Private Opinion: What are your favorite Java Tools, Frameworks or IDE’s?

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Being a software developer or a programmer your job is not only to do coding or write a program, but also the ability to solve problems using tools and technologies. For that purpose, a software developer must be able to understand and possess the command of tools and technologies. In this article, I will discuss the importance of necessary tools, technologies, and frameworks along with pros and cons related to them.

I Can’t Live Without: JDK

JDK is necessary for a Java developer to run or compile a java code. JRE is another part of Java without which a Java developer cannot live. Java Runtime Environment is contained of JVM, Java Class Library, and other configuration tools. Let’s talk about the framework.

Favorite Java Framework: Spring & Hibernate

One such framework is Spring, with which you can write different components together. The main advantage of using Spring is that it can be activated without the use of any other server (web or application server). When developing enterprise level applications in Java, Spring uses technologies like JDK timers, ORM frameworks, Java EE etc, that way developers do not need to learn all those technologies or frameworks in order to design and develop applications. The major problem I observer with Spring is that it has more than 2400 classes with many tools which make it complicated for the developers to use it. If somebody is a beginner in Java programming then he/she must find it difficult to learn it, as there is no clear guidance is available on several topics of Spring.

The second one is Hibernate. If you ever had an experience in developing an application using JDBC, you have most probably spent a lot of time developing and maintaining the code. Whereas, ORM (Object Relational Mapping) helps in decreasing the time for implementation exponentially without going into extra details within the code. Hibernate is an ORM implementation and is independent of the database engine. It has a layered architecture and you are not bound to use all the features provided by the Hibernate, rather utilize those features which you think are light enough for the need of the project. There are some limitations as well. We have to write a separate query in order to insert each object. It generates a lot of SQL statements during runtime on the basis of mapping, hence a bit slower than JDBC where one needs to write a query directly. Hibernate is not recommended for a small project as it has a fewer number of tables and certainly implementing the Hibernate framework will be overhead than useful. Hibernate requires a considerable amount of time in order to learn it, due to this steep learning curve it is a disadvantage.

When I use JDBC in order to develop an application then I have to spend a lot of time developing and maintaining the code. Hibernate is the way to help me save my efforts and time. It frustrates me when I have to write a separate query in order to insert each object. I once tried to use Hibernate for a small project which has also fewer numbers of tables as well and it eventually becomes an overhead rather than useful, so it is not suitable for smaller projects.

Favorite IDEs: Eclipse & IntelliJ IDEA

Eclipse is one of the important IDE for Java and it does everything one needs to do with it. It has the ability to integrate various add-ons and tools like Selenium for automation testing. Also, it supports various libraries and JAR files that come with inbuilt classes and ease up your coding. You can find it as a great refactoring tool for automated code creation and modification. The great thing is that it has a great way to validate code and handle the errors in a fairly robust manner. As observed, the effort required to resolve the dependencies conflicts is sometimes significant. Occasionally it becomes very slow even with good system specifications. It may be due to the reason that it is open source.

I do like to develop applications on Eclipse as most organizations work on that particular IDE. While doing automation I found it suitable for the integration of various add-ons and Selenium tools and it is very easy.

I have also worked on IntelliJ at some organization, in which I was able to do a lot of customization and it remains consistent throughout the project. However, to use IntelliJ one needs to buy it on yearly basis to use its full features.

Overall, my preference is to use those tools, technologies, and frameworks which reduce the time and effort during implementation and have the ability to deliver the builds faster. But this is also the fact that today’s technology is changing so rapidly that you need to learn the basics and use them when the need arises. One needs to keep their tools sharp all the time.

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