NetBeans Vs Eclipse: Which IDE Is Better For Java Application

Here we will explore and compare NetBeans Vs Eclipse Java IDEs and understand various advantages of Eclipse vs NetBeans Java with examples:

Integrated programming interface offers a structured development environment to develop complex applications. It has an editor that has in-build code assistance with shortcut keys, syntax validations, coloring syntax.

Various features IDEs offer are listed below:

  • Open Source
  • Support for servers
  • Compatibility to version control
  • Cross-platform
  • Support for multiple languages
  • In-built debugger
  • Plug-In support

Java IDEs – NetBeans Vs Eclipse

Eclipse vs NetBeans IDE for Java

We will discuss and compare widely popular IDEs – Eclipse Vs NetBeans for Java in this article. We have taken the reference of NetBeans version 12.0 and Eclipse version 4.17 to compare both IDEs NetBeans vs Eclipse for Java-based application development.


It is mandatory to install Java Development Kit–JDK version 1.8 or higher as a basic prerequisite before installation of either Eclipse or NetBeans IDE.

JDK contains Java Runtime Environment JRE, compiler to compile Java program source code that gets converted into byte code which can be run using JRE, debugger to validate the portion of code for unit testing and has a Java API that consists of built-in classes, that are pre-compiled and provide various functionalities. These classes can be imported into the source codes of the application.

Recommended Reading =>> How To Download, Install And Configure Java

What Is Eclipse

Eclipse is an open-source Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that can be used to develop software applications using editor along with various plug-ins for C/C++, JavaScript/ TypeScript, PHP, Java, HTML5 as well as Python programming languages.

=> Click here for the official site to download Eclipse IDE.

eclipse IDE - NetBeans Vs Eclipse

Advantages Of Using Eclipse

The advantages are as follows:

#1) The unique advantage of using Eclipse as an IDE is its Plug-in Development Environment (PDE) that contains UI – editors, tools and models, API tools – that help document and maintain APIs, and Build which are Ant-based scripts/tools to automate the build process.

These help in design, debug, test, build and deploy Eclipse plug-ins, features, fragments, and developing a rich client platform using Eclipse.

Plug-ins installed in Eclipse:


#2) Modeling framework support in Eclipse that helps serialization – conversion of a stream of bytes to store object and passing into a file, database or memory in any of the formats such as XML, JSON, Database, Model Repository, Graphical and CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) editing, to develop UML projects application using Eclipse-based modeling framework on the structured data model.

Eclipse support for Modeling Framework:

Eclipse-based modeling framework

#3) Perspective feature in Eclipse IDE controls–what project, folder, or file to be displayed in the model layer and what actions or views to be seen in the user interface layer. Java perspective contains package, hierarchy, outline, and tasks view that help in Java development.

Perspective feature in Eclipse:

Perspective feature in Eclipse

#4) Remote debugging is one of the unique features offered by Eclipse that allows debugging the code on a remote server and has supported by the compatible JVM for debugging. IDE offers recommendations and suggestions in case compiling results in error.

#5) Eclipse Marketplace Client feature offers solutions and support from open source community like codes, patches, plug-ins, and provides rich client solution P2 repository from Eclipse installation.

Eclipse Marketplace - NetBeans Vs Eclipse

#6) Eclipse IDE is recommended for automating test environments as various plug-in like selenium web driver, Ant, continuous integration software like Jenkins, Bamboo, Team City, etc. as well as Mobile Testing suite like Appium Studio support.

#7) Eclipse assists with documentation and help during code design, test, and debug. It supports integration with Maven and Git repository for deploying and maintaining various builds and versions of application code.

What Is NetBeans

Apache NetBeans offers a development environment and framework to build software applications in Java SE, PHP, and HTML5 and integrate with external tools and services, mainly used by beginners in the programming/development domain.

=> Click here to download Apache NetBeans IDE.

netbeans - NetBeans Vs Eclipse

Advantages Of Using NetBeans

The advantages are as follows:

#1) NetBeans IDE comes with a profiler – a custom dashboard that displays SQL queries, locks, threads, memory, and CPU consumed per process/activities, that help solve performance and memory issues and modify code accordingly.

#2) NetBeans IDE has native support for JavaFX – Java library to build desktop and rich Internet applications with 2D, 3D shapes, effects, animation, UI controls, charts, and media support.

JavaFX feature in NetBeans:

JavaFX feature in NetBeans

#3) Native support for Ant, Maven, and Gradle – build automation tool helps quickly build Java-based applications in NetBeans IDE, Eclipse IDE requires installing a respective plug-in to work with these build tools.

#4) Inbuilt support for Subversion, Git, Mercurial–version control tools in NetBeans IDE allows integrating, deliver and deployment of applications build using NetBeans IDE.

#5) NetBeans has built-in drag-and-drop features to develop graphical user interface applications using the Swing framework in Java.

#6) NetBeans IDE comes with native support for Glassfish, Tomcat, and Java EE Servers to develop web applications, web services, and enterprise applications in Java. Eclipse IDE requires configuration steps and add a server runtime environment in order to integrate servers in IDE.

#7) Code compare feature in NetBeans IDE allow the developer to compare differences if any between two files of the same code in different versions, Eclipse requires installing the plug-in to include this feature.

#8) NetBeans IDE provides unit testing templates for applications developed in C & C++ language and specify test framework – JUnit or TestNG to create unit tests for Java code developed in NetBeans IDE.

#9) Refactoring built-in support is present in NetBeans IDE that renames classes and variables and any dependent classes quickly.

Comparison Between NetBeans Vs Eclipse

Eclipse and NetBeans are the most commonly used Integrated Development Environment (IDEs) to design, build, test and deploy Java applications and frameworks, compared for their features.

Open source Java development platform for Java, C/C++, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Python, Java Script and Scala.Supports developing PHP, Java Script, C/C++ and all JavaFX, JavaEE, Java ME, Swing and web applications.
Eclipse uses compiler other than Java Javac compiler, thereby allows running broken code with unresolved errors and display more warning and errors compared to javac compiler.NetBeans IDE use Javac compiler present in JDK installed on the client machine for compiling of Java source code.
Eclipse IDE for Java EE and web developer tools are required to install in order to support Java EE and Java based web development.Developing Java enterprise application development like JSP and Servlet is simpler than in Eclipse IDE.
It has different windows and perspectives for designing various applications, requires external plug-in to be integrated, hence requires with hands on experience in plug-in configuration.It has simple and single view to develop all the application and is easy to learn, hence is suitable for beginners in Java application development.
Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) to develop Java classes from UML model requires good understanding of XML and UML use cases.NetBeans IDE does not have inbuilt support for modeling and requires installing EMF SDK, OSGi bundle and Ecore Tools.
Eclipse has JDBC driver support but needs to configure them before working with database.NetBeans has built-in drivers for MySQL and Oracle.
Eclipse IDE requires M2Eclipse download and integration for Maven support.NetBeans has better Maven support compared to Eclipse.
Eclipse IDE takes less time opening itself compared to NetBeans IDE.NetBeans IDE takes more time to load IDE compared with Eclipse

Frequently Asked Questions

Q #1) Which is the best IDE for Java?

Answer: Both Eclipse and NetBeans are the best IDEs used in order to develop Java applications. When developers are new to the development environment, a single view for all the types of applications, with a build-in plug-in for many functionalities and a stable framework of NetBeans IDE, is preferred.

Q #2) Is Eclipse preferred over NetBeans for Java?

Answer: Eclipse IDE is preferred amongst developers as there exist external plugins for every desired functionality to be incorporated in the application, auto code completion, syntax check, refactoring wizard, and support for C, C++, C#, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Groovy in addition to Java makes Eclipse preferred choice as IDE.

Q #3) How to overcome OutOfMemoryErrors while running Eclipse IDE?

Answer: The solution to OutOfMemoryError is to increase the size of heap memory of Eclipse using -Xms and -Xmx JVM options for Java heap size.

  • You can update the Eclipse shortcut OR
  • add -vmargs into the Eclipse.ini file.

Eclipse.ini file containing heap size commands:


Q #4) Where can I find a listing of existing plug-ins in Eclipse IDE?

Answer: You can quickly view the already installed plug-in in Eclipse by selecting from the menu, Help –> About Eclipse IDE –> Installation Details, which opens another window, select Plug-ins tab. This will display the name of the plug-in provider, name, version, id of the plug-in.

Q #5) What Java-based applications can be developed with NetBeans IDE?

Answer: NetBeans IDE helps in creating Java standalone desktop applications, graphical user interface using drag-and-drop swing containers/controls and AWT elements, JavaFX UI, web applications, web services, Enterprise applications in Java.

Further reading =>> How to use NetBeans IDE to create Java Applications

Q #6) What are modular applications in NetBeans IDE?

Answer: Module or application built on NetBeans platform are applications developed for implementing user interface, business logic, and various functionality through applications using NetBeans.

Q #7) How can we connect Oracle Database from NetBeans IDE?

Answer: Oracle JDBC Thin driver is a standalone Java-based platform-independent driver that allows a direct connection with Oracle Database, but requires ojdbc6.jar installed in your system. Whereas another option is that the Oracle OCI driver can communicate with the database using Oracle’s native client libraries. You may need both drivers installed for NetBeans IDE.

Q #8) How do I get help and support from the open-source community while developing applications using Eclipse?

Answer: You can download and search plug-ins and look for support from the open-source community from Eclipse Projects and Eclipse Marketplace. Official Eclipse FAQ and Wiki are online sites available to get assistance while designing applications using Eclipse.

Q #9) How can you distinguish between changes carried out in the source editor of NetBeans IDE with Git version control system?

Answer: Color-coding is used in Source Editor’s margin.

These are as follows:

  • Blue: It shows there is a change in the lines since the earlier revision.
  • Red: It shows that some lines have been removed since earlier revision.
  • Green: It shows the line of code or syntax has been added since earlier revision.

Q #10) How can we upgrade Eclipse IDE?

Answer: You can follow the steps below:

Click on Window -> Preferences -> Install/Update -> Available Software Sites, Click ‘Add’


Help -> Check for Updates. If updates are found, proceed through the install wizard and restart the IDE, in order to verify the IDE upgrade.

Q #11) Can we develop an application in Python language using Eclipse IDE?

Answer: After installing Eclipse IDE on your system, you can install the PyDev plugin from Eclipse Marketplace

Steps: Go to Help –> Eclipse Marketplace –> enter PyDev in find text field –> Click on the Install button to install PyDev plug-in for python.

Q #12) Which particular version of Eclipse is required for Selenium Web Driver?

Answer: It is required to design a test case/script or program to automate in order to run the web-based application, using Java programming language. Click here to download Eclipse IDE for Java Developers.


There are many Integrated Development Environments (IDE) used by software developers to quickly develop applications utilizing IDE’s features to design, debug, compile, test and deploy features of developed functionalities as expected.

The comparison between the most commonly used native Java development developing platforms – NetBeans and Eclipse on the basis of their unique features are described in this article.