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What are your Favorite J2EE IDEs - free or otherwise

Stephen Peterson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 25, 2000
Posts: 33
I've been using IBM Visual Age for Java 3.5, , with JFacgtor by instantiations but now it is just too old, been discontinued using jdk 2.2 is a real hassle.
I've experimented with Eclipse v2.1 for a few weeks now, have the Tomcat plugin, have stepped through my webapp inside Tomcat with the debugger, and it works. But I really miss the refactoring support and navigation to declarations and references that VAJ had.
I downloaded Intellij IDEA for the 30-day trial, and now the clock is ticking. My manager thinks IBM WSAD5 is the preferred alternative. I was told to ignore the fact that IBM charges $3500 vs $700 for Intellij, since it isn't my money. The trial version of that is 1.6GB download, vs 33 mb download for Intellij. 5mins vs 3-hrs on broadband connection. I wonder which one will be quicker to install after download, and easier to learn? Hmmm.
Plus I keep running into Intellij zeolots who have used it and love it.
Has anyone switched from Intellij to WSAD5 who can tell me if I will be missing anything?
I use a very few simple JSPs, and no EJBs in my webapps.

United Health Group<BR>Hartford, CT, USA
Andy Bowes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 14, 2003
Posts: 171
Hi Stephen
We have WSAD5 as the standard platform where I work but most of us use IntelliJ IDEA rather than WSAD as it is just so much more productive. It's support for refactoring , version control, Ant integration etc is just in a different league to WSAD.
I you are not using EJB's then the choice is even simpler as WSAD does help generate the WebSphere EJB deployment descriptor. It's the only time I would use WSAD instead of IDEA.
At the end of the day an IDE is basically a glorified text editor and you need to find the one that makes you as productive as possible. I am sure that your manager would be keen to get the equivalent of an extra few days per month productivity from each of his development team (quite a persuasive argument ).
As far as free editors go you can't really beat the new version of Eclipse but if you have money to spend then I'd go for IDEA (in fact it's one of very few tools that I have actually purchased with my own money)
Andy Bowes

Andy Bowes<br />SCJP, SCWCD<br />I like deadlines, I love the whoosing noise they make as they go flying past - Douglas Adams
Russell Castagnaro

Joined: May 16, 2003
Posts: 2
I used to be a Kawa fan, but they were bought and buried by a larger company (who was also bought and buried).
Intellij is a truly great IDE. I'd recommend it to anyone as it is incredible flexible. Works with ant and cvs natively, and has lots of plugins that really enhance the tool. All for much less than similar IDE's
Lasse Koskela

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
Originally posted by Stephen Peterson:
But I really miss the refactoring support and navigation to declarations and references that VAJ had.

My Eclipse (2.1) has "Open declaration" under the right mouse button... I think there is an accelerator for it too. Might have been ctrl-click or shift-click (can't be bothered to check

Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Does the Sun One Web Services Developer Platform have the features you all have mentioned i.e refactoring etc.
I imagine this would be the choice if you were developing on a Unix + Solaris platform.
[ May 18, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: What are your Favorite J2EE IDEs - free or otherwise
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