Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Oracle Authors: Lori MacVittie, David Sprott, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Ken Fogel

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
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, will discuss how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust I...
After making a doctor’s appointment via your mobile device, you receive a calendar invite. The day of your appointment, you get a reminder with the doctor’s location and contact information. As you enter the doctor’s exam room, the medical team is equipped with the latest tablet containing your medical history – he or she makes real time updates to your medical file. At the end of your visit, you receive an electronic prescription to your preferred pharmacy and can schedule your next appointment.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia 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, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dr...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation 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. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microservices, and more.
The list of ‘new paradigm’ technologies that now surrounds us appears to be at an all time high. From cloud computing and Big Data analytics to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT), today we have to deal with what the industry likes to call ‘paradigm shifts’ at every level of IT. This is disruption; of course, we understand that – change is almost always disruptive.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SafeLogic has been named “Bag Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SafeLogic provides security products for applications in mobile and server/appliance environments. SafeLogic’s flagship product CryptoComply is a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine designed to secure data on servers, workstations, appliances, mobile devices, and in the Cloud.
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabilities include HD voice, video, multimedia messaging, mobility, conferencing, Web collaboration, deskt...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold 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 City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco and our partners are building the platform for the Internet of Everything by connecting the...
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things compatible devices.
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed expressly to run Docker. He will also discuss Rancher, an orchestration and service discovery platf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.