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Getting Started with Enterprise Java Apps in JDeveloper, Netbeans, Eclipse

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Java is a general-purpose programming language that is class-based, object-oriented and designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is intended to let application developers "write once, run anywhere" (WORA), meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java.

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Getting Started with Enterprise Java Apps in JDeveloper, Netbeans, Eclipse

Before we get started with Enterprise Java Applications, mainly Web Apps, we will discuss the Java language itself for folks who are reading and learning about Java for the first time. We will touch up on Java Server Faces (JSF), the heartbeat of other similar frameworks, including Oracle's Application Development Framework (ADF), that have been implemented on top of JSF. Then, we will branch off to the types of Integrated Development Environments(IDE) that are covered in this article. You will get a better understanding of the role the IDEs (i.e. JDeveloper, Netbeans, Eclipse) play in enterprise Java application development. Plus, this will be a great opportunity for you to learn more about the tools, before choosing to download them to develop Java Web Applications on your own.

Brief History of the Java Language

First up, let us talk about Java, the programming workhorse that started it all. Java is a widely-used, high-level, class-based, object-oriented programming language that is designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. Java was developed in 1995 by Sun Microsystems and has since become a staple in the programming world. One of Java's key features is its platform independence. Java programs are compiled into bytecode, which can run on any device with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Java is an object-oriented programming language, which means that everything in Java is an object, that makes it a great choice for modular programming and building reusable code components. Java is known for its "write once, run anywhere" (WORA) capability, meaning that Java code is portable and can run on any platform that supports Java without needing recompilation.

Java places a strong emphasis on early checking for possible errors, as Java compilers are able to detect many problems at the initial stage of execution. It also includes the concept of exception handling, which captures errors and eliminates any risk of crashing the system. Java supports multithreaded programming, which allows concurrent execution of two or more parts of a program for maximum utilization of CPU. Java provides a rich Application Programming Interface (API) that includes several Java classes, packages, interfaces, and methods that programmers can use in their code. Java has a vast community of developers and enthusiasts who contribute to the language's development and support through forums, groups, and open-source projects. Java is used for developing a wide range of applications, from mobile applications (especially Android apps) to web applications, server-side applications, video games, and much more. Java continues to be a popular choice among developers due to its robustness, security features, cross-platform capabilities, and extensive user community. We are going to stay on the server-side applications part of Java programming throughout this article, as they relate to web applications. This is a perfect segway to JSF, enterprise web applications using Java have really exploded as a result of the JSF framework.

Java Server Faces (JSF), the Heartbeat of Modern Java Web Frameworks

Prior to JSF, Java Web Applications were built using Java Applets, which were small programs written in Java that could be embedded in HTML pages and run in a web browser. We are not going to go in great details about past development efforts to limit the length of this article. But after Java Applets, came Java Servlets which took Java Web Development a lot further. With the Java Servlet API, developers were now able to generate dynamic web content on the server-side. Servlets were Java programs that ran on a server and handled requests and responses, typically for HTML pages. Post Java Servlets, Java Server Pages (JSP) was born, this was beginning of what would become JSF today. JSP allowed web developers to combine HTML with Java code, which could be used to dynamically generate HTML content on the server-side before sending it to the client's browser. However, JSP was rather cumbersome at times when building complex user interfaces (UI) because it mixed Java code with HTML design, making it hard to maintain and scale. This will make more sense as you read on.

It is a well-known theory that efficient programming practices, especially for web applications, call for code and UI design separation. At some point, developers were able to write separate Java classes to talk to JSPs but the JSP pages still had some Java code lingering about in the HTML source. In comes JSF to make it all better, JSF was introduced as a part of the Java EE standard to provide a component-based framework for building web applications. JSF provides a set of standard UI components, manages their state, handles their events, and supports data validation, along with many other advanced features that JSP lacks. This allows developers to create UIs by assembling reusable components in a page, connect them to data sources, and add event handling logic. JSF has built-in support for handling events and can easily integrate with AJAX to create rich, responsive user interfaces. JSF follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern more strictly, which separates the business logic from the UI, making the application easier to manage and maintain. JSF uses Facelets as its default templating system, which is more powerful than JSP and allows for the creation of templates and composite components. In JSF, managed beans replace JSP's JavaBeans as the model component, providing a more robust framework for managing the data and actions of the UI components. The JSF framework has truly revolutionized how developers build UIs to work with the Java language. Consistenly, all frameworks go through enhancements, developers are always pushing the envelop to get the best out of their application development experience.

Application Development Framework (ADF) Web Apps in JDeveloper

while JSF is a robust framework, it primarily offers a foundation for building web applications with a component-based approach. Thus, frameworks such as Oracle's Application Development Framework (ADF) are built on top of JSF to enhance its capabilities and provide additional features that are not available in the standard JSF framework. ADF is an end-to-end Java EE framework designed to simplify the development process by providing a comprehensive infrastructure for building, deploying, and running enterprise applications. It supports rapid application development with a focus on interactive, data-bound web applications. The framework is known for its rich component sets for web, mobile, and desktop interfaces, declarative and reusable business logic, and validation. ADF is based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern, which separates the application’s business logic, UI, and control flow, making the application easier to maintain and scale. You can see the relationship with JSF play out here, as ADF inherits JSF's separation of business logic and UI design. All application frameworks, whether it is JSF or ADF, need a great platform to flourish. The development environment tool that a framework is housed dictates how efficient the enterprise web application process will be. Oracle's JDeveloper is one of best enterprise web development tools on the market today. Developers have the ability to create strictly JSF, and ADF applications that are fast with minor configurations. Which makes JDeveloper a go-to IDE for enterprise web development among developers.

Developing ADF applications in JDeveloper offers several benefits for developers. JDeveloper provides a visual and declarative approach to Java EE development, which supports rapid application development using design patterns, metadata-driven, and visual tools. JDeveloper is an integrated development environment (IDE) that provides all the tools necessary for ADF application development in one place. With ADF, developers can concentrate more on implementing complex business logic rather than building application infrastructure, as ADF minimizes the coding effort required. ADF's architecture supports Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), allowing for the separation of business services and enabling service-oriented development of applications. ADF Business Components can interact with various data sources, providing flexibility in data management. ADF and JDeveloper provide a great opportunity for developers to succeed. The IDE and framework can streamline the development process, allowing developers to build robust, scalable, and maintainable Java EE applications efficiently. Being an Oracle product, ADF applications developed in JDeveloper have strong support from Oracle, including extensive documentation and community support. While JDeveloper is the big kid on the block, with ADF as its sidekick, there are other IDEs that hold a lot of weight in the enterprise app development arena. Let us explore that next.

NetBeans Provides a User-Friendly Interface and Powerful Features

A lot of Java developers often prefer to build JavaServer Faces (JSF) applications in NetBeans for several reasons. The Netbeans IDE simplifies the development of JSF applications. Similarly to JDeveloper, it offers seamless integration with JSF frameworks, making it an ideal choice for developing JSF applications. NetBeans has long-standing support for JSF, including built-in tools and wizards that help with creating JSF pages, managed beans, and navigation rules. Developers can use drag-and-drop features from the Palette window to design user interfaces and define navigation flows visually. It allows for easy construction of a UI from a set of reusable components and simplifies the creation and reuse of custom UI components. NetBeans has a tightly integrated profiler that helps developers optimize their applications directly within the IDE. The IDE provides built-in support for Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI), which is essential for modern Java EE applications. These features contribute to a hassle-free development experience, making NetBeans a preferred IDE for many Java developers working with JSF.

What sets Eclipse apart when developing JSF Applications?

Eclipse stands out for Java Web Application development, particularly with JavaServer Faces (JSF), due to several features: Eclipse has a dedicated JSF Tools Project that simplifies the development and deployment of JSF applications. It provides an extensible tooling infrastructure and exemplary tools for building web-enabled applications with JSF. The IDE offers an enhanced HTML Source Editor with content-assist and validation for JSF tags, which is particularly useful when creating and editing JSF pages. Eclipse streamlines the development process by providing reusable UI components, easy data transfer between UI components, and managing UI state across multiple server requests. It also enables the implementation of custom components and wires client-side events to server-side application code. Eclipse is an integrated development environment that brings together all the necessary tools for Java development, including a robust set of JSF development tools. The IDE includes a visual page designer for JSF, which allows developers to drag and drop UI components onto a page, making it easier to design the layout and flow of web applications. Eclipse provides seamless integration with servers like Apache Tomcat, which is often used for running and testing JSF applications. This integration simplifies the setup and deployment process, making Eclipse a powerful and preferred IDE for many developers working on Java Web Applications using JSF.

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Download in computer networks, means to receive data from a remote system, typically a server, such as a web server, an FTP server, an email server, or other similar systems. This contrasts with uploading, where data is sent to a remote server. A download is a file offered for downloading or that has been downloaded, or the process of receiving such a file.

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How-To Begin Java Progamming in Eclipse, JDeveloper, Netbeans, etc...

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Green Coding Habits

Make your work count, add comments and instructions to your code, thoroughly test your samples before submission (mention what may still need additional testing), try not to be a litter bug in your community or forum, help save time and effort. Be Green! After all, what is the purpose of your submission if it cannot be used or comprehended. Might be a good idea to also mention, or at least give credits to works being used in your submissions.