Difference between Eclipse and Netbeans

Earlier we had talked about some of the most popular IDE’s (Integrated Development Environment) out there viz, Eclipse and NetBeans. Most of us agree these two are widely used in programming world especially while working on Java. If you haven’t come across Eclipse and NetBeans, I recommend you to just have a look at both of them because we will be comparing them here – that is NetBeans and Eclipse.

Eclipse vs NetBeans

This might sound quite involved, so let us try to list out the basic difference about both here:

Platform Support

There is no difference between the both of them under this segment. Eclipse and NetBeans have cross-platform support. You can have this application running on Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris and any other platform, as long as JVM (Java Virtual Machine) is installed

Multiple  language support

Both have a wide range of programming language support, which includes C/C++, Java, JavaScript and PHP.  But how do you get this support is an interesting part. Eclipse is a plugin based IDE. Large part of its functionality comes from plugins. Features like Mobile application SDK’s, Rich Internet applications, and Architectural driven apps can be developed using plugins mostly. On the other hand NetBeans has many projects and is a tool based IDE. It incorporates many platforms using tooling support. Thus making it less scattered.

Java Support

Basically a lot of people opt for both these IDE’s for Java based application development. So it becomes necessary to look at how strong support NetBeans or Eclipse provides to the developers.

NetBeans has a strong support when you are developing MVC based application in Java. Servlet/JSP development is fairly very simple compared to Eclipse, especially in the field of deployment and debugging.

Database Support

NetBeans comes with in-built support for and SQL, MySQL and Oracle drivers plus it includes some others too. So this definitely makes things easy for beginners. However Eclipse has JDBC driver support – but it takes some serious time to configure the connection.

Which is better ?

I personally prefer Eclipse over NetBeans for many reasons. The first one is the startup time, NetBeans takes ages to load, and loading on the first instance is terrible in case of NetBeans IDE. Eclipse is very simple to get started with. The intelligence feature on Eclipse is better than that on NetBeans.

On the other hand what is interesting in NetBeans is default widget support of AWT or Swings unlike Eclipse which implements widgets using SWT.

What features makes you like your IDE ? Please do share and let us know in the comments section below.

Posted by on , in Category General with Tags
Azharuddin Khan, being a technology enthusiastic, loves writing blogs and updating them. Currently pursuing his Bachelors in Information Technology, he also loves in extending support via providing hardware solutions.


  1. Baadshah

    I don’t agree with the author of this post. You are comparing two older versions of same application (As per Image in this post). First have a look on NetBeans 7.0 and Eclipse 3.7 and then decide and NetBeans is always better than anyone, so please do no try to dominate Sun microsystems over IBM as you always do by dominating Google over Windows!

  2. KillerAS

    Eclipse much better than Netbeans.. Netbeans slow and non user friendly..

  3. Dancarendt

    I have Eclipse Indigo, 3.7.1 in series, have experiences with it (including Android SDK) which cause me to concur with the post’s writer, and respectfully point out that Eclipse began as an IBM project and in no way has ever been affected by Sun (in support see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_(software) ).

  4. EddieDinkz

    I agree with the author, Eclipse is the Best IDE, I have ever seen, As the author said it is simple and easy to use and it is light-weight. But Netbeans take a longer time to load and It’s very heavy. The UI of Eclipse is a Beautiful UI.

  5. Moschlegel

    The problem I have with Eclipse is getting it installed properly on Linux (Fedora 16), netbeans 7.1 installs just fine and the plugins are easy to install. The Eclipse plugin installation system always ends up with dependency failures for me:

    “Cannot complete the install because one or more required items could not be found.
    Software being installed: Spring IDE Core (required) (org.springframework.ide.eclipse.feature.feature.g roup
    Missing requirement: Spring IDE Core (required) (org.springframework.ide.eclipse.feature.feature.g roup requires ‘org.eclipse.wst.xml_ui.feature.feature.group 0.0.0’ but it could not be found”

    Which is what I get when I try to install the Spring plugins from springide.org/updatesite

  6. Netbeans is a LOT better !

  7. Someguy

    I’ve been forced into using netbeans so as a result I’m visiting articles like this one and in my mind there is no comparison, Eclipse is miles better than Netbeans. I don’t give a crap about startup time, platform support, bugginess etc because given time both products are supported by communities that resolve these issues, so for me here are some of the real reasons eclipse is the best:

    1. Navigate to the next source tab. So you have a bunch of source files open and you can’t use the keyboard to switch between them in netbeans wtf? In eclipse you can just use ctrl-up/down or ctrl-e.

    2. Move the cursor a whole method at a time. Easy to do in eclipse, but why the hell would this be missing in netbeans in 2012? Do I really want to laboriously scroll up and aim the mouse a the target method? Don’t tell me to bring up the stupid (modal!!!) Members dialog box, or even the Navigator view – the source code is king, both eclipse and the (perhaps more awesome) intellij get this right.

    3. Select a java statement. Jesus another pita, in Netbeans I have to aim the mouse to find the start and end of my statement block. In eclipse dead simple, I can select the current statement, it’s parent statement then all the way the the entire class. Awesome for cutting and pasting.

    4. Insert new line above. Netbeans has an insert new line below, so why didn’t it finish the job and include that one as well?

    5. Ok, so where is “display call hierarchy”? In eclipse you put your cursor on a method and hit something like ctrl-alt-H and there it is. Do Netbeans users just not bother with this?

    5. Less vibrant plugin community. So in Netbeans I failed to find the very first plugin I looked for, a byte code viewer. It was easy in Eclipse, just went to the marketplace and typed in the keyword. Job done. A quick investigation showed that there are far more plugins available for Eclipse. Am I wrong??

    6. Anything in Netbeans favor? Well, adding a semicolon to the end of the line is pretty good. I’ve heard that auto generated ant files is an advantage but let me tell you this: DON’T RELY ON LAME IDE GENERATED BUILD CODE. You wouldn’t do this for java source, so don’t do it for equally important build scripts. Come up with your own domain specific build, oh and stay away from Maven while you are at it.

    7. Another thing in Netbeans favor, no Perspectives so it is potentially less confusing for the new user. However in Eclipse you can totally ignore this feature anyway.

    Yes as you can see I use the keyboard a lot and find it difficult to understand the mentality of somebody who stops typing, reaches for the mouse and painstakingly aims the mouse at a source file to edit a different class.

    The crying shame is that these unforgivable omissions seem easy to fix. Netbeans fans, please change my mind about this by telling me about the missing shortcuts, or that there is a more efficient workflow I should be using!

  8. long nguyen

    Netbean is slow like HELL, go way from this

  9. SomeOtherGuy

    From the “important” things that make you choose Eclipse it sounds like you should be developing in VIM instead of either Eclipse or Netbeans

  10. abdussalam

    Eclipse is better than netbeans -__-

  11. Gunamuthu

    Eclipse is very nice IDE platform…. 🙂

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