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According to PYPL Index (PopularitY of Programming Language) and TIOBE Index (The Importance of Being Earnest), Java is the most popular programming language world over. Since Java was introduced 20 years ago, several libraries, utilities, and programs are already available in the tech market that tout to be the best for Java development. However, before you choose a tool for your Java project, it’s paramount to know about its functionality, simplicity, flexibility, effectiveness and how suitable it is for your project. That said, I am discussing 7 popular Java tools you may find worth using to remove the complexity of your Java development project in 2017.

7 Tools for Java Developers to Add to Their Toolkit in 2017

#1 Eclipse

Eclipse, an open-source integrated development environment (IDE) and sponsored by IBM, continues to be one of the top choices among Java developers. Eclipse offers constant assistance while coding. So, instead of digging through documentation, you can complete your code through methods with ease and in quick time. Eclipse also offers tool-assisted refactoring and syntax checking, which ensures that developers write correct code while they type.

Eclipse also offers Java Development Tools (JDT) project that provides a set of plugins to empower the Eclipse platform with a full-featured Java IDE. Easy access to a wide range of plugins helps developers build all kinds of Java applications.

Besides Java, Eclipse offers support for languages, like C/C++ and PHP. Neon, the eleventh named release of Eclipse software and the latest version of Eclipse, includes content from eighty-five Eclipse projects. It brings support for high DPI monitors on Windows and Linux. Neon also provides improved editing tools, improved JavaScript and JSON tools, and support for PHP 7.

#2 NetBeans

NetBeans, an open source project and sponsored by Oracle, provides developers robust software development products (the NetBeans IDE and the NetBeans Platform) to make optimum use of Java platform for quick, easy and efficient Java development. NetBeans is recokned as the original free Java IDE. Similar to Eclipse, NetBeans also offers cross-platform support and support for various languages, like PHP, JavaFX, C/C++, JavaScript, etc. However, unlike Eclipse which is a plugin based IDE, Netbeans is a tool-based IDE and has many projects. With NetBeans, developers get the freedom of incorporating many platforms using tooling support.

Although NetBeans is not as flexible, simple and fast as Eclipse is, its default support of AWT or Swing makes it an interesting choice over Eclipse. This IDE allows developers to implement the latest Java technologies in their applications by using a gamut of features like converters, editors and code analyzers.

#3 IntelliJ IDEA 13.1

IntelliJ IDEA 13.1, a product of JetBrains, is very popular for being the most intelligent and user friendly Java IDE. The smart code completion feature of IntelliJ IDEA helps developers quickly navigate through their code. Besides, error analysis and swift fixes make the life of Java developers easy. Although features like code completion, refactoring and navigation are available with many other IDEs too, none makes coding assistance as intelligent and efficient as IntelliJ IDEA does.

IntelliJ IDEA comes to the rescue when you don’t remember class name with a static method or a constant. All you need is to type the constant name and call code completion twice. After you do that, IntelliJ IDEA brings you a list of classes containing members with the name you’re looking for. Not only this, the IDE automatically adds required import statements after you decide to use one of the variants. Owing to accessible interface and the deep code intelligence feature, IntelliJ IDEA surpassed Eclipse in popularity in 2016.

IntelliJ IDEA is available under two editions - the free Community Edition, and the subscription-based Ultimate Edition. It’s worth noting that Android Studio, an open source IDE for Android apps, is based on the open source community edition of IntelliJ IDEA. The Community Edition offers support for several Java-based languages, but not for as many languages as The Ultimate Edition does.

Languages

IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition

IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate Edition

Java

Yes

Yes

Clojure (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Dart (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Erlang (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Go (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Groovy

Yes

Yes

Haxe (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Perl (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Scala (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

XML/XSL

Yes

Yes

Kotlin

Yes

Yes

ActionScript/MXML

No

Yes

CoffeeScript

No

Yes

Haskell (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

HTML/XHTML/CSS

No

Yes

JavaScript

No

Yes

Lua (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

PHP (via separate plugin)

No

Yes

Python (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Ruby/JRuby

No

Yes

SQL

No

Yes

TypeScript (via separate plugin)

No

Yes

Source: Wikipedia

For Java developers, IntelliJ IDEA is a means of advanced support for web and mobile development. The IDE supports all platforms and top frameworks, including Java EE, Spring, Android, GWT, Vaadin, Play, Grails, Hibernate, Thymeleaf, AngularJS, React, Velocity, Freemarker, Struts, Guice, JavaFX, Swing.

#4 JUnit

JUnit, an open-source framework, is the go-to tool of choice for unit testing of Java apps. Instead of writing special method name, JUnit calls for using annotations, like @Before in the place of setup method. There are many frameworks that also enable developers to write and run tests, but JUnit has become the most popular choice for unit testing as it allows to test one block of code at a time. So, there is no need to wait for the module to finish before you run a test. The ability to test and then code increases productivity and stability of program code and reduces the time for debugging.

JUnit can also integrate with build tools, like Maven and Ant, and third party extensions, like xmlUnit. JUnit also provides AWT based and Swing based graphical test reporting mechanism. Besides, the implementation of JUnitEE test framework enables JUnit tests within the application server’s container.

#5 Apache Maven


Maven, a project hosted by Apache Software Foundation, is a build automation tool, used mainly for Java projects. Maven also supports languages other than Java, such as C#, Ruby, Scala, etc. Dependency management is the best feature of Maven. Compared to its predecessor Apache Ant, Maven is far better when it comes to build actions, debugging and collaboration. However, Ant should be your preferred choice when your development project requires you to write complex, customized build scripts, since Maven mostly takes care of dependency management.

#6 Clover

Clover, bought and further developed by Atlassian, is a Java Code Coverage Analysis application. Clover is popular among Java developers for providing a way to identify untested areas in order to avoid risks to the quality of the application. Clover offers test automation functionality to streamline testing and identifies the most complex code for proper testing.

Clover also offers Test Optimization to reduce the testing time. It runs only those tests that cover the application code that was modified since the previous build. Clover provides Java and Groovy code coverage and you can integrate it with other testing frameworks too, like JUnit, TestNG and Spock.

#7 VisualVM

VisualVM is a tool for monitoring and reviewing the performance of Java applications while they are running on a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). VisualVM first organizes the JVM data and then presents data on multiple Java applications in such a way that it can be quickly viewed. It also integrates functionality from a wide range of command line tools, including JConsole, jstack, jmap, jinfo, and jstat. VisualVM makes it possible for developers to see all running java processes and analyze CPU and memory performance.

Every tool has its pros and cons, which is why it's important for Java developers to first assess their project requirements, and then choose a tool that best fits their needs. The 7 tools I have discussed above are very popular among Java developers, but based on your project requirements, other tools like Gradle, FindBugs, Mockito, JRat, etc., could also become a significant part of your Java toolkit. I hope this blog helps add improved efficiency, simplicity, speed and quality to your Java development task in 2017.

Which is your favorite Java development tool? Which feature you like the most in the Java development tool of your choice? Please share your views in the comment box below.
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Last updated on: 17/03/2017

JavaScript, the most commonly used language around the globe, continues to to rise in popularity, making it essential for JavaScript developers to stay abreast of top frameworks available for it. However, the stint to pick the best JavaScript framework for your web development or app development project is not easy. You first need to asses your project needs and see how suitable the functionality of a particular framework is for your development project. Read this blog to know and understand top 6 JavaScript frameworks/libraries you may like to consider for your development project in 2017.

A key to remember here is that every framework/library has its pros and cons. So, based on specific requirements of your development project, you could also find one, other than these five, the best fit for your project.

Top Six JavaScript Frameworks/Libraries to Look for in 2017

#1 Angular.JS

Angular.JS, an open source framework supported by Google, is a structural framework for dynamic web apps. Angular paves the way to use HTML as a template language. It also enables developers to extend HTML's syntax, which in turn allows to express your application's components in a clear and succinct manner.

Angular is an MVC-type framework and offers two-way data binding between models and views. By the virtue of this data binding, it becomes possible to get automated updates on both the sides in an event of data change. Thus, Angular rids the need of performing the painstaking task of writing manual code for DOM manipulation.

The modern app world calls for stability, security and innovation. And this is what Angular ensures by allowing developers to combine the modern day development features with design elements. There are different versions of Angular you can use for your development project. However, the latest version, i.e. AngularJS 2.0, has gained a lot traction in quick time. The final version of Angular 2.0 was released on September 14, 2016, and is written entirely in Typescript and meets the ECMAScript 6 specification.

Angular has the biggest community of developers and is the most used JavaScript framework for developing Single Page Web Applications.

HHHScreenshot from 2017-01-25 09:51:06.png

Some of the popular AngularJS websites are Google, Youtube (PS3), Sky Store, Nike, General Motors, Guardian, and Huffington Post. You can pick Angular.JS for easy code integration, readiness for unit testing and fast development pace. AngularJS also becomes a good choice when it comes to building a complex web front-end application and using a single modular framework to take care of everything.

#2 React.JS (A JavaScript Library)

React.JS, an open-source JavaScript library first released in 2013 under BSD license for building user interfaces, is maintained by Facebook, Instagram and a community of individual developers and corporations. Since React is about user interfaces, it’s mainly the V in MVC. With React.JS, developers get a component layer to ease the process of creating UI elements and combining them together. React.JS was used to build the user interface of Facebook and Instagram, which proves the efficacy of ReactJS for building dynamic & high traffic applications.

One of the greatest advantages of React.JS is virtual DOM. The library can render a virtual DOM at client side or server side and communicate back and forth. As a result, it saves expensive DOM operations and makes updates in a very client manner. React also brings the re-usability in the form of reactive components. You can also create component libraries and use across applications. Another virtue of React is JSX, which allows developers to mix HTML with Javascript.

When compared to Angular, React lacks testing simplicity and component structure. However, unlike large AngularJS applications, debugging of self-contained components of large ReactJS apps is much easier. React is an ideal framework for JavaScript developers who want a powerful View layer, and not an elaborate framework for the rest of their application.

Click here to learn about top editors for React Native Mobile App Development

#3 Node.JS (Not a JavaScript Framework, then What Is It?)

Node.JS is not a JavaScript framework, but JavaScript has been put into use for writing many of its basic modules. We can say that Node.JS is an open source, cross-platform runtime environment for server-side and networking applications. Node.JS is popular for non-blocking, event-driven I/O for data-intensive real-time apps that run across distributed devices.

Node.JS runs on the V8 JavaScript Engine, which is developed by Google and and operates at a super speed. The framework obviates the need of forming separate threads by using a single thread or event loop to handle all the asynchronous I/O operations. With this suite, it becomes a cakewalk to perform major actions in web applications, like reading or writing to the database, network connections or file system.

You can go for Node.JS if your project requires the creation of fast, robust network application that is capable of dealing with parallel connections with increased productivity. LinkedIn used Node.js to take care of mobile traffic and saw a reduction in number of servers from 30 to 3. Not only this, the response time of the applications increased by 20 folds. One of the most popular Node.JS applications is Socket.io, which is designed to handle constant communication between the client and the server, and allows the server to push real-time updates to clients.

#4 Vue.JS

Vue.js

, an MIT-licensed open source project, is a lightweight and easy-to-learn JavaScript library for building web interfaces. It comes with facilities like two way data binding and virtual DOM. Unlike Angular and React that often inundate developers with myriad things to develop a web app, Vue.js is simple and only calls for things that you need for effective completion of the task. Besides, Vue.js is relatively new, therefore obviates the need of acquainting yourself with its history before starting using it.

The library was first released in 2013, but not many developers took cognizance of it in web framework technology for the next two years. It was 2016 when Vue.js rose to fame and gained so much traction that it’s now seen as an alternative for even well established JavaScript libraries, such as Angular and React.

Vue.js Achievements in 2016

  • 1,531,217 NPM downloads

  • 26,000 Github Stars

  • 100,696,367 pageviews on Vuejs.org page

  • Vue.js version 2.0 launched in September 2016

  • Vue.js was 3rd most starred project in 2016 on GitHub

Vue.js team is working towards making documentations better in 2017. There will also be improvements in APIs and on-boarding experience in the Native Rendering. Testing is another area Vue team is focussing on. So, there will be more guidance in the docs and official testing utilities to allow developers to test Vue.js components at ease. Besides, Vue is likely to see better discoverability in 2017. The reason many developers are turning to Vue is that it addresses the issues of React and Angular. And, provides a way to code in a much simpler and easier manner.

#5 Meteor.JS

Meteor.JS is an open-source, full-stack, MVC-style JavaScript framework for building end to end mobile and web applications at breakneck pace. Meteor offers numerous integrations, support and features right out of the box, including frontend rendering, backend development, business logic and database management. There has been no looking back for Meteor after the first release in 2012 as an open source JavaScript framework under MIT license.

Developers recognize JavaScript as the universal scripting language in browsers on the client-side. However, with Meteor.JS, JavaScript can be used on the back-end as well, which saves a lot of time and improves efficiency. So, Meteor saves developers from the hassle of learning two different languages for frontend and backend. The official JavaScript of the Meteor platform is ECMAScript 2015 and every new Meteor project now uses it by default.

The best advantage of using Meteor.JS is that it enables development of real-time applications. No page refreshes or specific callback logic is required for Meteor apps to react to changes. Any changes in the database related to UI elements get updated on the app’s UI in real time. Meteor uses Distributed Data Protocol (or DDP) for querying and updating a server-side database.

Click here to learn more about Meteor.JS

#6 Ember.JS

Ember.JS, an open-source JavaScript web framework, is based on the Model–view–viewmodel (MVVM) pattern. Ember.JS is a nice alternative for Angular.JS and React.JS for building interactive frontend user interfaces and a single-page application (SPA). Similar to Angular, Ember also performs two way data binding. Ember’s Fastboot.js module opens doors to server side rendering of DOM.

Ember’s Router enables developers to stop breaking the web, a big problem earlier with JavaScript-based applications as they put the entire application under one URL. With Ember, URLs and a working back button are generated by default with every route you create. Besides, it’s easy to use the API.

Developers can also combine Ember with Ruby to build richer and more interactive web apps. Another advantage of using Ember is its CLI (Command Line), which provides a nice gamut of tools to remove the hassles of organizing code into modules, setting up build tools, creating mock servers for the frontend and writing common functionality in the app. Ember could be a good pick for large application ecosystems.

JavaScript Frameworks are important as they play a key role in streamlining the whole development process by removing the complexities of code structure, maintenance and design. Apart from the five that I have discussed above, there are a few other popular frameworks as well, including JQuery Mobile, Backbone.JS, Knockout.JS, Polymer.JS, and many more., that could also turn out to be a good fit for your development project. However, as I mentioned earlier, it’s paramount to assess your project needs and understand all the pros and cons before finally deciding on a JavaScript framework.

Have you ever used a JavaScript framework before? Do you want to add more to what’s already being discussed? As always, your comments are vital for all our readers, please add them in the comment box below.

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Image result for meteorjs

Image source: Bootstrapaholic

Many developers use JavaScript, an object-oriented computer programming language, to create interactive effects within web browsers. The inclination towards using JavaScript increased even more after Node.js made entry in the tech market. For a simple reason, Node.js allowed server-side implementation of JavaScript, which was not possible earlier. In this blog, I am shedding light on MeteorJS, which is an open-source JavaScript web framework written using Node.js.


MeteorJS is a full-stack, MVC-style JavaScript framework for building websites and web/mobile applications. MeteorJS comes for free as it’s open source. As the name suggests, MeteorJS allows faster development of iOS, Android, and web applications by using JavaScript on the front and backend.

Key Features of MeteorJS

1. Offers a Full Stack Solution

MeteorJS is FULL STACK, thus offers numerous integrations, support and features right out of the box. The compatible parts of the stack come assembled in Meteor. Besides, every layer of its stack is powered by a default technology. However, if one is willing to go for alternatives, MeteorJS allows them to do so as well. For example, if Meteor’s default front-end framework Blaze is not a fit for your project, you can use React or Angular.js in its stead.


Meteor’s fully integrated stack up front lets developers expedite the development process. Also, several built-in features of MeteorJS facilitate the access to frontend libraries, Node.js based server and a command line tool.


An important point to note here is that ECMAScript 2015 is the official JavaScript of the Meteor platform and every new Meteor project now uses it by default.

2. Allows to Use a Single Language

MeteorJS simplifies the development process as requires the knowledge of only one language, i.e. JavaScript, for frontend, backend and database. Therefore, the framework removes the complexity of context switching between server language and JavaScript that requires installation and configuration of different libraries, module managers, APIs, drivers and more.

3. Real-Time Applications for both Desktop and Mobile


MeteorJS enables development of real-time applications right from setup to development to deployment. MeteorJS uses Distributed Data Protocol (or DDP) for querying and updating a server-side database. It also synchronizes such updates among clients.


The best part is that MeteorJS apps react to changes without the need of page refreshes or specific callback logic. So, whenever changes are made in the database that concern UI elements, they get reflected on your app’s UI in real-time.

4. Database Integration

FINAL - 3.0Launch-Infographic-v7-1.jpg

Image source: dandascalescu.com

MeteorJS supports MongoDB database along with Minimongo, which is a front-end representation of MongoDB. MeteorJS refreshes the data in the UI by replicating a subset of the MongoDB database as a local “Minimongo” subset. Besides, Meteor’s Mongo API allows faster reloading of pages and easier implementation of updates.

5. Allows to Build Cross-Platform Apps


Meteor’s integration with Apache Cordova allows developers to build cross-platform apps that look and function similar to native apps. Cordova is a platform for building cross-platform apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In contrast to native apps, cross-platform apps require only one codebase for separate operating systems or devices, which saves a lot of time and cost for businesses.

6. Custom Package Manager

NPM modules are compatible with MeteorJS. However, developers can also use Meteor’s own custom package manager, called Atmosphere, which holds more than 10,000 packages.


With Meteor’s built-in package, developers can handle pre-processing and custom user authentication for Email, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Meteor also has packages that support popular frameworks like Backbone.js, Bootstrap and jQuery.

Some of the popular apps that are built using MeteorJS are as follows:


One of the seven principles of Meteor is "Simplicity equals productivity." MeteorJS is simple to learn, given it doesn’t require developers to rely on multiple languages. Any developer who has used JavaScript before will find MeteorJS easy to learn. Also, MeteorJS has a large active and supportive community. The Meteor Development Group (MDG) makes dedicated effort towards keeping Meteor updated and working well.


However, like every framework, MeteorJS has shortcomings too, like it only integrates with the MongoDB database. So, a developer who wants to use MySQL for their project will not be able to do so with Meteor as it does not support SQL databases as of now. However, there are 3rd party packages that integrate MySQL reactively with Meteor to some extent. For example, developers can use numtel:pg for reactive PostgreSQL support.


Do you think MeteorJS has the potential to become an ideal JavaScript development platform? Would you like to consider MeteorJS for your next web app or mobile app project? Please share your views in the comment box below.


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