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NetBeans Platform 6.9 Developer's Guide

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The NetBeans Platform has many features provided out of the box for Swing desktop application developers. It can take you hours just to create menu bars, toolbars, a window system, and other typical desktop application infrastructural needs rather than you focusing on your domain knowledge. Imagine how much time you could save with a hands-on guide for using the NetBeans Platform, which relieves you from creating desktop functions for each of your applications.

This book guides you through the development of a complete Swing application built on the NetBeans Platform. Each chapter introduces a number of new concepts relating to a theme, such as the window system, and then shows you how to implement the concepts in the application you are creating. At the end of the book you have a task manager, which you can adapt to your own purposes. Or you can, of course, create your own applications, now that you have built up a solid basis of NetBeans Platform knowledge.

The NetBeans Platform is a framework for developing large distributed desktop applications. It aims to drastically simplify desktop application development by providing a number of techniques, patterns, and full-blown Swing components out of the box. Most desktop applications have very similar technical requirements, such as: a consistent user interface, extensibility, data display, configuration settings, a help system, distribution mechanisms, on-line update possibilities, and the ability to be deployed to multiple operating systems.

Fulfilling these technical requirements over and over again for each new application is expensive, superfluous, and boring. The NetBeans Platform gives developers a transparent, open source, extensible, and free framework that address all of these technical requirements. This book will guide you through all these topics and show you how you can apply the lessons learned in the context of a real application.

The central driver of the book is the creation of a complete sample application, chapter by chapter, throughout the length of this book. You will learn how to apply the key concepts in your own work environment, so that you will be able to build flexible, reliable, robust and scalable Swing applications yourself. At the end of the book, you will be comfortable creating similar applications yourself and you will know what to do when you get stuck.

This book helps you to create robust Swing applications by providing an in-depth coverage of all the features of the powerful NetBeans Platform 6.8

What you will learn from this book

  • Reuse the NetBeans window system for your Swing applications, rather than creating your own
  • Explore the NetBeans module system and utilize it effectively in large applications
  • Use the standard parts of the NetBeans Platform rather than creating your own menu bars, toolbars, and other typical features
  • Handle the display of large sets of data via the NetBeans Nodes API, together with the NetBeans Platform's advanced Swing components
  • Get to know all of the main NetBeans APIs and utilize them for developing applications that suit your needs
  • Visualize your data quickly and powerfully via the NetBeans Visual Library API
  • Prototype your application and get very complex data structures displayed in interesting ways in no time
  • Create applications that can be easily deployed to Windows, Linux, and Mac
  • Build your understanding of the nuances of the NetBeans Platform as you create an application from scratch

Approach

This is a step-by-step example-driven tutorial designed to be worked through chapter-wise. You'll be learning with the help of example code and screenshots that will ensure easier understanding. At the end, you will have developed a complete application on top of the NetBeans Platform.

Who this book is written for

This book is written for developers who are comfortable with Java and Swing and who would like to use a framework as the basis of their Swing application. Zero knowledge of the NetBeans Platform is assumed. The reader is typically a developer (or a group of developers) wanting to create large, distributed, flexible Swing applications. The development team is typically large and distributed and members need to work independently on distinct parts of the application. The end user of the application typically needs to have the ability to install additional features at runtime, after the application has already been installed, without reinstalling the application.

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