The latest version of NetBeans has been released with support for JDK 7.
NetBeans is the first open source IDE to support JDK 7, and the support has been added even though JDK 7 itself hasn’t been released yet. NetBeans is a growing contender in the open-source Java IDE market where Eclipse is the market leader.
The extra JDK 7 features supported in NetBeans start with strings in switch, so that you can now use a string as an argument in a switch statement to avoid using multiple if..then..else statements to test for string equality. You can read a good description of strings in switch in Joseph D.Darcy's Oracle Weblog.
Next on the list for new support is the diamond operator <>, which gives a way of declaring a new instance of a generic object without having to repeat its type parameters. Java.util.obsupport has been added, along with JSR 292 (exotic identifiers whose spellings can be any sequence of characters). Integer literals are now supported, as well as multicatch so that a single catch clause can now catch more than one exception types, enabling a series of otherwise identical catch clauses to be written as a single catch clause. Finally, automatic resource management is supported.
As JDK 7 hasn’t been released yet, the NetBeans team says it will have a point upgrade if changes make that necessary. Away from the JDK 7 support, the Swing visual editor tool in NetBeans 7 has also been improved with a better GridBag Customizer that lets you design grids more easily.
Other improvements to NetBeans include support for Maven 3 and Git 1.7, the JUnit 4.8.2 library has been integrated, and remote HTTP URLs are now supported for Javadoc in libraries and Java platforms.
If you’re using NetBeans with Oracle WebLogic as the application server, it is now more closely integrated with NetBeans 7. There’s a new server runtime node displaying deployed applications and resources, and deployment should be faster. Other improvements include JSF integration with server libraries so you can select which JSF library you want to use. Support for datasource creation and deployment has also been added. The datasource is created automatically when needed and stored in the project. When the application is being deployed the datasource is deployed as well.
NetBeans now supports GlassFish 3.1, and has new support for the management of remote instances and deployed applications. Support for Tomcat 7 and the JBoss 6 are also included.
If you’re developing for the web, the HTML editor offers syntax checking, code highlighting and auto-completion for HTML5.
You can read a full list of improvements on the NetBeans Wiki.