Java’s popularity in crafting secure applications for mobile, desktop, and web environments is undeniable. Choosing the suitable Java IDE can significantly enhance your development experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned Java developer or just starting a Java IDE, it can significantly improve your productivity, simplify your development workflow, and make coding more enjoyable. There are numerous Java IDE options available.

What are Java IDEs?

A Java IDE is a software program that provides developers with comprehensive tools for creating applications using the Java programming language. Typically, Java IDEs include features such as a code editor, automation tools for the build process, and a debugger.

Integrated development environments (IDEs) are critical in software development, enabling rapid and efficient progress. Developers rely on IDEs to expedite coding tasks, benefiting from features like real-time error validation that save time and enhance productivity.

IDEs contribute to developer productivity by reducing setup time, accelerating development tasks, keeping developers informed about the latest practices and security threats, and standardizing the software development process.

Furthermore, IDEs support the development process by integrating developers’ work seamlessly into the software development life cycle (SDLC), fostering a holistic approach to software creation. An integrated development environment (IDE) consolidates all development tasks into a single tool, streamlining developers’ workflows and enhancing efficiency.

Moreover, by utilizing appropriate integrated development environments (IDEs), Java developers can efficiently leverage the language’s syntax for building various software applications, drivers, and utilities.

Nevertheless, given the multitude of options available, selecting the most suitable IDE can be challenging. Below, we summarize the best Java-integrated development environments for your convenience.

Top Java IDEs in 2024

1. Eclipse

The Eclipse IDE is a renowned and extensively utilized Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE) within our selection. It is open-source, freely available, and caters to diverse programming needs through its desktop and cloud variants. Opting for the cloud version proves advantageous when coding on the move.

Furthermore, developers can leverage the IDE’s plugin development environment to innovate new features or amalgamate existing ones, a rarity among Java IDEs. Moreover, the Eclipse Marketplace boasts a plethora of plugins that users can integrate to further tailor the IDE, thus expediting their work process.

In addition to supporting Java, Eclipse facilitates a broad spectrum of other web development languages, such as PHP, C++, JavaScript, and more. This versatility proves particularly appealing to developers who frequently engage with multiple programming languages.

Key Features of Eclipse

  • Supports Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.
  • Numerous add-ons are available, and you can even create your own.
  • Help for widely used programming languages.
  • No cost, public domain.
  • Supports Java 19

Pros of Eclipse

  • Runtime core
  • Custom compiler
  • Apache Maven and Git can be easily integrated
  • Marketplace for installing plugins
  • Refactoring, browsing, editing, and debugging capabilities
  • Code completion

Cons of Eclipse

  • Known for sluggish speed
  • Very processor-intensive
  • A clumsy and cumbersome tool
  • Difficult plugin architecture

2. Spring Tool Suite (STS)

Developers employ STS, an Eclipse-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE), to develop Spring applications. Spring, a renowned open-source framework for Java applications, facilitates this process. IDE’s built-in Boot dashboard allows developers to seamlessly deploy their Spring Boot projects to any cloud foundry platform. Integrating with Cloud Foundry is also straightforward.

STS supports various plugins, themes, and tools that are accessible in the marketplace. Everyday tasks like file opening, project launching, and commenting benefit from shortcuts for efficiency.

Furthermore, STS offers valuable features like interacting with for project initialization, heap state monitoring, and Git code management, including commit and push functionalities. Its potency stems from features like multiline commenting, editing, and integration with Sonarlint to ensure code quality.

Key Features of STS

  • All-in-one platform for developing, testing, running, and releasing software
  • Integrates with Git, Maven, AspectJ, Pivotal TC Server & Cloud Foundry
  • Extension of the most recent versions of Eclipse

Pros of STS

  • STS understands common Java project structures, parses configuration files, displays bean details, and offers stereotype-specific overviews.
  • STS visualizes bean relationships graphically. Explore the Spring menus for details on graphical editors.
  • STS supports more than just Spring applications (refer to the complete documentation for details).

Cons of STS

  • Preconfigured plugins may slow it down
  • Information online: Potentially incomplete
  • STS plugins work in Eclipse, so choosing between them is optional

3. IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ IDEA was developed with the primary objective of enhancing the efficiency of Java programmers in all possible aspects. Its intelligent code completion and intuitive interface not only streamline programming tasks but also make them more enjoyable and less stressful. There are two editions of IntelliJ IDEA to choose from.

Users can opt for the free and open-source Community edition, licensed under Apache 2, or the premium Ultimate edition, which is proprietary. The Community edition primarily focuses on Android and JVM (Java Virtual Machine) development, whereas the Ultimate edition caters more to business and web developers.

IntelliJ IDEA also includes an inspection tool that identifies areas where code optimization is possible. For instance, if it suggests adding a try-catch block to handle potential exceptions, clicking on the corresponding suggestion will immediately surround the code with the try-catch block.

Key Features of IntelliJ IDEA

  • Supports Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.
  • It is a free Java IDE and paid versions are available.
  • The premium version offers support for 25+ languages.
  • The code editor shows context-aware recommendations.
  • Uses Java version 19.

Pros of IntelliJ IDEA

  • Intelligent code completion, error checking & refactoring
  • Customizable & intuitive UI
  • Seamless integration with Maven, Gradle, Spring, Git & more
  • Time-saving suggestions & one-click solutions
  • Extensible with vast plugins (Java-focused)
  • Supports Windows, Mac & Linux
  • Excellent multilingual support
  • Feature-rich commercial version (Perforce, duplicate detection, database tools, etc.)

Cons of IntelliJ IDEA

  • Slower on weaker machines due to resource demands
  • The steeper learning curve for beginners
  • Potential compatibility issues with newer/uncommon plugins
  • Paid Ultimate edition offers additional features

4. NetBeans

Apache NetBeans is another remarkable integrated development environment (IDE) tailored for Java. This Java IDE is free and open-source, offering more than just a platform for development. It boasts syntax, semantic highlighting for source code, and many powerful and convenient tools that make code refactoring effortless.

Whether delving into JavaFX, Java SE, Java ME, or any other Java software, NetBeans is a suitable choice. Its inclusive nature allows users to dive straight into Java projects, encompassing the entire spectrum of Java development modules within a single download.

Key Features of Apache NetBeans

  • Comprehensive Java Support: Includes built-in support for Java SE, Java EE, JavaFX, Maven, and Gradle.
  • Intuitive Interface and Project Management: A user-friendly interface simplifies project setup and management.
  • Debugging Tools: Provides powerful debugging capabilities.
  • Rich Plugin Ecosystem: Has a plethora of plugins and extensions for increased functionality.
  • Built-In Profiler: Helps optimize performance and diagnose application memory usage issues.
  • Cross-Language Support: Facilitates development in other languages like PHP, C/C++, and HTML5 alongside Java.

Pros of Apache NetBeans

  • Easy to run server-based applications
  • Quick development
  • Huge community

Cons of Apache NetBeans

  • Limited professional support
  • Slow to load and execute
  • Memory and resource-consumptive

5. BlueJ

BlueJ stands out as one of the top IDEs for those just beginning their journey with Java. This free and open-source Java IDE offers a unique visual approach to Object-Oriented Programming and was designed initially with educational settings in mind. If you’ve taken a Java course at the college level, chances are you’re already familiar with BlueJ.

Compared to professional tools like IntelliJ or Eclipse, BlueJ has a smaller and less feature-rich user interface, making it more suitable for creating smaller Java programs or for those new to Java. Reflecting its academic roots, BlueJ includes a complimentary textbook tailored for beginners. This IDE is specifically tailored for the Java programming language and doesn’t support other languages. It also lacks auto-completion, which can be a beneficial feature for learning purposes.

However, if you’re looking to visualize the relationships between your Java classes through a unified UML (Unified Modeling Language) diagram, BlueJ offers a great solution. BlueJ implements scope coloring to enhance comprehension. Additionally, it can be run directly from a USB drive, providing the option for a portable Java IDE experience.

Key Features of BlueJ

  • Accessible Design: Focuses on basic programming concepts. So, it’s ideal for beginners.
  • Essential Development Tools: Includes basic tools like a syntax-highlighted editor, debugger, and code inspection.
  • Customized Plugins: Allows extensions to tailor plugins.

Pros of BlueJ

  • Ideal for beginners/user-friendly
  • Excellent visualizations and UI
  • Free and open-source

Cons of BlueJ

  • Poor for larger projects
  • Lack of plugins

6. Oracle JDeveloper

JDeveloper, an IDE developed and upheld by Oracle Corporation, is an open-source platform. Boasting an impressive 80% customer satisfaction rate and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5, it stands out in its field. The distinctive features of JDeveloper render it an exceptional option for crafting applications in XML, Java, SQL, PL/SQL, JavaScript, HTML, BPEL, and PHP.

Key Features of Oracle JDeveloper

  • It is compatible with the Enterprise Edition and the Standard Edition of Java.
  • Create a mobile app and website with the assistance of this tool.
  • The dragging-and-dropping feature works smoothly.
  • JDeveloper has an intuitive design.
  • Having your Java app talk to a database is a breeze.

Pros of Oracle JDeveloper

  • Available for multi–Operating System
  • Nice Customer Support
  • Good coding experience

Cons of Oracle JDeveloper

  • Consume a lot of memory
  • Require a high level of expertise

7. JCreator

JCreator, as a lightweight Java-integrated development environment, is well-suited for beginners in the language. Being one of the earliest Java IDEs, it’s limited to supporting Java 8, thereby excluding access to the newest Java features.

It offers helpful features like syntax highlighting, code folding, a customizable user interface, and various wizards covering fundamental topics such as classes and interfaces for Object-Oriented Programming. Additionally, it includes preconfigured project setups to facilitate a quick start.

Key Features of JCreator

  • Free to download on Windows.
  • Both free and paid choices are available.
  • Easily adjustable user interface.
  • Wizards and premade project layouts.
  • Java 8 support.

Pros of JCreator

  • JCreator shines in the building of Java-based applications.
  • JCreator requires less time to set up than competing IDEs.
  • A hierarchical view of your projects, classes, and interfaces is available in the JCreator interface.
  • JCreator allows users to select a project template, which speeds up the coding process.

Cons of JCreator

  • Unfortunately, the JCreator IDE is only compatible with Windows.
  • External plugins are not yet supported in JCreator.
  • There is no technical help accessible.
  • The premium edition is rather costly, considering its features.

How do you Choose the Right Java IDEs for your Project?

Feature Set

Assess the range of features offered by the IDE, such as its code editing functionalities, debugging utilities, support for refactoring, integration with version control systems, and compatibility with pertinent frameworks and libraries.

Performance and Stability

Evaluate the performance and stability of the IDE, guaranteeing seamless functionality even when handling extensive projects and intricate codebases.

Ease of Use and Learning Curve

Take into account the user interface of the IDE along with its learning curve. A user-friendly interface and thorough documentation can simplify the development process and reduce the time it takes for new team members to get up to speed.

Community and Support

Search for Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) that boast lively user communities, strong support channels, and regular updates and bug fixes. Community support forums, comprehensive documentation, and online tutorials are invaluable assets for resolving issues and mastering new functionalities.

Integration and Extensibility

Assess the capability of the IDE to merge with tools and technologies frequently employed in your development process, including building systems, testing frameworks, and continuous integration/delivery pipelines. Also, the accessibility of plugins and extensions that can enhance the IDE’s features to fulfill particular Project needs must be considered.

Licensing and Cost

Consider the licensing structure and expenses linked to the Integrated Development Environment (IDE), mainly if you operate under budget limitations. Although specific IDEs provide complimentary and open-source editions, others might necessitate purchasing licenses or subscriptions to unlock enhanced functionalities and assistance. Striking a balance between expenses and the necessary functionalities and support level is crucial in decision-making.


Selecting the appropriate IDE or text editor is vital in boosting productivity and maintaining a seamless development workflow. Whether you’re an experienced Java developer or a novice, this compilation offers a variety of tools suited to various project requirements and skill levels.

With the continuous evolution of the Java ecosystem, these IDEs and editors undergo regular updates to provide top-notch features and adhere to the latest Java standards, thus equipping developers with essential resources for project success.


As a beginner in Java, you can try out Eclipse, IntelliJ Idea, and BlueJ; these are very beginner-friendly, and a beginner can easily understand their interface. Thus, these are good IDEs to start with.

Java IDEs and editors offer benefits such as syntax highlighting, code completion, debugging tools, integrated build systems, version control integration, and project management features. They enhance productivity, simplify development tasks, provide error detection, and streamline the coding process for Java developers.

Some of the best free Java IDEs include Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition, and NetBeans. These IDEs offer comprehensive features for Java development, such as code assistance, debugging tools, and integration with popular build systems.