What is a Java IDE?

A Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software tool designed to simplify and streamline the process of Java application development. It provides developers with a feature-rich environment for writing, testing, and managing Java code. Java IDEs typically include code editors, syntax highlighting, debugging tools, project management features, and integration with version control systems, making it easier for developers to create high-quality Java applications.

Top 10 Java IDEs (2023)

Here are the top 10 Java IDEs for developers in 2023, along with brief descriptions of each:

1.IntelliJ IDEA


  • IntelliJ IDEA, developed by JetBrains, is a highly regarded Java IDE known for its intelligent code completion, advanced code analysis, and support for various technologies. It offers a productive and user-friendly environment for Java development.
  • IntelliJ IDEA is considered to be one of the best IDEs for Java development (We will discuss why). Every aspect of IntelliJ IDEA has been designed to maximize the productivity of a Java developer. It provides intelligent coding assistance (smart code completion) and an efficient as well as comfortable design which makes the development not only productive but also enjoyable and smooth. IntelliJ IDEA is available in two different editions.
  • The first one is the Apache 2 licensed community edition which is a free and open-source edition and the second one is the proprietary ultimate edition which is a paid edition. The community edition focuses on Android and Java Virtual Machine (JVM) development. On the other hand, the ultimate edition focuses on web and enterprise development. IntelliJ IDEA provides the inspection tool which shows the possible improvements we can make to our code. For example, As you can see in the below image it is suggesting to add the try-catch block to handle the possible exception. After clicking on the suggestion it will automatically surround the code in the try-catch block.

Pros of IntelliJ IDEA

  • IntelliJ IDEA IDE is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows.
  • It is extremely user friendly.
  • It provides smart code completion. Basic code completion suggests names of classes, methods, and keywords within the visibility scope. On the other hand, Smart code completion suggests only those types that are expected in that particular context.
  • Suggests improvements like adding exceptions in case of any possibility of generating an exception by your written code.
  • IntelliJ IDEA also understands other languages such as HTML, Javascript, SQL, Kotlin, etc, and provides intelligent coding assistance for them as well.

Cons of IntelliJ IDEA

  • Ultimate Edition is the complete version of IntelliJ and it is quite costly. It costs US $149 per month for individual use.
  • It’s a heavy IDE that requires disk space of 700-800MB.
  • It might make your computer slow as it consumes system resources.
  • Lack of framework support in the community edition.



  • Eclipse is a popular open-source Java IDE that provides a versatile platform for Java development. It boasts a rich ecosystem of plugins and extensions, making it customizable and suitable for a wide range of projects.
  • Eclipse IDE is a free and open-source Java IDE. It is another one of the most popular Java IDEs in the market. One thing that makes Eclipse unique is its cloud edition. The Eclipse IDE comes in two editions.
  • The first one is the desktop edition and the second one is the cloud edition. As the name suggests, the cloud edition of Eclipse allows developers to code in a web browser and to store their code on the cloud. Using this you can code from anywhere and your code will be there right where you left off. Apart from cloud support it also allows the developers to create their own features. Developers can use the Plugin Development Environment to build their own features and that makes Eclipse IDE different from other Java IDEs. It has an extensive array of plugins available in its eclipse marketplace that allows developers to customize functionalities for application development.

Pros of Eclipse IDE

  • Eclipse IDE is available for Linux, macOS, Solaris, and Windows.
  • Eclipse IDE is completely free.
  • It supports multiple plugin installations.
  • Eclipse provides a simple, easy, and beginner-friendly user interface.
  • It offers good debugging features.
  • Supports more than 100 programming languages.
  • Provides automatic completion of code.

Cons of Eclipse IDE

  • Eclipse might work slowly after installing multiple plugins.
  • It consumes more system resources as compared to other IDEs.
  • The memory management of Eclipse is not so good. You may face some crashes while working with multiple workspaces.

3.Apache NetBeans


  • Apache NetBeans is an open-source IDE that supports multiple programming languages, including Java. It offers a user-friendly interface, code templates, and extensibility through plugins, making it suitable for Java developers.
  • Apache NetBeans is another amazing IDE for the Java programming language. It is an open-source Java IDE. It is much more than a source code editor. It provides the feature of highlighting the source code syntactically and semantically. NetBeans also lets you easily refactor code with the help of a range of handy and powerful tools.

Pros of NetBeans

  • NetBeans is available for Linux, macOS, Windows, and Solaris operating systems.
  • It is free and open source.
  • It provides the feature of auto-completion of code.
  • One specific advantage of Apache NetBeans is that running server based applications is easier on it in comparison to other IDEs.

Cons of NetBeans

  • NetBeans takes a lot of time to start and load.
  • Not memory efficient.
  • The process of compilation and execution of programs is slower than other IDEs.
  • No professional support.

4.MyEclipse IDE


  • MyEclipse IDE is a commercial Java IDE designed for enterprise development. It offers comprehensive tools for Java EE, Spring, web development, and database integration, making it suitable for large-scale projects.
  • MyEclipse IDE is a full-stack IDE for creating powerful and dynamic Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and web applications with the help of the latest technologies. MyEclipse is built upon the Eclipse platform. It has two primary versions: a Professional and a Standard edition. The standard edition adds many tools to the basic Eclipse Java developer profile. It adds database tools, persistence tools, spring tools, and a number of other features to  make the overall development process of Java applications faster. This IDE supports front end development as well as backend development. MyEclipse provides many features for developing and managing Maven projects also.

 Pros of MyEclipse IDE

  • MyEclipse is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems.
  • It supports codelive with live preview.
  • It has a tool kit that supports the full life cycle of software development.
  • It offers an optimal technologies bundle to build applications.
  • It offers database visualization.

Cons of MyEclipse IDE

  • It is a paid IDE but offers a 30-day free trial.
  • It is not beginner friendly.
  • It consumes a lot of system resources.
  • The compilation process in MyEclipse is slower than other IDEs.

5.BlueJ IDE


  • BlueJ is an educational Java IDE primarily designed for beginners. It provides an interactive and straightforward environment for learning Java programming and object-oriented concepts.
  • BlueJ is an Integrated Development Environment(IDE) for Java that was designed for beginners. BlueJ is the most beginner-friendly Java IDE. It was originally designed for educational purposes, for teaching the concepts of Object-Oriented Programming with visuals. But now it is used for the development of small java applications also. Its design is quite different from other IDEs because it was developed to support the learning of OOP.
  • The main screen of BlueJ displays the class structure of any application in the form of UML(Unified Modeling Language) diagrams. It also allows the developers to create and test the objects interactively. In this way, BlueJ is a good Java IDE for experimenting and testing java applications.

Pros of BlueJ IDE

  • BlueJ IDE is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems.
  • It is a free and open source Java IDE.
  • It allows interaction with isolated objects of any class and also allows them to execute their public methods.
  • BlueJ uses fewer system resources.

Cons of BlueJ IDE

  • Not suitable for large projects.
  • It does not provide auto-completion of code.
  • No auto-formatting or indentation support.
  • Bad termination of the program. If a program is terminated due to an error, you have to stop the JVM(Java Virtual Machine) manually in order to run another program.
  • No support for multiple programming languages.

6.Xcode IDE


  • Xcode is Apple’s integrated development environment primarily used for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS app development. It includes a wide range of tools and features for Java development on Apple platforms.
  • If you are a Mac user then this IDE is for you. Xcode is an IDE developed to work on Mac Operating Systems. Apple developed a suite of software development tools inside it. This IDE is really helpful in developing java based software for macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Xcode facilitates Java programmers with interface builder tools using which programmers don’t have to write even a single line of code. It helps in creating awesome designs for the user interface. Xcode additionally has Java templates and saved snippets to make improvement a whole lot smoother and much less time taken.

Pros of Xcode IDE

  • Xcode provides an awesome environment for building apps for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV.
  • Tightly Integrated with Cocoa Touch Framework.
  • Xcode provides an Interface Builder design canvas that makes it simple to design user interfaces without writing a single line of code.
  • It provides version control that makes it easy to compare two versions of a file, see commit logs, and check who made a code change.

Cons of Xcode IDE

  • Xcode is limited to designing and developing applications for apple family devices.
  • It has a small community in comparison to other IDEs.
  • Cross platform support is not available.
  • Xcode IDE can only be installed on the Apple platform. Developers cannot use it on other platforms.

7.JDeveloper IDE


  • Oracle JDeveloper is a free IDE for Java development with additional support for Oracle technologies, such as Java EE, ADF, and Oracle Cloud integration.
  • JDeveloper is a freely available IDE developed by Oracle Corporation. JDeveloper is a full-fledged integrated development environment that supports the software development lifecycle, starting from the design phase to the deployment phase for any Java software. JDeveloper comes with an embedded Oracle Application Server.

Pros of JDeveloper IDE

  • JDeveloper IDE is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems.
  • It is helpful in making quality business applications.
  • JDeveloper provides nice customer support.
  • It offers version control that will help programmers to compare different versions.
  • JDeveloper provides a good coding experience including visual and non-visual utilities.

Cons of JDeveloper IDE

  • It is somewhat complex to use as its difficulty increases as progress is made in development.
  • It usually consumes a lot of memory and space of your system.
  • Requires a high level of expertise to handle this IDE.

8.JCreator IDE


  • JCreator is a lightweight Java IDE known for its speed and ease of use. It provides a straightforward development environment and is suitable for developers who prefer simplicity.
  • JCreator is an integrated development environment developed by Xinox Software. JCreator IDE is only useful for Java-based development. JCreator comes with 3 editions: Lite edition, Pro edition, and  Lite-Pro edition. The editor is best suited for the programmers/students who are new in programming. The interface of JCreator is very clean and easy to use. Also users can customize the user interface according to preference.

Pros of JCreator IDE

  • JCreator is extensively made for Java based application development.
  • Setup time for JCreator is less in comparison to other IDEs.
  • JCreator user interface provides a tree view of projects, classes, and interfaces.
  • JCreator provides options for choosing project templates which let programmers write code quicker.

Cons of JCreator IDE

  • JCreator IDE is only available for Windows Operating System.
  • JCreator does not support third-party plugins.
  • Community support is unavailable.
  • The paid version is quite expensive with respect to what it offers.

9.DrJava IDE


  • DrJava is a lightweight and educational Java IDE ideal for beginners and educators. It offers a simple interface and is commonly used in introductory Java programming courses.
  • DrJava is a lightweight integrated development environment for writing Java-based application programs. It is designed primarily for students, providing an interactive interface and the ability to interactively execute Java code. It also provides strong features for more advanced users. DrJava was developed and is maintained by the JavaPLT group, Rice University.

Pros of DrJava IDE

  • DrJava is a light-weight IDE, it fires up rapidly and doesn’t slack.
  • DrJava IDE is student friendly, a good IDE for beginners to start with.
  • Programmers can quickly debug, troubleshoot, and test their programs, due to its interactive environment.

Cons of DrJava IDE

  • DrJava IDE incorporates only basic functionality useful only for students/beginners.
  • Third party plugins like autocomplete are not supported by DrJava IDE.
  • It may slow down in case of heavy real world application development.

10.Greenfoot IDE


  • Greenfoot is an educational Java IDE designed for teaching object-oriented programming. It is particularly useful for creating graphical simulations and simple games, making it a valuable tool for educational purposes.
  • Greenfoot is a Java-based integrated development environment and is developed by King’s College London backed by Oracle. This IDE is made for educational purposes at the school and graduation levels. It provides a simple and easy to use GUI to understand the concepts of the Java programming language. We can use animated symbols for denoting different classes and objects. It facilitates its user to develop 2D graphics applications such as games.

 Pros of Greenfoot IDE

  • Greenfoot IDE is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems.
  • It is free.
  • It provides online tutorials which are helpful for beginners.
  • Greenfoot’s online community is supportive and enables developers to interact and ask their queries, exchange experiences, and share materials.
  • Allows easy development of 2D graphic applications.

Cons of Greenfoot IDE

  • As we discussed, Greenfoot is beginners friendly and made for educational purposes. Therefore it does not have advanced features and hence large application development may be troublesome.
  • Third party plugins are not allowed in Greenfoot IDE.


Selecting the right Java IDE depends on your specific needs, the scale of your project, and your familiarity with the IDE. IntelliJ IDEA is a top choice for its powerful features and user-friendly interface. Eclipse and Apache NetBeans are strong open-source options with extensive plugin support. MyEclipse IDE is tailored for enterprise-level Java development, while BlueJ, DrJava, and Greenfoot are excellent choices for beginners and educators. Xcode is essential for Java development on Apple platforms, and Oracle JDeveloper offers Oracle-specific features. Ultimately, your choice should align with your project requirements and development preferences


1.What is a Java IDE, and why do I need one?

A Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software tool that provides a comprehensive environment for writing, testing, and managing Java code. It’s essential for Java developers as it enhances productivity, offers code assistance, and simplifies the development process.

2.What are the key features to consider when choosing a Java IDE?

Key features to consider include code assistance, debugging tools, version control integration, refactoring capabilities, support for Java versions, and compatibility with relevant technologies or frameworks.

3.Which Java IDE is best for beginners or those new to programming?

BlueJ and DrJava are excellent choices for beginners and educators as they provide simple and interactive environments for learning Java programming.

4.What are the advantages of using IntelliJ IDEA for Java development?

IntelliJ IDEA offers smart code assistance, advanced refactoring tools, powerful debugging capabilities, and support for various Java technologies. It’s known for its productivity-enhancing features and Kotlin integration.

5.Is Eclipse still a viable choice for Java development in 2023?

Yes, Eclipse remains a popular choice due to its open-source nature and extensive plugin ecosystem. It’s suitable for a wide range of Java projects and is actively maintained.

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