The powerful NetBeans IDE started as a tool dedicated to Java developers and then extended over time to other languages such as PHP and Ruby. In fact, the NetBeans IDE also provides powerful support for UML (Unified Modeling Language), defined by Webopedia as “a general-purpose notational language for specifying and visualizing complex software, especially large, object-oriented projects.” The NetBeans UML plugin is easy to install and use; with only a few clicks, you can create models that are platform-independent as well as reverse engineer models for Java. However, NetBeans does not come with the UML plugin installed, so you need to manually download and install it or use the NetBeans Plugins wizard.
In his Java Boutique article, Constantin Marian Alin describes how to install the UML plugin for NetBeans IDE 6.8 (or later) and then explores its features. You will develop a simple Java application from scratch using a UML diagram. The idea is to create a UML diagram using the NetBeans UML plugin and then obtain the Java code of your application directly from the UML diagram.