Image Blog ALM Eclipse or Netbeans
November 23, 2019

Eclipse vs. NetBeans: Which IDE Should You Use?


Integrated development environment (IDE) applications are necessary tools for developers. But, which IDE should you use? 

Here, we compare 2 IDEs — Eclipse vs. NetBeans.

Eclipse vs. NetBeans

Eclipse and Netbeans are both free, open source IDEs. Both support multiple languages, but are especially well-suited for Java. 

The same basic functionality is available in both Eclipse and NetBeans. But each one has its pros and cons. Here, we compare some of the most important pros and cons to help you decide which IDE to use.

Why Use Eclipse?

There are many reasons why Eclipse remains one of the most popular IDEs for Java. (In addition to Java, it also supports C and C++, among other languages.)

Pro: Tons of Plugins

Eclipse supports tons of plugins. Users can even make their own Plugin Development Environment (PDE). 

The plugins for Eclipse are various. And many of the products we develop at Perforce have Eclipse plugins.

For example, Perforce version control software — Helix Core — has a plugin for Eclipse developers. It's called Helix Plugin For Eclipse (P4Eclipse). If you're already using Helix Core and Eclipse, adding this plugin will improve your workflows.

Pro: Supports Modeling

Eclipse also provides modeling support. This includes UML projects. 

Related reading: what is UML?

Pro: Great For Larger Projects

Eclipse is designed to handle large development projects. So, if your team works on large development projects, it may be wise to use Eclipse. 

Con: Slow Performance

Eclipse has a tendency to run slower than NetBeans and other IDEs. There are many reasons for this, such as insufficient memory allocation. 

All the IDE Support You Need

Perforce products support the tools you want to use — NetBeans, Eclipse, and more. Plus, you can get started with enterprise-grade version control for free.


NetBeans Pros and Cons

NetBeans used to be a very popular IDE for Java. (In addition to Java, it also supports PHP and C++.)

But its popularity has faded in recent years. However, there are still plenty of teams using NetBeans. It is especially popular among more independent developers.

Pro: Beginner-Friendly

NetBeans can be more beginner-friendly than Eclipse. It has a simpler user interface. And you can get started without all the plugins. 

Pro: Stability

NetBeans is more stable. This is partially because you don't have to install plugins, as you would with Eclipse.

Pro: Great For Web Development

NetBeans offers support for HTML5, among other web technologies. So, if your team is focused on web development, NetBeans could be a good option. 

Con: Lacks Support for Modeling

NetBeans may be more stable, but it requires extensions to do things like modeling. And while it's not as slow as Eclipse, adding extensions can slow NetBeans down. 

So Which IDE Should You Use — Eclipse or Netbeans?

Both Eclipse and NetBeans can be great IDEs. But the right one for you will depend on your needs. 

Need more customization and support for large development projects? Choose Eclipse.

Need a beginner-friendly UI and support for web development? Choose NetBeans.

Or do you have totally different preferences? Choose whichever best fits your needs.

Eclipse and Netbeans aren't your only options. For instance, compare Eclipse vs. Visual Studio

And No Matter Your IDE...

Perforce products can work with it. 

Learn more about how Perforce tools integrate with IDEs — like Eclipse and NetBeans.

Explore Integrations


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This blog was originally published on May 22, 2009. It has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.