Netbeans 6.5 beta - Useful Productivity Enhancements For Java EE, Missing Some Features As Well

 I spent some more time with Netbeans 6.5 Java EE functionality. First feedback:

  1. Field Level Access is generated now for Entities. However the Entities are still marked as Serializable - which is actually not necessary.
  2. Call Enterprise Bean, Use Database, Send JMS Message wizzards are available from the ctrl+enter "popup". This is really nice - it doesn't disturb the workflow. For strange reasons "Use Entity Manager" is not included into the pop-up and is only available via the usual menu.
  3. "Deploy On Change" feature works surprisingly well. On every save all your changed EJBs are incrementally deployed to the application server. I testet it with Glassfish v2ur2, it works really well so far. This feature can be activated or deactivated in "Properties" -> "Run" and checkbox "Deploy On Change".
  4. ...the splash screen is nice :-)

What I'm missing or what would be nice:

  1. There was already a "design query" functionality in the SQL-explorer. I never actually used it for design a query, but it was very useful to visualize the tables with it's relations. It should be reintroduced (I think it is no more available since 6.0). [a killer feature]
  2. The support for ejb-jar.xml deployment descriptors could be better. There is no code completion in XML for Java Code etc. so it is easy to misspell class names etc. [especially useful for e.g. tracing interceptors]
  3. There is no support for orm.xml. So it is not vey easy to transform existing annotations into XML-deployment descriptors  [nice to have]
  4. Drag And Drop of JavaBeans (e.g. JPA-entities) into JSF visual editor with default generation of a form should be possible (not that hard...) -  this would be a killer feature.
  5. Sometimes Netbeans 6.5 is not able to reopen an existing EJB in the editor. It works, however, in the EJB-view (obviously a beta bug - it worked perfectly before)
I'm using Netbeans 6.5beta in production - it works well so far, if not, I switch back to 6.1.


I am missing the full featured UML package which has been rewritten but is aperently not ready for beta yet. But the progress is pretty good, its much faster and improves usability.

had also some problems to open the NetBeans OpenGL Pack projects. The solution was to reorder some elements of the project.xml... after that it worked perfectly (and is still backwards compatible) (try to diff [Tools>Diff to] the project.xml against a newly created project... maybe it is the same issue)

Posted by mbien on August 20, 2008 at 11:08 AM CEST #

Hi Adam,

Could you elaborate more on why Serializable entity beans are "actually not necessary"? When you use the same entities in the web tier (as DTOs or whatever) session mgmt requires it, doesn't it?


Posted by Jacek Laskowski on August 20, 2008 at 02:33 PM CEST #

Jacek, Adam wrote about JPA entities, not entity beans. They don't need to be serializable if you don't plan to pass them remotly, especially if you use them in Java SE rather then in Java EE.

It's better if code generators does not try to be to clever and do to much for a programmer.

Posted by Piotr on August 22, 2008 at 01:55 PM CEST #

@Piotr: thanks! - you are absolutely right

@Jacek: please check out:

Posted by Adam Bien on August 25, 2008 at 05:10 PM CEST #

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