumption is based on one basic condition: professional knowledge and use of the
workings of the rich client platform. The application developer should at least know the main principles;
only then can the real advantages of increased productivity and greater software quality be achieved in
Many developers have assumed the platform was too complex, which is one of the main reasons the
rich client platforms have not yet been established as quasi-standards for client application
development. At first, developers may get the impression that there is a huge wall of APIs and concepts
to master. However, once you begin to learn more, you find that there are immense synergies and
simplifications possible, which make up for the challenges of the initial learning phase.
The NetBeans IDE simplifies both daily usage and developers’ learning curve by providing
comprehensive, helpful, and intuitive wizards. It is surely important that all NetBeans APIs and concepts
build on the APIs and concepts of the Java Standard Edition (JSE). That fact simplifies everyday
experiences with it and also facilitates the reuse of already existing components.