IDE comparison and your opinion about IntelliJ IDEA

Hello all,
Working on a new project in my company, I would like to know what are the advantages and disadvantages of IntelliJ IDEA compared to the other IDE like JBuilder, JEdit, Together, Eclipse, WSAD...

I know some of them but I would like other points of view.

The fact is that requiring this IDE for one new project, we requested the purchase of some licences and after two weeks, we received the followinf answer : "You'll not have IntelliJ IDE licences because we can't have confidence in a small company... Moreover, this product is not expensive thus it cannot be well!".

So I really would like to know which arguments answer to that.

One last word, according to the customers' list, this bank is already customer of JetBrains... Big bank -> no communication, I think the man who answered the request isn't qualified to make the choice (I think he only knows COBOL....).

Awaiting your replies :),
Wonder Sonic hoping to developp with IntelliJ IDEA soon

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Well, I hope that your big bank thinks with other organs when it does
business than in this case.

I'll tell you how it went in our case:
The place I am working for now (A big software company) worked with several
tools - VisualJ++ in one office and mostly JBuilder in another (dosens of
programmers).
When I started to work in Java seriously about a year and a half ago it was
clear that at least VisualJ++ wasn't enough, as it imposed a non standard
JDK at least for development, so I started downloading and trying anything I
could put my hands on disregarding price, including free IDEs (NetBeans,
Eclipse) and high end ones (JBuilder, about 3000$ for an enterprise license)
and Together (can reach twice than JBuilder per seat).

The IDE that was better from the first second was IntelliJ (then version 2.6
which has since evolved to the wonderful 3.x and the new EAP of the next
version).

Strong points:
1. I think that what you will get most about IntelliJ is that it really
understands Java. It helps you with the smallest tasks (e.g. tell you that
you are missing a semicolon) and the largest (modifying a method signature
that is used in 100 different places in the project), all with speed and a
very small amount of clicks.
2. Refactoring, refactoring, refactoring. From renaming a variable to
extracting an interface, IntelliJ helps a very large number of refactorings
that streamline development enormously. In fact, if I am not mistaken,
IntelliJ started as a refactoring plugin to JBuilder 4(?).
3. Integration with Ant. This is extremely important for an open
environment. Compiling with Ant means that you are not bound to the IDE in
any sense. It removes the risk to being enslaved to an IDE. Several IDEs
support Ant, but I thing that IntelliJ is the most intelligent in that as it
has a very good Ant file editor (XML with knowledge of Ant tags) and great
Ant progress panel.

There are many other great features like plug-ins, multiple debugging
configurations, customizable UI, web application debugging, JSP editing,
etc.

The office that was using JBuilder was ready to upgrade to a new version (8
at the time) and I insisted that they try IntelliJ. They did and thanked me
for insisting it. Even hard core JBuilder users converted hapily.

The price point is just icing on the cake, at least for our uses of the
product (servlet web application development)

Points to consider:
1. No UML design tools, although you can create a UML diagram from your
classes/packages through a plug-in.
2. UI designer - It is being built right now and you can register for the
EAP and check it for yourself.
3. Read the newsgroups and most importantly try the tool and any other.
4. If you have a narrow minded boss, purchase department, etc. it may be
tough to convince them, but since you will be working with it, then it
should be your choice.
5. In the Java world and mostly with IntelliJ there is no risk. You can move
between IDEs (not that I think you will want to do that) with almost 0 loss
of time since the IDE is decoupled from the JDK and the build tool (ANT).

I hope this helps.
For all users of other tools, I am not saying that any of them are bad, just
that for our particular product and development process it is the most
suitable.

Amnon

"wondersonic" <no_mail@jetbrains.com> wrote in message
news:21998362.1058563879392.JavaMail.itn@is.intellij.net...

Hello all,
Working on a new project in my company, I would like to know what are the

advantages and disadvantages of IntelliJ IDEA compared to the other IDE like
JBuilder, JEdit, Together, Eclipse, WSAD...
>

I know some of them but I would like other points of view.

>

The fact is that requiring this IDE for one new project, we requested the

purchase of some licences and after two weeks, we received the followinf
answer : "You'll not have IntelliJ IDE licences because we
can't have confidence in a small company... Moreover, this product is not
expensive thus it cannot be well!".
>

So I really would like to know which arguments answer to that.

>

One last word, according to the customers' list, this bank is already

customer of JetBrains... Big bank -> no communication, I think the man who
answered the request isn't qualified to make the choice (I think he only
knows COBOL....).
>

Awaiting your replies :),
Wonder Sonic hoping to developp with IntelliJ IDEA soon



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Having worked with JBuilder, Forte, and Together (and a little with Eclipse), I can say that IntelliJ is the environment which is the most productive for coding - the task most developers do most frequently.

One of the strongest advantage, however, is that the product is maintained constantly and that JetBrains delivers bug fixes and enhancements regularly. Since IntelliJ 3.0 is out since last fall, there were already 5 maintenance releases available to the customers at no additional cost.

With JBuilder, most bug fixes and enhancements are packed in new "releases" which you have to purchase for quite horrendous upgrade prices. I remember that in JBuilder 4 the implement interface feature did not work, and there was no fix until JBuilder 5, which you had to upgrade for.

Another great thing is that you have a fairly close contact to the developers of IntelliJ via this forum. They listen quite carefully to the customers demands and discuss features with them. My request to include reserved edits also in the new cvs integration was done within three weeks after the inquiry and it is now available in the current Aurora build.

I like the fact that JetBrains provdides the EAP builds for the upcoming version, so that we can try (an test)the new features early enough. This is what makes the big difference to the other vendors. Usually the EAP builds are stable enough to work with them in a regular basis (and least I cannot see that they are less usable than some of the released JBuilder versions).

The argument, that JetBrains is too small to rely on, isn't really valid. Together, for example, now bought by Borland, did not receive any major enhancement since more than a year. It does not hold up to current IDE standards (it only recently allowed to develop for JDK 1.4 and even does not run under Java 1.4 right now). After the incorporation into Borland, things got even worse, as we do not see any progress. So, there's no point to trust the "bigger" players - investment in products are even more likely to be lost with them, as marketing issues often dominate. (The big thing with Together is now to "integrate" it with JBuilder rather to provide long awaited bug fixes and enhancement for existing Together customers).

I do not want to blame any other vendor (Together still is the most usable UML-Tool in my opinion), but to me the vendor's size, importance or market share is no guarantee for saftey of product investment.

So, just consider IntelliJ's better usability, that's enough - you won't be disappointed.

Thomas Gülden
Munich, Germany

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I use Eclipse at home because I can't afford my own IDEA license.

Eclipse is OK, but the refactorings, keyboard shortcuts, live templates
and about a hundred other little things are all just better.

Donald

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well,

since banks tend to wait until other banks buy in...

- other banks, like mine, are buying idea in significant numbers, have license and support contracts and confidence in this company
- its so cheap, how can it be a real risk?
- IDEA is in the top 5 for market share
- the person who answered your question clearly knows nothing about the java ide industry. Intellj idea is a leading IDE in a number of different ways, and continues to win many awards. (you can forward this to that person)
- the person who created java uses it
- since when is any product safe in any company regardless of size?
- its main claim to fame is productivity

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my question is:

Why should the client/bank care what will be the productivity tool of choice of the developers? its only an IDE, the ending product's quality does not depend what IDE was used.

the only one who is qualified to make the choice is the one who used idea and other competing products.

for example, i used to work for a large it consulting firm, although they probably havnt heard or used IDEA, they have a very valid reason of using eclipse, why? because theyve been customizing their own version of eclipse, putting stuffs that are catering to their specific needs.

"You'll not have IntelliJ IDE licences because we can't have confidence in a small company... Moreover, this product is not expensive thus it cannot be well!".

this guys' an idiot. you guys are unfortunate to have a liason(?) like that.

linux is free thus it cannot be well. yeah thats right :)

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Hi,

First of all, I agree that the man who answered your request is unqualified
to make decisions about purchasing software, as he clearly hasn't been
paying attention to the trends evolving in the software market, where the
price of some piece of software has little or nothing to do with the quality
of the software. Unfortunately he's still buying the big companies' strategy
of pricing software high to make it seem powerful and "professional" but
where the opposite usually is true...

The advantage of Open Source software (besides the fact that it's FREE), is
that it is written because somebody needed it, not because someone was
trying to see how much money they could make with as little effort as
possible. The focus actually is on making great software that really fills
the needs of its users and stay away from the bells and whistles that would
sell it to people like your guy at the bank... Now, Intellij isn't Open
Source software, but it is written with the same goals in mind, and it
integrates with great pieces of Open Source software (Ant, CVS, Tomcat for
J2EE and so on...) whereas big buck products usually have you buying their
own "versions" of the same (SourceSafe, proprietary application servers and
so on).

Probably the strongest selling point for IDEA, as I see it, is the way it
miraculously takes care of as many of the tedious and sometimes risky
elements of software programming and allows the user to focus on the
important tasks (business logic, performance and so on). Its strong
refactoring capabilities and automatic code generation are the most
important tools that help users write great software using IDEA. Getting the
same functionality (if at all possible) from a bigger company IDE, would
take many times the small asking price of IDEA.

Probably the best thing you could do, was to make a list of wanted
functionality (and why) in an IDE, and put together a chart that shows what
the different IDEs provide, and include their price. It should be pretty
clear to the decision maker(s) what IDE gives the most / best functionality
for the best price. I don't know how your guy reasons, but he has got to see
the fact that with all the development support you get from IDEA you will be
able to develop better software for him (which is something a big bank
should be conserned about, in my opinion...)

Lastly, if this guy doesn't give you IDEA, go and buy a license for yourself
and show him who's making the most progress of you and any other developer
without it.

Hope this is of any help, and good luck!

Best, Runar Svendsen

"wondersonic" <no_mail@jetbrains.com> wrote in message
news:21998362.1058563879392.JavaMail.itn@is.intellij.net...

Hello all,
Working on a new project in my company, I would like to know what are the

advantages and disadvantages of IntelliJ IDEA compared to the other IDE like
JBuilder, JEdit, Together, Eclipse, WSAD...
>

I know some of them but I would like other points of view.

>

The fact is that requiring this IDE for one new project, we requested the

purchase of some licences and after two weeks, we received the followinf
answer : "You'll not have IntelliJ IDE licences because we
can't have confidence in a small company... Moreover, this product is not
expensive thus it cannot be well!".
>

So I really would like to know which arguments answer to that.

>

One last word, according to the customers' list, this bank is already

customer of JetBrains... Big bank -> no communication, I think the man who
answered the request isn't qualified to make the choice (I think he only
knows COBOL....).
>

Awaiting your replies :),
Wonder Sonic hoping to developp with IntelliJ IDEA soon



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You still can use the EAP version at home - the license for it is free.

--

Best regards,
Eugene Zhuravlev
JetBrains, Inc, http://www.intellij.com
"Develop with pleasure!"



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Except for the fact that I can't use the EAP at all without the multiple
module support.

Eugene Zhuravlev wrote:

You still can use the EAP version at home - the license for it is free.


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What are the most essential for you in multi-module support?

--

Best regards,
Eugene Zhuravlev
JetBrains, Inc, http://www.intellij.com
"Develop with pleasure!"

"Donald F. McLean" <dmclean@stsci.edu> wrote in message news:bfooif$2fo$1@is.intellij.net...

Except for the fact that I can't use the EAP at all without the multiple
module support.

>

Eugene Zhuravlev wrote:

You still can use the EAP version at home - the license for it is free.

>


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All of our projects have independant directories that are used as parts
to make different executables.

In 3.0.x, I have different source directories added to the source path,
I use "compile to source" and everything works great.

In the EAP when everything gets compiled to a single directory, things
just don't work correctly. I don't recall what happened, exactly, but
I've tried it twice and both times there were serious problems. Part of
it was that the "copy data files" part of the build process tried to
copy my files over themselves and ended up truncating every affected
data file to 0 bytes - I think that some of our data files exist in
multiple source directories. Part of it was that compiling everything to
the same location caused us trouble when switching from one application
to another.

Eugene Zhuravlev wrote:

What are the most essential for you in multi-module support?

"Donald F. McLean" <dmclean@stsci.edu> wrote in message news:bfooif$2fo$1@is.intellij.net...

>>Except for the fact that I can't use the EAP at all without the multiple
>>module support.
>>
>>Eugene Zhuravlev wrote:
>>
>>>You still can use the EAP version at home - the license for it is free.

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Multiple output paths feature has been dropped because in the new multi-module project structure each module can have its own output
path.
The coming build (> 873) is capable to compile modules honoring multiple output paths. The only problem is that there's no UI to
configure multiple modules yet and one have to compose iml files directly.

--

Best regards,
Eugene Zhuravlev
JetBrains, Inc, http://www.intellij.com
"Develop with pleasure!"



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Eugene Zhuravlev wrote:

Multiple output paths feature has been dropped because in the new multi-module project structure each module can have its own output
path.


Yes, I knew that. I understand the necessity. Unfortunately, it has
meant that I couldn't use the EAP.

The coming build (> 873) is capable to compile modules honoring multiple output paths. The only problem is that there's no UI to
configure multiple modules yet and one have to compose iml files directly.


I think I can do that. Thank you for the information.

Donald

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Thanks all of you for your answers, I'm going to make a document with parts of them :)

Moreover, I'm also going to make a little comparative with the only "IDE" we could use without buying an other one: UltraEdit32. Did you know that this software has been made by (at most) 4-5 developers!!!

Thanks again :)

Wonder Sonic

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Here are my thoughts on such a comparison (based on what I've used or currently use):

Together ControlCenter vs. IDEA: ControlCenter obviously has more capabilities, but the core IDE isn't nearly as well-integrated as IDEA. I would do most of my coding in IDEA and then switch to ControlCenter when I need design, audits, etc. Also, judging by how Borland has handled the acquisition of TogetherSoft, I wouldn't be suprised if the ControlCenter product is dropped in the near future.

JBuilder vs. IDEA: JBuilder is good, but IMO the interface isn't as easy to use as IDEA. Also, factor in the cost. Although the "personal" edition is free, it's been hobbled to the point that it doesn't even understand JSP! I believe the "Developer" edition costs about $1000.

NetBeans vs. IDEA: NetBeans is very good, but can be extremely unintuitive to use. I don't believe it has good support for refactoring, etc. It does do a very good job on J2EE. I imagine that once you got used to it, you could be just about as productive in NetBeans as IDEA.

Eclipse vs. IDEA: THIS is the interesting comparison. Eclipse is coming on strong, and very fast. It already has most of the features that IDEA has (although perhaps not as smoothly implemented). When version 3 is ready for release (Q2 2004), I think it may equal or surpass IDEA. Time will tell.

and finally:

"open source" vs. IDEA: I like IDEA very much, however I think that the days of a $500 IDE are numbered. Products like JBuilder and IDEA are going to get swamped by things like NetBeans and Eclipse. There will probably always be a market for the $4000 "Enterprise" version of these products, but I don't see the $500 IDE being a viable option in the next couple of years. Just my opinion of course.

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