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4 Best Java IDEs for Your Business

Joana Almeida
- 3 min. to read

How to choose the best Java IDEs for your business and stand out from competitors?

Java is a great language to both learn and develop professional grade applications and websites. Its flexibility and the ubiquity of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) make it easy to develop multi-platform applications, and have given Java staying power over the years that few other languages can claim.

But Java is quite old, so you may be wondering “Is Java still in demand in 2022?”. The answer is “definitely”. According to Stack Overflow’s 2022 survey Java is the sixth most popular language, with more than 33% of its users reporting using it.

Whether you’re learning or already developing in Java, having a good development environment is essential. But which is the best IDE for Java? That depends on the type of work you’ll be doing with the language. To help you choose, we present you with the best Java IDEs currently available so you too can use them to develop your applications and improve your Java skills.

4 Best Java IDEs in 2022

1. Eclipse

java ide comparisons

If you’ve ever looked for development environments for Java, chances are you’ve heard of the Eclipse IDE.

It’s by far the most popular IDE in this list, and it’s in no small part due to its plugin system. Besides making the IDE extremely flexible and customizable, it also allows the IDE to support other languages easily such as C, C++, PHP, C#, Python, JavaScript, SQL, Ruby, among many, many others.

Additionally, in 2019, Eclipse launched a cloud service that helps developers access their code wherever they go using an internet browser.

And best of all, it’s free!

Eclipse’s Java support continues to be its main bread and butter, with most of its downloads geared towards the prepackaged Java development environments. But if you’re looking for a complete package that you can also use for other programming projects, or even complex multi-language projects, then you can’t go wrong with Eclipse.

FreeIts performance can dip in larger projects and as plugins get added
Cross-PlatformMemory intensive
Robust Plugin System 
Supports a vast array of languages 

2. Netbeans

best java text editor

The NetBeans IDE is backed by Oracle (the owners of the Java platform) and is seen by many as the official platform to develop Java projects in. Due to its connections to the Java development team, it usually implements features faster than other similar products.

It features a plugin system that allows the editor to be extended quite heavily with extensions made by fellow developers, making it another extremely extensible application.

It’s free and recently got donated to the Apache Project, making it open source as well.

Free and Open SourceMemory intensive
Strong Extension System 

3. IntelliJ IDEA

best ide for Java

IntelliJ IDEA is JetBrains’ IDE for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). If there’s anything to know about JetBrains, it’s that they make very feature complete IDEs with a developer-centric design, which makes them beloved by the developers that adopt them in their workflows.

It features code completion and analysis tools that are extremely powerful and help developers become more efficient.

While there is a free version, you’ll need to pay for a license to have access to all the tools the software can provide. If you want to test them out, give IntelliJ IDEA a download and try it out before buying it.

Great development aides and toolsMemory intensive
Cross-PlatformComes with a lot of plugins installed by default
Has a free version, although with less functionalityIf you want a fully-featured version, you’ll need to pay starting at $599.00 for the first year

4. BlueJ

best java ide macos

BlueJ is a smaller project compared to the others in this list, but it certainly has its place.

The biggest appeal to using BlueJ are its diagrammatic tools, allowing you to view a UML-like diagram that can be used to analyze and interact dynamically with your code, making it an excellent tool for experimentation.

It’s a free and light Java IDE, making it extremely useful for classrooms and other educational purposes.

FreeNot as many features as the other options
Great diagramming tools 

TL;DR Java IDE Comparisons

Let’s take a summary look at the main features of all the presented IDEs to help you choose the best one:

NamePlatformsSupported LanguagesPrice
EclipseWindows, Linux, MacOSJava, C, C++, PHP, C#, Python, JavaScript, SQL, Ruby, etc.Free
NetBeansWindows, Linux, MacOSJava, JavaScript, PHP, C++, etc.Free
IntelliJ IDEAWindows, Linux, MacOSJava, Kotlin, Groovy, Scala, etc.Free and Paid starting at $599.00 for the first year
BlueJWindows, Linux, MacOSJava, StrideFree


1. What is the Best Java IDE for Beginners?

The best Java text editor for beginners is probably BlueJ, since it has many tools that can help developers understand code in a more high-level fashion.

However, if they grow quickly, they may want to experiment with other powerful free options. Either Eclipse or NetBeans are great places to start.

2. What is the Best Free Java IDE?

The answer to this question will depend on the types of features you prefer in your development environment.

If you’re looking for smart tools and a great code completion suite that can speed up your workflow and offer you helpful optimization pointers, IntelliJ IDEA‘s free version can be a great option.

If you want a lean and performant IDE, you can’t go wrong with NetBeans. You can easily extend it with plugins if you need to, but the main package comes out of the box ready to deal with any sort of Java development needs you can have.

If you prefer a more robust and feature driven IDE, then Eclipse will be a good contender. Its Cloud feature can be a winning factor if you’re constantly on the move.

3. What is the Fastest IDE for Java?

Nowadays any of the options listed will be equiparable in terms of speed, so you’ll want to evaluate the features each provides and look for tools that can speed up your workflow.

In terms of developer-friendly tools, none come closer to IntelliJ IDEA, so you may want to try out their free version and commit if you see it helps you in your work. If not, NetBeans can be a good second option, being a very lean and optimized IDE. Eclipse has a lot of tools available but also has a lot of features that can bloat the software, so you’ll want to check if the trade off is worth it.

4. What is the Best Java IDE for Linux? / What is the Best Java IDE for MacOS?

The best Java IDE, as we’ve discussed, will largely depend on your specific development needs. It’s a good idea to check their tools and features and see which software provides you with the ones you need or value more for your workflow.

Looking for Java Developers? Let Us Help You!

When it comes to answering the question “What is the best IDE to use for Java?, people will have different tastes and use cases, and thus a definite answer cannot be given. Plus, it really depends on your specific needs.

If you’re looking for developers to go along with your freshly picked IDE, have you tried getting in contact with DistantJob? We have a large pool of professional Java developers that you can tap into. We’ll be sure to provide you with the best options for your business while also making sure they fit your company culture to minimize the impact when integrating them with an established team.

Let’s talk about scaling up your team at half the cost!

Discover the advantages of hassle-free global recruitment. Schedule a discovery call with our team today and experience first-hand how DistantJob can elevate your success with exceptional global talent, delivered fast.

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Let’s talk about scaling up your team at half the cost!

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