James Selvakumar’s Blog

March 19, 2008

Must have tools for a Java Developer

Filed under: java — James @ 3:54 pm
Tags: ,

Apart from your favourite IDE, I feel, a Java Developer might be very productive with the following tools (in no particular order):

Firefox (Do I need to say anything about it?)

Apache Ant (Not needed, if you use NetBeans. NetBeans has got bundled ant)

JEdit (Mainly for it’s wide range of plugins. I use it’s LogViewer and HexViewer plugin frequently. Also it has got excellent syntax highlighting for your properties file, java files, nsis scripts etc)

Subversion Version Control System(Got excellent integration with NetBeans and Eclipse. You must consider it atleast for your personal development.) You can read more about installing subversion here.

Apache Tomcat (The ubiquitous servlet container.)

Glassfish (The best open source application server, at the moment. Thanks RedHat for making JBoss AS development sluggish. JBoss AS users are waiting for nearly 1 1/2 years for the 5.0 release.)

Hudson (The fastest growing continuous integration server. This can be an excellent add-on to your ant/maven based build process). You can read more about hudson here.

Java Service Wrapper (An excellent product to launch your java applications as a windows service)

CheckStyle/PMD (Excellent code coverage tools to make your source code more maintainable)

JASYPT (Excellent cryptography library to encrypt/decrypt your passwords, files etc.)

Apache Commons Library (Contains almost all the utility classes you will ever need. Kindly check this project before writing your own utility classes)

JUDE Community (An excellent free UML modelling tool. You must definitely give it a try. It’s lightweight and it’s very simple to use.)

MySQL (The most popular open source database at the moment)

Did anybody say that I forgot to add Google as well 🙂

What else do you use? It will be of great use to the community if you can share about your experience as well.

Note: I tend not to include frameworks like Spring, JSF, Wicket etc.. Because you can see these frameworks too are highly subjective and a major reason for lots of flamewars. And that’s the reason why I didn’t mention any IDE as well. Whatever IDE or framework you use, it’s very likely that you might need the above mentioned “tools” except a few like database/application server, whose choice are mostly defined by a particular organization.

You should read this article in the perspective of “tools needed for your personal java development”. Because there are “lots” of factors involved in your work environment regarding the selection of tools.

And lastly, this is my humble suggestion only. So if you find your favourite tool missing, don’t get panic. Cheers… 🙂



  1. Interesting post !

    Have you never look at Quartz, it is an excellent scheduler task.

    There is so many API in Java sometime, it is hard to find the best one, isn’t it ?

    Comment by Cba — March 19, 2008 @ 10:02 pm | Reply

  2. dbVisualizer – best java based database conn/development tool


    Comment by redware — March 20, 2008 @ 12:04 am | Reply

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    Comment by lanphuong — March 20, 2008 @ 2:07 am | Reply

  4. Hi Cba,
    You are right. I use Quartz as well. It’s an excellent tool as well. But as you said, sometimes it is difficult to find the best one… 🙂

    Comment by James Selvakumar — March 20, 2008 @ 3:32 am | Reply

  5. Must have tools for a Java Developer « James Selvakumar’s Blog

    Must have tools for a Java Developer « James Selvakumar’s Blog

    Trackback by roScripts - Webmaster resources and websites — March 20, 2008 @ 4:15 am | Reply

  6. What about a decent shell?

    Comment by p3t0r — March 20, 2008 @ 6:12 am | Reply

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  8. MySql is the McDonalds of databases. It may be the most popular free database but not the best free database.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 20, 2008 @ 6:49 am | Reply

  9. Quartz grates against J2EE common sense; now we have EJB timers, only underachievers hurt themselves with Quartz’s runaway threads and DB tables.
    As a database and application server for development, the exact same version of whatever is used in the production environment is appropriate; anything else, even if it’s “better”, is a stupid compatibility hazard.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 20, 2008 @ 8:41 am | Reply

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  11. Subversion is an amazing tool, I use it for all my projects!

    Comment by pureroon — March 20, 2008 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  12. That list seems to me like a random linkage of popular open source projects with no particular purpose or audience. Why would a client-side Java developer have any use for Tomcat, Glassfish or MySQL? Besides, those aren’t tools, but much rather complex infrastructure software catered towards a specific technical domain (Web applications / JEE).

    And what does Firefox have to do with Java development?!

    Comment by Matthias — March 20, 2008 @ 1:34 pm | Reply

  13. Excellent Blog. Thanks for sharing your info.

    Comment by liambean — March 20, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  14. Looks more like tools for a web development project.

    Two tools that I think you need to be aware of for Java development are Guice for dependency injection and Google Collections Library for making life so much easier when dealing with Java collections.

    Comment by pauly — March 20, 2008 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  15. I would agree with Matthias on this one – it seems like just a list of random popular OS projects related to J2EE development.

    Comment by Sellotaped — March 20, 2008 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

  16. I think PMD/Checkstyle are good but I also like to use FindBugs. There is a nice NetBeans plugin for this also.

    Comment by Chris — March 20, 2008 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  17. Hey…what about Derby Database…is part of Netbeans!!!better than MySQL (IMHO)

    Comment by Andres — March 20, 2008 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

  18. Ostermiller Utils are also a great source of libraries:


    Comment by Anonymous Coward — March 20, 2008 @ 11:35 pm | Reply

  19. What about SoapUI? Of course, it isn’t specific for java platforms…but it’s so USEFUL!!

    Comment by Waiting4DeathOfCapitalism — March 27, 2008 @ 8:48 am | Reply

  20. NetBeans IDE 6.1

    Comment by ufak — March 27, 2008 @ 8:59 am | Reply

  21. I’d recommend Glassbox (http://www.glassbox.com/)

    Using AspectJ’s Runtime Weaving, it provides a free readymade performance analyzer for (almost) any kind of java application… moreover, its open-source.. useful to summarize performance, esp during initial stage of profiling…

    Also needed in the list are decompiler, Heap dump analyzer (there’s one hprof reader from SAP, which is free and awesome), Thread dump analyzer…

    Comment by Krishna R — March 27, 2008 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  22. You missed the most important tool for java developers:


    Comment by Terry — March 29, 2008 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

  23. Why is not maven in the list?

    Comment by EduHdez — March 29, 2008 @ 8:18 pm | Reply

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  25. 11) TestNG for test or JUnit for unit test.

    Comment by alepuzio — March 31, 2008 @ 7:01 am | Reply

  26. Nice blog…
    JProfiler is best Java profiling tool

    Comment by hems — April 1, 2008 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

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