8 Best Java IDEs for 2018

Credits : Learn.g2crowd


The market for integrated development environments (IDE) technology is diverse and complex.

People often find themselves looking at products that aren’t suited for their desired use. There are plenty of features that differentiate one IDE software option from another, but one of the key factors in choosing an IDE is your desired programming language.

This blog is intended to assist those looking for IDEs that provide native support for development with Java.

Java is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. It’s the third-most commonly used programming language, according to a survey by GitHub.  It was originally developed by Sun Microsystems in 1991, now a subsidiary of Oracle.

Java is often taught to beginners since it is relatively easy to use and maintain. Moreover, businesses choose Java because of its versatility. They can use Java to develop both internal or customer-facing applications that run on desktops, mobile devices or web browsers.

Ruby or Python Developer? Check out the best Ruby IDEs and Python IDEs in 2018.

Best Java IDE for 2018

This list includes any integrated development environment with native features to support Java development. It does not include products that may have plugins or integrations to support Java development. A few offerings of that nature are highlighted at the end of the list.

These products have well over 6,000 validated user reviews on G2 Crowd as of Nov. 2, 2018, and only represent a portion of the 90-plus IDE software offerings listed on our platform.

1. IntelliJ IDEA


    • Reviews: 979
    • Stars: 4.5
    • Vendor: JetBrains

IntelliJ IDEA is a flagship product developed by JetBrains. It’s the third-most popular product in our IDE category and the highest-rated tool with native Java support.

The product comes in two versions: the open-source community edition and a paid Ultimate edition. Each supports Java, Kotlin, Groovy and Scala programming languages and development with Git, SVN, Mercurial and TFS.

The Ultimate version includes additional tools to support duplicate detection, Perforce integration, JavaScript and database tools. JetBrains also has a wide variety of language specific tools for languages including Ruby, Python and PHP.

Image Courtesy of JetBrains



  • Reviews: 1,405
  • Stars: 4.1
  • Vendor: Eclipse Foundation

Eclipse is one of the most popular IDEs in the world and the second-most reviewed product in our IDE category. The tool is designed for Java, but also supports C/C++ and PHP. The product is open source and also comes in a cloud-based form called Eclipse Che.

One of Eclipse’s greatest benefits is its rich community and marketplace. This offers thousands of prebuilt plugins for everything from expanded language support to IoT development tools.

Image Courtesy of Eclipse



  • Reviews: 440
  • Stars: 4.1
  • Vendor: NetBeans


NetBeans is a free Java IDE with additional native support for PHP, C/C++, JavaScript and more. The product has a vast plugin library that includes Python support as well as other languages.

Standard features include basic code editing, debugging and testing capabilities. For most languages, there are additional features to facilitate builds, deployments and refactoring. Other helpful tools include project management, framework support and code analysis capabilities.


Image Courtesy of NetBeans



  • Reviews: 433
  • Stars: 4.0
  • Vendor: Apple

Xcode is the IDE native to Apple computers and comes free of charge on macOS High Sierra. The IDE was first released 15 years ago and is now one of the most widely used IDEs available.

Native features include a debugger, GUI builder, profiler autocomplete and more. The platform supports a wide variety of programming languages including  C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Java, AppleScript, Python, Ruby, ResEdit (Rez) and Swift.

Image Courtesy of Apple

5. MyEclipse


  • Reviews: 10
  • Stars: 4.5
  • Vendor:  Genuitec

MyEclipse is a proprietary tool built on the Eclipse platform. It functions across all operating systems and provides for JavaScript, database connectors and application server connectors.

The tool can be used for both Java development and web development with support for Angular, TypeScript, JavaScript and HTML. Other features include Maven project management, Spring Tooling and WebSphere connectors.


Image Courtesy of Genuitec

6. BlueJ


  • Reviews: 80
  • Stars: 3.8
  • Vendor: BlueJ

BlueJ is a cross-platform IDE designed for educational purposes and small-scale software development in Java. It’s free, open source and provides a basic set of Java development tools.

The product features a number of interactive teaching tools and a simple interface compared to most fully fledged IDEs. General features include scope highlighting, object inspection and source code diagramming.

Image result for bluej ide 2018Image Courtesy of BlueJ

7. Oracle JDeveloper


  • Reviews: 75
  • Stars: 4.0
  • Vendor: Oracle

Oracle JDeveloper is a freeware IDE from Oracle that supports Java, XML, SQL, GTML, JavaScript and PHP languages. The platform includes a full set of features for the entire development lifecycle.

JDeveloper provides an integrated development framework, visual development tools and select features for multiple styles of development. Features vary, but can be customized for Java, database, web and mobile development.

Image Courtesy of Oracle

8. Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software


  • Reviews: 16
  • Stars: 2.9
  • Vendor: IBM

Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software is a proprietary IDE developed and maintained by IBM. It’s designed specifically for Java development and supports Windows and Linux operating systems.

The IDE provides tools to help users develop, deploy and test applications on the WebSphere Application Server. It can also be used to deploy and manage web services, web applications using JavaScript and XML and service component architecture assets.

Image Courtesy of IBM

Next steps for selecting a Java IDE

You can sift through hundreds of verified user reviews on G2 Crowd to find the best free IDE for your needs. Check out the IDE software category where you can compare products, discover available features and read user reviews.


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