The NetBeans platform is an application runtime - a "generic large desktop application." Most desktop applications have common requirements - menus, document management, settings and so forth. Nobody enjoys writing menu code or setting storage code. With the NetBeans Platform, you don't have to. Just write modules to implement what you need, bundle them up with the NetBeans Platform, and you have a beautiful, branded, cross-platform application. And if you need custom functionality or components, the Platform is built to be flexible.

With the NetBeans platform, developers get to concentrate on the important parts of an application - the business logic that makes that application unique. The result is a huge savings in time and effort. Some of the features of the platform are:

  • User interface management - Windows, menus, toolbars and other presentation components are provided by the Platform. Developers write to a set of abstractions such actions and components, saving time, and producing cleaner, more bug-free code. Custom components and behaviors can be written, but for most cases this is not needed.
  • Data and presentation management - The NetBeans Platform contains a rich toolset for presentating data to the user and manipulating that data.
  • The Editor - Available as an extension to the Platform, applications built on NetBeans can use the NetBeans Editor, a powerful and extensible toolset for building custom editors.
  • Setting management - The NetBeans Filesystems infrastructure abstracts file-based data. Files may exist locally or remotely, on FTP or CVS servers or in a database; access to them is transparent to module code that works with files. The Platform can be extended to support new forms of storage. Applications built on NetBeans are internet-ready!
  • The Wizard framework - a toolset for easily building extensible, user-friendly Wizards to guide users through more complex tasks.
  • Configuration management - Rather than tediously write code to access remote data and manage and save user-configurable settings, etc., all of this is handled by the Platform. Applications consist of the platform and the logic code important to that application.
  • Storage management - An abstraction of file-based data access. "Files" in the NetBeans paradigm may be local files, or exist remotely, for example, on an FTP server, CVS repository or in a database. Where this data is stored is completely transparent to other modules that work with this data.
  • Cross-platform - since the Platform is written entirely in the Java language, applications based on it, by their very nature, will run on any operating system with a Java 2 compatible (1.3 or greater) JVM.

Licence: Sun Public License