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Handy Guides - Books About Developing with NetBeans


Although we live in an increasingly web-centric world, there are still some experiences that cannot be easily replicated online. Leafing through a good reference book is one of them.

The NetBeans site is a useful and dynamic repository of online articles and tutorials that covers a wide range of development topics for multiple levels of users, but recent and past published books about NetBeans show that information in hard copy can still be as rich and as useful as that found online. In fact, books sometimes offer an advantage over an online database of tutorials in that they can comfortably contain and relate several themes to create a comprehensive picture about their subject matter, a task that isolated tutorials may not always do well.

Another benefit—a small, yet significant one, some might argue—to old-fashioned printing that online technology has not completely perfected yet? Hassle-free portability. Books travel well and a wireless connection is not needed to use them!

Hardcovers and paperbacks still matter, and luckily for NetBeans users, each year brings fresh titles that focus on programming with the NetBeans IDE and Platform, or that feature the use of NetBeans software. (For example, a book might contain a CD of the IDE.)

This year, two noteworthy reference books about NetBeans that have been published are the multiple-authored Rich Client Programming: Plugging into the NetBeans Platform, and Adam Myatt's Pro NetBeans IDE 5.5 Enterprise Edition.

Written by three people who know a lot about NetBeans—NetBeans evangelist Tim Boudreau, Jaroslav Tulach, one of the founders of NetBeans, and Geertjan Wielenga, a NetBeans technical writer—the Rich Client Programming book is a guide to creating desktop Java applications on top of the improved NetBeans Platform. The wide-ranging book highlights the advantages of modular development while covering topics such as using NetBean's productivity features and modular architecture, creating multi-windowed applications, integrating web services with NetBeans desktop applications, and more.

Similarly, first-hand experience working with the NetBeans software serves as the basis of Pro NetBeans 5.5 Enterprise Edition. Author Adam Myatt, who is also a project leader and systems analyst for General Electric Global Research, was an Eclipse user before making the switch to NetBeans. Impressed with the straight-forward functionality of the NetBeans IDE—version 5.0 at the time of his switch—he decided to write a book about NetBeans for other Java developers looking for an intuitive-to-use and feature-rich development environment. Pro NetBeans 5.5 is a broad guide to the IDE, with a special focus on its Enterprise and Visual Web capabilities. Topics covered include creating web applications and web services projects,  the IDE's UML support features, EJBs and Java Persistence, refactoring, adding third-party tools to the IDE, and more. The author also presents real-life case studies.

More titles about NetBeans are due out in the coming months, with some set to coincide with the release of NetBeans 6.0 or that will cover the new features supported in the release. Adam Myatt, for example, will add a second book to his Pro NetBeans series: Pro NetBeans IDE 6 Rich Client Platform Edition.

International publications cannot be overlooked. This year has produced three books about developing with the NetBeans IDE in the Indonesian, Chinese and Portuguese languages. Additional titles also to come in this area include language editions of already-published works such as the Rich Client Programming book and Myatt's Pro NetBeans 5.5—both to be published in Chinese. A German book about the 6.0 platform has an August publication date.

The growing number of NetBeans titles reflects the favorable position that NetBeans commands among IDEs today, and as NetBeans continues to evolve and attract more users, the demand for books about working with the IDE is sure to rise. This bodes well for all users as adding a book or two to their library will be another great way of deepening their knowledge of NetBeans.

Books about NetBeans can be ordered from various online booksellers or purchased the old-fashioned way—from a local bookstore.

More Information

Visit the NetBeans Books Page for current and past titles.

Pro NetBeans Site

Interview and Podcast with Adam Myatt about Pro NetBeans 5.5 Enterprise Edition

Interview and Podcast with Geertjan Wielenga about Rich Client Programming: Plugging into the NetBeans Platform

Upcoming Books

Rich Client Programming: Plugging into the NetBeans Platform (Chinese, Oct. 07; Spanish)
Pro NetBeans IDE 5.5 Enterprise Edition (Chinese, Sept. 07)
Mastering NetBeans 5.5 (Chinese, Oct. 07)

Have you purchased a book about NetBeans recently? Please write a review about it at online stores (Amazon,, on your blog or in discussion forums!