The Java programming language is very popular for the app development process. It was first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995 and quickly rose to fame. Also, Java is platform-independent, meaning it is not tied to any specific hardware or operating system.

It is designed to be a high-level and object-oriented language. Java development allows developers to create robust applications and programs. Nowadays, Java is the basis for a variety of apps including web and mobile add-ons. Plus, devs use it to make games, enterprise software, etc.

Furthermore, you can have Java code in a basic code editor. However, a good Java IDE can help you increase productivity. Each IDE has its own set of features and capabilities, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.

The best IDE for Java – An Overview

Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is the key element for creating a software project.

An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities for software development. It typically includes a source code editor, build automation tools, and a debugger.

IDEs are designed to maximize programmer productivity. To that end, they provide tight-knit components with similar user interfaces.

Java IDEs come with a range of features that allow users to develop apps quickly and efficiently.

The list includes features like code completion, syntax highlighting, and debugging. Refactoring and code refactoring, are some of the extra features of Java IDEs.

Which IDE Is a Good Java IDE for Your Software Development?

The best IDE for Java should include features that will benefit your current project.

Hence, every integrated development environment for Java has its own unique features. Generally, the platform should incorporate:

  • A user-friendly interface that allows the user to customize the development IDE to fit their own coding style
  • Ways to approve syntax highlighting
  • To offer automatic code completion and syntax validation
  • To provide a highly capable debugger
  • Options for code refactoring and shortcuts
  • Allow for real-time data updates

Top 13 Java Ides

Many IDEs offer a wide range of tools and features. Hence, they can help Java programmers write better code faster.

They often include things like code completion, refactoring tools, code analysis, debugging, etc.

Other IDEs may not offer such a wide range of tools and features but may be more affordable or easier to use.

They may also be better suited for certain languages or frameworks. Thus, the choice mostly comes down to your specific needs regarding the project in question.

The Eclipse Platform

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Eclipse is a powerful, open-source, multi-language development environment that supports various platforms. For example, you can use it on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris. Created by IBM Software Group in 1998, it was made to dominate the IDE market. It is considered to be one of the top Java IDEs overall.

The Eclipse platform holds 48% of the total IDE market share. Its user score is 4.8 and 92% of users stated that they are satisfied with its functionality.

Furthermore, you can use it for enterprise-level web development too. So, it has tools for creating large-scale applications. It also has features for developing mobile and cloud apps. Eclipse provides an IDE for Java, C/C++, JavaScript, PHP, and other languages.

Aside from that, Eclipse also supports XML, HTML, and CSS. Eclipse also provides an integrated development environment for developing and managing software projects. Additionally, Eclipse provides over 100 plugins. Lastly, this Java IDE also has plugin development tools.


  • It offers ready-for-you code templates
  • Automatically validates syntax for Windows OS
  • Eclipse backs code refactoring
  • It allows remote management for your project
  • It offers an adaptable interface
  • Plenty of plugins that expand its functionality are available

IntelliJ Idea

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IntelliJ IDEA is a Java-integrated development environment for making computer software. It is a commercial product, developed and marketed by JetBrains. Also, IntelliJ IDEA is primarily designed for Java development.

The app provides advanced code completion, static code analysis, refactoring, and debugging. It also supports other languages like Groovy, Kotlin, and Scala. IntelliJ IDEA provides users with powerful and intuitive tools for rapid development. It includes a graphical UI designer, version control, GUI builders, and more.


  • IntelliJ IDEA has a smart code completion tool that makes Java programming easy
  • IntelliJ IDEA supports ultra-modern debugging tools which increase efficacy when using Java
  • Reliable server integration
  • The commercial edition offers tools like Perforce integration, duplicate detection, database tools, etc.


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NetBeans is one of the best Java IDE cross-platform software. It is also a free Java IEDs software development tool. NetBeans offers features such as a graphical user interface builder, advanced text editor, etc.

It is used for developing Java applications, HTML5, JavaScript, and PHP. It also supports a wide range of technologies. Those include Java EE, JavaFX, Java ME, and C/C++. Plus, it supports dynamic and mobile web applications, as well as various web frameworks. In addition, NetBeans has a plugin system for plugging in third-party components. NetBeans supports many application servers, such as Apache Tomcat, GlassFish, JBoss, and others.

NetBeans functions are divided into modules. Each module offers specific features like Java language support and editing.


  • NetBeans also has a powerful debugger that allows you to inspect variables and step through code at runtime
  • NetBeans also has an intuitive GUI builder that lets you create Swing applications via drag-and-drop
  • NetBeans also offers an extensive set of plugins. Hence, it offers database access and web services
  • NetBeans has a wide range of project templates that make it easy to develop new apps
  • It comes with a built-in version control system that allows you to easily manage different versions of your code
  • It allows Java developers to restructure the code without crashing it
  • Has a smart code completion feature
  • Has a tool for analyzing the source code
  • It supports multiple languages


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MyEclipse is a complete-featured Java IDE created within the Eclipse platform. It uses free source code and a practical set of features. Hence it is a reliable tool for creating compelling applications. Some of those features include Maven, Java EE, Spring, and WebSphere.


  • It offers syntax coloring
  • It allows you to accurately manage breakpoints
  • Provides a strong debugger
  • Easy and fast file opening to run the code
  • You can directly code from the browser
  • The Tomcat server is integrated into this Java IDE
  • MyEclipse has an extensive library and wizards


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JCreator is a lightweight Java IDE. Coded with C++, it is perhaps the quickest among other Java IDEs. Its interface has a lot of similarities with those of Microsoft Visual Studio. Hence, JCreator’s smart layout makes source code navigation effortless.

It is designed to provide a streamlined experience for developers of all levels, from beginner to advanced. This impressive IDE for Java supports many JDK profiles and has API instructions too.


  • JCreator provides features like an editor, compiler, project manager, debugger, and code profiler
  • It has a source code browser, an integrated library and class browser, and a (GUI) designer
  • The IDE allows users to customize the appearance of the editor
  • JCreator is an IDE that simplifies the process of compiling and running a Java program. It automatically finds the file containing the main method
  • Due to its coding in C++, JCreator is the quickest Java IDE
  • The dominant user interface makes navigating the source code simple


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If you are a novice in the coding industry then this Java IDE is a premium choice for you. BlueJ is meant to be an easy, entry-level Java IDE. Its primary design was for learning purposes. Nowadays, Java developers are utilizing it for small-scale Java applications.


  • BlueJ has a user-friendly interface that you can freely tailor
  • This Java cross-platform IDE allows developers to work from anywhere
  • A great companion for students learning OOP
  • The built-in library of tutorials and sample projects is very handy
  • The editor provides syntax highlighting, code completion, and auto-formatting
  • It allows programmers to scan the code visually and design vital objects


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It is designed to help users quickly and efficiently write, compile, and debug Java programs. DrJava features an intuitive interface and a powerful static code analysis tool. So, it allows users to quickly inspect their code for errors.

Additionally, DrJava includes a unit testing tool. This tool acts as a base for testing code so you can ensure you’re heading in the right direction. On top of that, DrJava includes a code completion tool that can quickly suggest and autocomplete code snippets.


  • Compatible with various platforms
  • Quickly produce documentation with the JavaDoc feature
  • A solid debugging feature that you can turn on and off at will
  • There is a JUnit test option for the applications
  • The Interactions Pane allows users to enter Java expressions. Next, you can insert statements directly into an interactive window
  • It has an integrated debugging system that allows a user to monitor and debug their code in real-time
  • The Junit integration feature of TestArchitect allows you to quickly and easily move existing test cases into Junit
  • It has a user-friendly interface


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JDeveloper is used primarily for developing applications related to Oracle Fusion Middleware. Those include Oracle Forms, Oracle Reports, Oracle Application Development Framework, Oracle WebCenter, and Oracle Portal.

Plus, it supports the development of web services, business processes, and Java EE apps. Next, you can import them to an Oracle WebLogic Server. It has built-in integration with Oracle Database, allowing developers to easily upload and manage data.


  • JDeveloper has the ability to debug existing code, set breakpoints, watch variables, and step through code
  • JDeveloper provides integration with Linux, Windows, and macOS
  • It offers an exceptional web development environment that makes application development effortless


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jGRASP is a to-the-point IDE with neat software visualization features. To that end, it uses the Java programming language. Therefore, you can integrate it on all platforms that support Java Virtual Machine.


  • Provides UML class diagrams, flowcharts, and data structure diagrams
  • It provides an interactive class browser, debugger, and incremental compiler
  • Offers real-time source code analysis and error detection
  • Supports a number of popular languages such as C/C++, Ada, Fortran, Python, etc.
  • Comes with robust visualization features for many apps


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Created upon Eclipse Che, Condenvy is a Java IDE with three versions to choose from. Hence, select among the choices of a developer, enterprise, and team. Either way, Codenvy provides a cloud-based development environment. As such, it also allows Java programming on any device. It has an SDK for the development of frameworks, tools, and languages.


  • It allows for Java programming on any device and from anywhere
  • The workspace can be divided between programmers
  • Supports addendum and APIs
  • You can manage your cloud space based on your requirements
  • Switch between versions at any time
  • Allows lifecycle workstation automation

Greenfoot IDE

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The King’s College in London has developed this Java-based IDE. Additionally, Greenfoot was designed specifically to make teaching and learning programming easier. Hence, it has an easy-to-use graphical interface.

You can use it to create two-dimensional graphical simulations quickly. Also, Greenfoot provides a library of classes and methods to create objects. Plus, you can control their behavior and pair them with other objects in the world to form interactions.

It offers the possibility to share your program online with other developers. It is a cost-free IDE for Java, compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux.


  • Intuitive methods for the development of 2D apps
  • All of the features stem from normal Java text code
  • It offers syntax highlighting, autocompletion, code refactoring, etc.
  • Well-suited for students trying to master Java programming
  • It has a wide community and a global platform for all users to connect


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JSource is a compact Java IDE created with modular software components. JSource has a straightforward, but capable editor. Furthermore, JSource has a built-in debugger that you can use to debug code and step through it. It also comes with a browser that allows the user to view and edit class files. In addition, JSource provides support for version control systems such as CVS and Subversion.


  • JSource is free and open-source software released under the GNU General Public License
  • It is beneficial for building apps compatible with various platforms for different domains
  • JSource is a lightweight, open-source text editor written in Java. It has a simple interface and you can use it to quickly edit, compile, run, and create Java files
  • It offers syntax highlighting for different programming languages and Java Swing Components
  • Using 2.0 JSource allows you to create dynamic and interactive applications. Additionally, you can use JSource to create web-based applications and services
  • The JSource structure makes it easy to extend and customize the core framework


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Xcode is one of the best Java IDes that is free of charge. Furthermore, it was built by Apple for app creation for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. It braces various languages such as AppleScript, C++, Objective, etc. Lastly, it has an impressive Assistant editor you can consult at any time.


  • Lightweight app with a fast working speed
  • It has a powerful yet easy-to-use graphical UI designer
  • Allows for debugging on both physical and virtual devices

Conclusion On The Best IDE for Java Users to Have In Their Toolkit

The IDE should provide the necessary tools for the project, and the programmer should be familiar with the interface and features. Additionally, the brand should consider the cost of the IDE or editor before it can implement it.

What works best for you may not work best for someone else, and vice versa. As such, it is important to consider your own coding needs and preferences. Hence, compare several products by scheduling proper test-drive periods.

If you enjoyed reading this article on the best IDE for Java, you should check out this one about the best IDE for web development or this one with open-source mobile app development software.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like the best IDE for Flutter, C++, Javascript, and for Mac.

And we managed to create comparative articles like Sublime vs Notepad++, Sublime vs PyCharm, and VScode vs Sublime.

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