The NetBeans IDE is written in Java and can run anywhere a JVM is installed, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Solaris. A JDK is required for Java development functionality, but is not required for development in other programming languages. The NetBeans platform allows applications to be developed from a set of modular software components called modules. Applications based on the NetBeans platform (including the NetBeans IDE) can be extended by third party developers.
NetBeans began in 1996 as Xelfi (word play on Delphi), a Java IDE student project under the guidance of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University in Prague. In 1997 Roman Stan?k formed a company around the project and produced commercial versions of the NetBeans IDE until it was bought by Sun Microsystems in 1999. Sun open-sourced the NetBeans IDE in June 2000. Since then, the NetBeans community has continued to grow.
The NetBeans Platform is a reusable framework for simplifying the development of Java Swing desktop applications. The NetBeans IDE bundle for Java SE contains what is needed to start developing NetBeans plugins and NetBeans Platform based applications; no additional SDK is required.
Applications can install modules dynamically. Any application can include the Update Center module to allow users of the application to download digitally-signed upgrades and new features directly into the running application. Reinstalling an upgrade or a new release does not force users to download the entire application again.
- User interface management (e.g. menus and toolbars)
- User settings management
- Storage management (saving and loading any kind of data)
- Window management
- Wizard framework (supports step-by-step dialogs)
- NetBeans Visual Library
- Integrated Development Tools