The line in the sand where NetBeans territory begins and the Eclipse world ends is drawn at Java. With the release today of NetBeans 7.1, Oracle is showing its plans for this Java-focused IDE. Chief among the new features in this release are UI improvements for users of JavaFX 2.0 and CSS3, as well as better support for Swing and WebLogic Server 12c.

Bill Pataky, vice president of product management for tools and frameworks at Oracle, said that NetBeans is where Oracle provides first-class support for all aspects of Java, from the OpenJDK to the Glassfish Application Server.

Pataky said Oracle has three IDEs, and that “the three IDEs each have a place in the Oracle ecosystem. NetBeans is all about the Java standard, and we’ve been adding Oracle Application Development Framework support, as well as support for former BEA customers.”

Pataky went into depth on some of the new features. “For the desktop, we’ve improved the richer support for Swing developers through enhancements through [UI builder] Matisse. This is also the first IDE to support JavaFX 2.0.

“We now offer an advanced interface debugger that supports Swing and JavaFX. It allows users to examine the properties of user interface components, and you can use your mouse to explore those and make adjustments as you see fit based on the data gathered in the desktop environment. There’s also support for WebLogic Server 12c, there are new refactoring tools, and new support for GlassFish.”

Pataky added that the PHP tools included in NetBeans were updated for version 7.1, and that Git is now supported as an SCM system.

Al Hilwa, program director for application development software at IDC, said that NetBeans 7.1 “is a grab-bag release with something for everyone in it.

“Probably the most work has gone into supporting the new JavaFX 2.0. I like the Visual Debugger as a tool that will be broadly useful, and also think the sampling capabilities in the profiler are valuable. It is good to see that Oracle keeps investing in NetBeans, and even using it to support its flagship WebLogic 12c server.”