Contact us
10 minutes read

Almost every year Java is predicted to disappear from charts of top web development languages, yet each year, it doesn’t happen. Having no competitors in matters of trust and stability, the “immortal Java” is updated every 6 months regardless of disasters and pandemics, making Java one of the most popular choices among programmers and businesses.

To create secure and robust applications and boost productivity, software developers rely on their preferred editors for Java.

As a Java outsourcing company, we decided to rank the 8 best Java IDEs that will serve as an amazing tool to tackle projects of any size with confidence.

But first of all,

What are Integrated Development Environments or IDEs?

Integrated Development Environments are software applications that provide comprehensive tools and features for software development in one unified interface.

IDEs offer an integrated environment where software developers can write, test, debug, and deploy code without switching between multiple applications.

Key features of IDEs include a debugger, code editor, project management, compiler/interpreter, version control integration, code templates and snippets, plugins and extensions, and build, and refactoring tools.

Types of Java IDEs

There are different types of Java IDEs, catering to different development scenarios and programmers’ needs. They include:

1. Standard IDEs

Standard IDEs provide all-in-one solutions for Java development, offering features like code editors, debuggers, and project management tools. IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and NetBeans are examples of standard IDEs.

2. Lightweight IDEs

 Contrary to standard IDEs, lightweight IDEs are simpler and consume fewer resources, making them suitable for developers looking for a streamlined coding experience without excessive features. For example, JCreator and DrJava.

3. Web-Based IDEs

 These IDEs operate in web browsers, allowing developers to code and collaborate online without installing any software. They provide flexibility and accessibility, making them ideal for remote teams. Examples include JDoodle and Codenvy.

4. Text Editors

 While not full-fledged IDEs, advanced text editors like Visual Studio Code and Sublime Text offer powerful Java development features through extensions and plugins. They are lightweight and highly customizable.

5. Educational IDEs

Educational IDEs such as BlueJ and Greenfootare specifically designed for teaching and learning Java programming. They often include visual tools and tutorials to assist beginners. 

6. Mobile IDEs

 These IDEs are specialized for Java mobile application development (Android). They offer tools and emulators for testing mobile apps. Examples include Android Studio and IntelliJ IDEA with Android Plugin.

What Makes a Great Java IDE for Choice?

When choosing the best IDE for Java, one should consider the following criteria:

  • Performance

Top Java IDE is high-performant, it quickly responds regardless of the size of your project.

  • Features

Java editors often offer a plethora of features, ranging from debugging tools to version control systems and beyond. It's essential to find a platform that aligns with your specific project needs and personal preferences.

  • Community Support

Regardless of the tool you choose, whether it's a language, framework, or IDE, having a robust developer community can greatly enhance your experience. 

  • Learning Curve

IDEs vary in complexity, with some being more user-friendly than others. When selecting a platform for your project, it's vital to assess your own skills and adaptability. Consider your ability to learn quickly and evaluate whether you can effectively navigate different tools before making your choice.

Top 8 Best Java IDEs & Editors

# IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ is undoubtedly one of the most advanced and popular Integrated Development Environments for Java and a bunch of other languages. This IDE is developed and maintained by JetBrains and is available as a community and ultimate edition. It is really rich in features that enable fast development and help to improve code quality.

IntelliJ IDEA

Main Features of IntelliJ IDEA

  • AI Assistant

This functionality can make your daily tasks much easier. AI assistant offers integrated AI chat and can automatically write documentation comments for you, generate commit messages, suggest names, and more.

  • Language Injections

IntelliJ IDEA lets developers work with elements of code in other languages embedded into their code. Users won’t notice a major difference between working with the core Java code and the code that is injected. The tool can highlight the injected code, and provide error detection and other coding assistance features for embedded fragments of code. 

  • Smart Code Completion

IntelliJ IDEA can provide context-sensitive code completion, proposing developer suggestions that are only valid for the caret position. This means that there is no need to use any shortcuts or play with additional configuration. The code completion starts at the same time as you start typing your code in this editor. Also, it is worth noting that IntelliJ IDEA uses machine learning to make sure that the most relevant suggestions are on top of the list of proposed options for automatic code completion. 

  • The Problems Tool Window

This feature displays issues found by the IDE in your project. It covers problems from project-wide analysis, Qodana code checks, or manual inspections. It also demonstrates the results of risky API checks. Each issue found is supported with a report that contains a short description, options to fix the issue or suppress inspections, and even more.

  • Live Templates

Live templates are yet another useful feature that helps to increase the speed of coding. Users can type in an abbreviation that is predefined in the template and the tool will insert standard code constructs into your project. There is also a space for customization since you can build your own templates for snippets of code that you frequently use. 

  • Code Duplicates Detection

IntelliJ IDEA can find and replace code repetitions in your project. You just need to specify the search scope and the tool will look for the code that is similar to the selected method or constant field and replace those repeated elements with calls to the original method or constant. 

# Eclipse

Eclipse integrated development environment is a very popular software development platform featuring numerous development tools and features designed to streamline the development process. It was launched back in 2001 as an open-source project and evolved into one of the most widely used IDEs not only for Java but also for Python and C++ programming.


Main Features of Eclipse

  • Simplified Interface

Eclipse is famous for its user-friendly interface and classic three-panel layout. The aforementioned layout consists of a code navigation pane, an editor pane in the middle, and a task pane on the right-hand side. This allows developers to manage their coding process, projects, and source files in a very efficient way.

  • Language Support

Eclipse is mostly known as a Java-specific IDE, but as stated few lines above, it supports a wide range of programming languages with the help of multiple extensions and plugins that can be found on an Eclipse Marketplace. 

  • Code Editing and Refactoring

Another key feature of Eclipse is its advanced built-in text editor. This feature has some standard capabilities one can expect from a code editor, like syntax highlighting or code completion. But there are some features that allow Eclipse to stand out from some of its competitors, like intelligent code suggestions or code refactoring tool that lets you rename variables, extract methods, and reorganize code blocks.

  • Project Management

This feature is something that really makes Eclipse unique – project management. Developers can use this IDE to create, import, and manage software projects in the same place. Even more, multiple projects can be managed and worked on at the same time within the same workspace, meaning that there is no need to switch between multiple systems.

# NetBeans

NetBeans IDE is a general-purpose development environment with a specific focus on Java. In addition, it also has a high-quality editor and tooling features for other popular languages such as PHP, JavaScript, or C/C++.


Main Features of NetBeans

  • Apache Maven Support

NetBeans users appreciate that they do not need to install any plugins to use Maven or import any projects but simply open them. The IDE will recognize any folder containing a POM file as a Maven project and then use the POM file as the NetBeans project definition.

  • “Out of the box” Usability

Despite its significant plugin ecosystem, you really don’t need that much to be installed or configured. 

  • Integration with Versioning Systems

Another unique feature is that NetBeans automatically lets you work easily and intuitively with a wide range of popular versioning systems without plugins, including Git, Mercurial, and Subversion. Plus, users can create, test, debug, deploy, and profile applications that will run on the Raspberry Pi, mobile phones, PDAs, set-top boxes, and other mobile and embedded systems.

  • Language-aware Editor

It’s worth mentioning that NetBeans also has robust editor features aimed at fast and effective coding, uncovering errors as you type, and assisting you with documentation popups and intelligent code completion. And everything happens with the speed of a simple text editor. More to that, NetBeans is able to indent lines, match words and brackets, or even highlight source code syntactically and semantically.

# Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but powerful source code editor that is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It comes with built-in support for JavaScript, TypeScript, and Node JS and has a solid ecosystem of extensions for other languages (such as C++, C#, Java, Python, PHP, and Go) and runtimes (such as .NET and Unity).

Visual Studio Code

Main Features of Visual Studio Code

  • Command Line

Visual Studio Code has an advanced command line interface that allows users to control how the editor is launched. You can open various files, install extensions, or even change the display language at the startup.-  Command Palette

VS Code can be fully accessible from the keyboard. The most crucial key combination to remember is Ctrl+Shift+P, which uncovers the Command Palette. There you have access to all VS Code functionalities for application development, including keyboard shortcuts for the most frequently used operations. 

  • Zen Mode

If you need to completely focus on your code, just turn the Zen Mode on and all distracting UI will be hidden except the editor. You won’t see Activity Bar, Status Bar, Side Bar, and Panel, but you will have the editor centered and opened on a full screen.

Users can open the Command Palette and select the Debug feature which will prompt them to select the environment that matches their project (Node.JS, Python, C++, etc). That will create a launch.json file. Node.JS support is built-in and other environments can be easily added after installation of the relevant language extensions.

# Codenvy

Codenvy is a cloud-based Java IDE that enables developers to collaborate on projects without local software installations. Derived from the open-source Eclipse Che project, it offers containerized workspaces, integrated Git version control, and supports various programming languages, making it ideal for remote collaboration and cloud-based development. 

Codenvy stands out as a SaaS solution, specifically designed for modern developers working in cloud-based environments. Codenvy provides both free and paid versions tailored for different team sizes.


Main Features of Codenvy

  • Integrated Git Version Control

Codenvy integrates Git version control, facilitating efficient code management, collaboration, and version tracking.

  • Virtual Workspaces

Developers can create virtual workspaces to collaborate on projects, enabling seamless teamwork and real-time code sharing.

  • Containerized Workspaces

Codenvy employs container technology, ensuring consistent development environments across various setups.

# JCreator

JCreator is one of the oldest and simplest Java IDEs which is a popular option for beginners due to its simple UI. However, it won’t allow you to work with the latest features of Java as its support only extends to Java 8, so think twice before opting for a paid version. JCreator is available only for Windows.


Main Features of JCreator

  • Wizards

JCreator incorporates user-friendly wizards that simplify the process of creating specific Java projects or components. These wizards are designed to guide developers through the setup and configuration steps, enabling quick and hassle-free project initiation.

  • Simplicity and Speed

JCreator is renowned for its simplicity, offering a clean and intuitive user interface. It focuses on essential features, ensuring a fast and efficient coding experience.

  • Code Editor

JCreator offers a robust code editor with syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and error checking, enhancing code readability and reducing errors.

# Oracle JDeveloper

Being developed by Oracle Corporation, Oracle JDeveloper is one of the most popular Java IDEs, specifically tailored for Java enterprise development and web development. It’s a robust and feature-rich Java IDE that seamlessly integrates with Oracle databases and offers tools for database development, schema modeling, and data manipulation.

Oracle JDeveloper

Main Features of Oracle JDeveloper

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware Integration

JDeveloper supports Oracle Fusion Middleware, allowing developers to create applications that seamlessly integrate with Oracle's middleware technologies.

  • Visual Debugger

Visual debugger simplifies the process of identifying and resolving issues within the code.

  • SOA and Web Services

JDeveloper offers tools for designing and developing Service-Oriented Architecture applications and web services, facilitating efficient integration and interoperability.

  • Extensibility

Developers can extend JDeveloper's functionality by creating custom extensions and plugins, tailoring the IDE to their specific requirements.

# Dr Java

Dr Java is one of the best IDE for Java beginners, frequently compared with such IDEs as Greenfoot and BlueJ. Its simplicity, lightweight, and interactivity make it one of the best Java editors, plus, it’s completely free.

Dr Java

Main Features of Dr Java

  • Simple Interface

DrJava boasts a clean and intuitive interface, making it ideal for beginners.

  • Interactive Mode

It enables developers to use an interactive console for real-time code execution. This feature is especially valuable for learning and experimenting with Java code snippets.

  • Automatic Compilation

The IDE automatically compiles code as you type, highlighting syntax errors and providing instant feedback, which helps users identify and fix issues quickly.

  • Powerful Debugger

It has a powerful debugger that supports breakpoints, step-through debugging, and variable inspection so that developers can trace and debug their Java programs effectively. 

  • JUnit Integration

By seamlessly integrating with JUnit, a popular Java testing framework, Dr Java allows developers to write and run unit tests within the IDE.

  • Educational Tools

DrJava includes features tailored for educational purposes, making it a popular choice in academic settings. It simplifies the learning process for students by providing educational tools and a beginner-friendly environment.

Which Java IDE is Best for You?

Choosing the best Java IDE not only boosts your development speed but also ensures that you can tackle projects of any size with confidence. 

Whether you prefer a feature-rich IDE like IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, or NetBeans, or a lightweight yet powerful text editor, these tools empower you to write efficient and error-free Java code.

If you’re a software developer, share the best Java development environment in the comment below.

If you are a business, partnering with an experienced Java outsourcing company like inVerita, will help you to build software products of any size and complexity, enhancing your technological initiatives and supporting you in achieving your business goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which IDE is ideal for beginners learning Java programming?
For beginners learning Java, user-friendly Java editors like IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and NetBeans are excellent choices. They offer intuitive interfaces, strong support for Java development, and helpful features that facilitate the learning process.
Is the functionality of an IDE limited to only one programming language?
No, modern IDEs are designed to support multiple programming languages. IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and Visual Studio Code, among others, offer versatility by accommodating various programming languages, making them suitable for diverse development tasks.
What are the reasons for using a Java IDE?
Using a Java IDE offers several advantages, including streamlined code development, intelligent code suggestions, easy debugging, and efficient project management. The most popular Java IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and NetBeans provide robust tools and features tailored specifically for Java programming, enhancing productivity and code quality for developers.
1 people like this

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Learn more
Thank you for getting in touch!
We'll get back to you soon.
Sending error!
Please try again later.
Thank you, your message has been sent.
Please try again later, or contact directly through email:
Format: doc, docx, rtf, txt, odt, pdf (5Mb max size)
Thank you, your message has been sent.
Please try again later, or contact directly through email: