Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

JBuilder 7.0 Enterprise Edition

JBuilder 7.0 Enterprise Edition

There's no doubt about it. Borland makes great products for developers. They're definitely expensive and usually complex ­ but very powerful. I've been using JBuilder 6 for several months, and when I had the opportunity to review the latest version, I jumped at the chance. I won't take up much of your time by comparing this version with earlier ones, although I will definitely highlight the new features that I found most useful. This review focuses on the Enterprise Edition of JBuilder, not the Standard or Professional.

To do serious Java development, especially in a project team of more than two developers, you need a Java IDE. And you need one that provides features that will free your development life from mundane, tedious, and error-prone tasks. The following are some of the criteria I used to evaluate JBuilder 7.0:

  • Ease of installation and setup
  • Flexible and intuitive project setup
  • Support for multiple developmentprojects
  • Powerful code-editing features
  • Ability to visually inspect class design
  • Facilities for deploying a distributed application, including deploying to leading application servers
  • Support for refactoring techniques
  • Support for multiple JVMs
  • Support for generating test classes for all types of Java components (JSP, servlets, Java classes, EJBs)
  • Support for JSP editing and viewing
  • Powerful debugger
  • Flexible project handling
  • Support for version control systems

    I found JBuilder 7.0 met most of my criteria. What follows is a summary of the results of my evaluation.

    Product Description
    JBuilder is one of the leading IDEs for Java development, and the Enterprise version is used to build distributed J2EE-based applications. In addition, version 7 includes the option to download a Web services pack for developing Web services from your Java components.

    Installation and Setup
    Installation took 10 minutes. JBuilder's installation is based on Zero G Software and was very smooth. Since I wasn't running short of disk space, as is my standard policy, I selected the full install. However, starting the IDE cost me another 15 minutes since I had to go on the Internet to register my license. This was a minor annoyance, as I wasn't connected to the Internet when I installed the product.

    Setting up the project was fairly easy (see Figure 1). I also found that there's a lot of flexibility in configuring the source directories, including libraries and setting up test directories. One of the most useful features is the ability to work on two different projects simultaneously. JBuilder lets you open multiple IDE browsers, one for each project (see Figure 2).

    Menus
    JBuilder has a plethora of useful tabbed menus, and describing each one in detail is beyond the scope of this review. However, I will highlight some of the features that I found useful. Figure 2 shows the tabs with an expanded Tools menu in one project and an expanded Wizards menu in another. The navigation through the menus is very intuitive. Besides the tabs, the coding area and the Object Explorer bring up the appropriate menus when you right-click. The window on the bottom left gives a granular view of the class being coded and also continuously refreshes with errors as you type. The following are some of the useful and distinguishing capabilities of JBuilder 7:

  • It has wizards and tools for configuring deployment to application servers including BEA WebLogic, iPlanet, IBM Web- Sphere, and Tomcat. My applications are built on WebLogic, and it was very easy to set them up for EJB compilation and deployment.
  • The Team menu provides direct access to source control systems. I set this up to work with VSS, our source code repository.
  • JBuilder 7 is well integrated into supporting flexibility in build processes. I set up the project for external builds using Ant.
  • It has an Object Gallery from the File menu (select New) for creating servlets, JSPs, EJBs, XML, Java classes, test classes, etc. I used the option for pulling in EJB definitions from an existing deployment descriptor and it worked like a charm.
  • JBuilder 7 includes EJB development wizards with support for EJB 2.0 BMP.
  • The File menu includes an option, Compare Files, to compare two source files and to merge changes between them.

    Figure 3 shows the Object Gallery for Enterprise components, the app server configuration window, and the EJB Test Client generator wizard.

    The Code Editor
    The code editor is the meat of the IDE. Besides code completion, parenthesis matching, smart indentation, and other neat editing gimmicks (which are very useful), I found JBuilder's editing capabilities far superior to most other IDEs in the market today. A right-click in the main editing window allows you to set up and configure the editor to your heart's content. As shown in Figure 2, I set up the colors to my favorite theme. Shortcuts and meta keys can be completely reconfigured in a manner that Emacs users would be proud of. Other useful features I found included the ability to set up bookmarks, code insight options, and coding style.

    At the bottom of the main editing window is a set of tabs that made development so much easier. In a class design window, the tabs Source, Design, Bean, UML, Doc, and History are available (see Figure 2). This enables you to switch from writing code for designer wizards to writing code for Javadocs, UML-style class diagrams, or your source control system ­ while in the same window. The UML-based feature was most useful in documenting code and understanding existing code. The diagrams are linked via clickable references that allow you to navigate between classes. The shortcomings of the UML features are that there's no way to get the overall class diagram (you can only view one class at a time) and the diagrams can only be saved in .png format.

    Refactoring
    JBuilder 7 provides good support for refactoring, including finding references and definitions; optimizing imports; moving, renaming, and repackaging classes; surrounding existing code with try-catch blocks (very useful!); and extracting methods from existing code. These options are available through the right-click menu. The relevant ones can also be accessed via right-clicks in the Object Explorer window. I've used each of these features at some point in the development cycle. The refactoring support makes redesign and coding much easier.

    I could go on and on about the neat features that JBuilder provides. I've probably used about 20% of the functionality in its arsenal (remember the 80-20 rule). However, such details are beyond the scope of this review. In a nutshell, JBuilder is a great IDE for Java enterprise development that saved me a lot of development and debugging time in my projects while allowing me to manage the entire life cycle of my application.

    Borland JBuilder 7.0 Snapshot
    Target Audience: Enterprise Java developers
    Level: Medium to expert
    Pros:

  • Excellent editing features
  • Robust support for design and deployment of J2EE components, including EJBs, JavaBeans, Java servlets, and JSPs; visual EJB designer
  • Powerful J2EE component development wizards
  • Deployment support for popular application servers
  • Option to automatically generate Javadocs within the IDE
  • Excellent project management
  • Good support for refactoring
  • Excellent user interface, including intuitive and easy-to-use menus; visual designer for switching between source code and visual representation
  • Robust support for databases through DataExpress
  • Support for Ant builds and CVS, ClearCase, and VSS for source control
  • Support for XML parsing
  • Support for JDK 1.4
  • Support for Web services via a downloadable Web services kit

    Cons:

  • Multiple layers of panes require large real estate on the screen. It's very easy to open up too many windows, which leads to confusion
  • JBuilder is expensive as compared to other functional IDEs with similar features

    Borland
    100 Enterprise Way
    Scotts Valley, CA 95066-3249
    Phone: 831 431-1000
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.Borland.com

    Specifications
    Platforms: Windows 2000/NT/XP, Linux and Solaris, Mac OS X

    Test Environment
    Computer: Sony Vaio Laptop
    Processors: 1GHz Intel
    Memory: 512MB RAM
    Platform: Windows 2000, SP 2

  • More Stories By Ajit Sagar

    Ajit Sagar is Associate VP, Digital Transformation Practice at Infosys Limited. A seasoned IT executive with 20+ years experience across various facts of the industry including consulting, business development, architecture and design he is architecture consulting and delivery lead for Infosys's Digital Transformation practice. He was also the Founding Editor of XML Journal and Chief Editor of Java Developer's Journal.

    Comments (9)

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


    IoT & Smart Cities Stories
    Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
    In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
    Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
    Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
    René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
    Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
    If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
    Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
    When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
    Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...