Welcome!

Oracle Authors: Lori MacVittie, Avi Rosenthal, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Oracle, Java

Oracle: Article

Java Product Review — Oracle JDeveloper An IDE Worth a Second Look

It's never too late for a second chance at a first impression

As the saying goes you never get a second chance at a first impression. In general, that's true, but if you've been thoroughly revitalized, matured, and cosmetically re-engineered, shouldn't you get a second shot at that first impression? I'd argue that's true of Oracle's Java/J2EE Workbench, Oracle JDeveloper.

Starting out life as a code fork from Borland's JBuilder tool back in 1997, Oracle JDeveloper has had a fairly long history as a Java IDE, most of it in relative obscurity. Things have changed though. During JavaOne 2005, Oracle announced that Oracle JDeveloper would henceforth be free. This sparked interest, since JDeveloper always had areas of definite benefits over other tools but came with a price tag. Furthermore, over the last couple of years, Oracle has added rich support for all areas of Java and JEE development, especially in the case of the latest 10.1.3.1 rev released in October 2006 during Oracle OpenWorld.

This latest release supports JEE 5 standards such as EJB 3.0 and JSR-220 Java Persistence API, JSR-181 Web Service Annotations, as well as JavaServer Faces. It also brings a visual design time environment for creating Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) processes and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Services and features-enriched functionality for Java, XML, Web Services and Web application development. I'd like to invite you to take a brief tour to get that second look and a new first impression of Oracle JDeveloper.

Getting To Know Oracle JDeveloper
JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 can be downloaded from Oracle's Technology Network at http://oracle.com/technology//jdev (up to 420 MB). Installation only takes unzipping an archive. When running, JDeveloper's Studio Edition consumes a somewhat greedy 180 MB memory by just being there.

Plain Old Java Programming
Java IDEs are typically evaluated first and foremost on their ability to support pure Java programming. Oracle JDeveloper has a history riddled with wizards and frameworks and facilities for all kinds of development, but it tended to trail behind other prominent IDEs when it came to Plain Old Java Programming (POJP). With recent releases that gap has been closed and Oracle JDeveloper currently offers at least the same, if not more features, than can be found in alternative tools.

Built-in features include:

  • Refactoring - with options such as extract code fragment as method and extract interface or superclass
  • Code folding
  • Quick view of JavaDoc of referenced classes and methods
  • Code completion and code reformatting
  • User-customizable code snippets
  • Generation of bean accessors for properties
  • Smart import organization of classes and libraries
One feature I particularly like and frequently use is the CTRL+ - a key combination for "Go to Java Class." This brings up a window where developers can type in the name of a class or interface and navigate directly either to the source code or the JavaDoc.

Advanced tools found in Oracle JDeveloper, not generally part of the core of IDEs, include a code profiler to identify performance and memory hotspots, and an auditor that does quality control on Java source code - even on non-compilable code - according to predefined standards and guidelines. The profiler monitors and logs a running program's use of processor and memory resources and can be used to locate and correct inefficiencies. Developers can also use the profiler with the debugger and CodeCoach for efficient source code troubleshooting.

The march of Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs) seems unstoppable. With EJB 3.0, and particularly the Java Persistence API (JSR-220), as well as the Web Service annotations defined in JSR-181, a POJO can be easily promoted to an entity, persistently mapped to a database table or a Web Service simply by adding some annotations to the bean definition. JDeveloper will recognize these annotations and provide code completion support for them.

JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 also features wizards that can create entities (annotated POJOs) from selected tables and views in a database, or that can create a new entity. Currently there's no synchronizing support to realign entities and tables; however, given Oracle's leading role in the Dali Eclipse plug-in, I expect this feature to be added to a future version of Oracle JDeveloper.

The Web Service wizard allows easy publication of a POJO and selected methods as a Web Service; this wizard can add the JSR-181 annotations to the POJO, or create a WSDL document along with the WSIF binding definition.

Integration IDEb The biggest news with Oracle JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 is the Integrated Service Environment workbench. In particular, BPEL and ESB tooling is now fully integrated into JDeveloper.

There is a visual diagrammer with drag-and-drop component palettes and built-in wizards that help the developer design the BPEL processes. Wizards help create partner links for adapter services that link to external systems like (SOAP) Web Services, JMS, file system and FTP servers, MQ Series and databases (SQL or Oracle PL/SQL). The BPEL process is created by dragging BPEL activities such as pick, flow, invoke, reply, and assign to the diagram and configuring them through wizard screens. The invoke and reply steps are connected to the partner links with external services. A BPEL process can be deployed directly to the Oracle BPEL Process Manager from within the JDeveloper IDE (see Figure 1).

Oracle JDeveloper can also generate test cases for BPEL processes in which partner link response messages and workflow outcomes can be emulated prior to deployment in a production environment. This helps ensure that a process interacts with Web Service partners as expected by the time it's ready for deployment to a production environment.

In late October 2006, Oracle released its ESB as part of its SOA Suite. Oracle JDeveloper provides the design time for the ESB, and ESB router services typically consist of inbound services, routing and transformation rules and outbound services. The router service is constructed visually, using drag and drop, as well the same adapter service wizards used for developing BPEL processes. The transformation of messages in the ESB is done using an XSLT transformation. Oracle JDeveloper has a particularly useful tool that makes creating the XSLT document a simple, highly visual task, using drag and drop from source (inbound) XSD to the target XSD document.

Deploying the ESB is a two-click process using a predefined connection to the application server that hosts the ESB.

The first impression in developing ESB services is that it works very well - even though this is just a 1.0 release of the technology.

I2DE - Integrated IDE
Some integrated development environments (IDE) are more integrated than others. Oracle JDeveloper is much more than a Java programming tool. Integrated into its core Java IDE are a host of other IDEs such as:

  • XML development - visual editors for XSD, XSLT, XQuery, WSDL, and support for debugging XSLT
  • Web development - visual editors for CSS, as well as WYSIWYG editors for HTML, JSP, JSF (pages and config) and ADF Faces (a k a Apache MyFaces Trinidad), Struts (config) and Applets and an HTTP Analyzer for analysis of the packets sent across the wire for Web Services and Web applications
  • J2EE development - wizards for EJB, Web Services, and the built-in OC4J Application Server to deploy J2EE artifacts quickly, as well as very easy remote debugging of both Web and J2EE applications. JDeveloper also provides an IDE for Oracle TopLink - one of the premium tools for object-relational mapping
  • Database development - editors and diagrammers for tables, database browsers, SQL worksheets, data viewer for all JDBC-powered databases as well as programming and debugging support for PL/SQL - the Oracle database's stored procedural language
  • UML modeling - diagrammers for activity, class (with code synchronization), sequence and use case diagrams
  • Integration - visual modeling, testing. and deploying Web Services, BPEL processes, and ESB services
These various IDEs work together and are blended in the overall IDE. Together they share connections (database, application server, UDDI, WebDAV), a project definition with path-setup, library associations, and deployment profiles. Generic tools include a property palette, a structure window, debugger, and a task manager. JDeveloper integrates with various application servers - WebLogic, Tomcat, JBoss, OC4J, and Oracle Application Server for one-click deployment, and also provides powerful Ant integration (see Figure 2).

Check for Updates/Extensions
No matter how rich an IDE may be it's never complete out-of-the-box. Like other IDEs, Oracle JDeveloper has an automated mechanism for installing extensions - the JDeveloper term for what other IDEs call plug-ins - that's also used in updating the IDE itself with patches and service updates.

However, there's obviously only a limited set of extensions available for Oracle JDeveloper, since most of the functionality is already built-in and pre-integrated. While that may mean a little less choice, it most certainly saves a lot of time and money otherwise spent on acquiring the collection of plug-ins offering the same functionality only to find them far less well integrated than one would hope for.

Some useful extensions - that you might have expected to come pre-integrated - include unit testing with JUnit and support for AspectJ and Subversion.

Installing and upgrading extensions is effortless; however, downgrading or de-installing extensions requires developers to disable the extension and remove the archive from the file system.

Oracle Frameworks for Productive Java Development
Oracle JDeveloper is frequently known for its built-in frameworks, such as ADF Business Components - a SQL-oriented framework for mapping between Java applications and relational databases - and ADF Model - a data-binding infrastructure based on JSR-227. While these frameworks can add tremendous productivity, such as the drag-and-drop development of a database-bound JSF application, they are often regarded with some suspicion, because people see them as too proprietary and closed.

Every organization needs to make its own judgment about using these frameworks. They should take into account that these frameworks lower the barrier considerably for doing (productive) J2EE development, allowing less-experienced developers to make substantial contributions to development efforts. Furthermore, Oracle is using these frameworks to develop Fusion Applications, virtually guaranteeing their continued support and enhancement. Applications developed with these frameworks are J2EE-compliant and can be installed on various application servers.

Conclusion
The new 10.1.3.1 release of Oracle JDeveloper has a lot to offer with functionality that extends far beyond what one would normally expect from a Java IDE. One of its key strengths is its out-of-the-box richness, comprehensive feature set, and tight integration. No need for searching, acquiring, and installing a lot of plug-ins.

In the past there's been a lot of prejudice concerning Oracle JDeveloper: not being suitable for Plain Old Java development, only supporting proprietary Oracle development, being too expensive, etc. However, Oracle JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 is free, allows - but by no means necessitates - using Oracle-specific frameworks, and has scores and scores of features that even the most hardcore Java programmer will appreciate. Support for SOA, XML, Web, database, UML, and J2EE is an added bonus.

If you haven't looked at Oracle JDeveloper in a while, you'll definitely want to take a second look now. Installation only takes unzipping an archive. Oracle JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 is free and available for download at: http://oracle.com/technology//jdev.

More Stories By Lucas Jellema

Lucas Jellema (Oracle ACE) is CTO at AMIS, an Oracle, Java and SOA Technology Consulting firm based in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. Apart from being a technical architect and workshop instructor, he is a regular presenter at international conferences on topics such as BPEL, EJB 3.0, AJAX and Java Server Faces, Oracle’s ADF (Application Development Framework) and productive application development in general.

Comments (2) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
JDJ News Desk 01/03/07 05:59:54 PM EST

As the saying goes you never get a second chance at a first impression. In general, that's true, but if you've been thoroughly revitalized, matured, and cosmetically re-engineered, shouldn't you get a second shot at that first impression? I'd argue that's true of Oracle's Java/J2EE Workbench, Oracle JDeveloper.

JDJ News Desk 01/02/07 07:52:42 PM EST

As the saying goes you never get a second chance at a first impression. In general, that's true, but if you've been thoroughly revitalized, matured, and cosmetically re-engineered, shouldn't you get a second shot at that first impression? I'd argue that's true of Oracle's Java/J2EE Workbench, Oracle JDeveloper.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.