JavaNetBeans IDE 6.9 Release Adds JavaFX Composer and PHP Tools

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One of the questions asked prior to Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems was whether or not the NetBeans IDE would continue under Oracle ownership. This week, Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) gave the market a definitive answer with the release of NetBeans IDE 6.9.

NetBeans is a competitive environment to the open source Eclipse IDE, which Oracle also backs. A new version of Eclipse is due out later this month.

With NetBeans IDE 6.9, Oracle is expanding the open source IDE beyond its core Java roots with the new JavaFX Composer. The composer is a rapid application development (RAD) plugin for NetBeans intended to enable development of JavaFX applications.

JavaFX is a rich Internet application (RIA) development platform that was originally intended as a challenger to AJAX. In December 2009, prior to the close of the acquisition, Sun provided developers with the first details about the JavaFX composer effort.

With JavaFX Composer in NetBeans IDE 6.9, Oracle is delivering on that early promise. According to Oracle’s release on NetBeans IDE 6.9, the included JavaFX Composer enables visual editing of form-based interfaces and provides enhanced JavaFX Script editing.

Oracle did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

With the NetBeans IDE 6.9 release, the IDE has also been improved with Java hints to help developers in various areas to be more efficient. Additionally, support for JavaEE 6, which debuted in NetBeans 6.8, has been expanded.

The new release also expands support for Open Services Gateway Initiative (OSGi) with the bundling of the Apache Felix container.

In addition to the new Java-focused features, NetBeans IDE 6.9 is extending its support for non-Java languages as well.

Improved PHP code completion and formatting extend NetBeans support for PHP, a language the NetBeans IDE has supported since at least the 6.5 release.

NetBeans has made subsequent improvement in later releases, including the 6.7 and 6.8 releases.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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