Ahead of the Helios Eclipse release, Oracle has updated the NetBeans IDE to version 6.9, bringing with it JavaFX Composer, a visual editor for building JavaFX applications.

JavaFX Composer can also build, edit and debug rich Internet applications. It can bind components to data sources, including databases and Web services.

OSGi interoperability has also been introduced, allowing developers to create OSGi bundles on NetBeans. Interoperability was also expanded to support for Ruby on Rails, the Spring 3.0 framework and the PHP Zend framework.

For Java, NetBeans now supports Java EE 6, including contexts, dependency injection and JSR-299. The new release offers improved Java language editing with more than 80 new “hints” to enhance developer productivity, according to the company.

“This is the first NetBeans release under Oracle’s stewardship, and we have continued to focus on the visual tooling capabilities within the IDE,” said Ted Farrell, chief architect and senior vice president of tools and middleware at Oracle. “We believe that the ease of use and developer productivity provided by NetBeans is key in helping developers of any skill level take advantage of all of the great Java technologies.”

NetBeans 6.9 is available as a free download at Oracle’s website.