Best Java in 2023

Java, one of the most common programming languages, is used to develop robust and secure desktop, enterprise, mobile, and web applications. There is no doubt that Java will continue to be a major programming language for many years to come.

A Java IDE can make all the difference when it comes to making your Java development experience smoother. Fortunately, there is a multitude of free Java IDEs.

Table of Contents

1. Eclipse

A dedicated Java IDE, Eclipse was released in 2001, and is available on Linux, Mac, Solaris, and Windows. It is considered by many to be the best IDE for Java. It is also available as a cloud edition.

There are an array of plugins available on the Eclipse Marketplace, which adds to the functionality. Eclipse also comes with a custom compiler. For Java programmers looking to develop specific functionality for Eclipse, a PDE (Plugin Development Environment) is available. The IDE also flaunts powerful tools for charting, modeling, reporting, and testing. Eclipse also supports application development in several programming languages via plugins, including C, C++, Clojure, Groovy, Haskell, JavaScript, Julia, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Rust, and Scala.


  • Several plugins available
  • Available on the cloud.
  • Good tools for charting, modeling, reporting, and testing.
  • Supports other programming languages through plugins.
  • Free of cost.


  • Setup can be difficult.
  • Not quite as modern compared to other IDEs.

2. IntelliJ IDEA

Released in 2001, IntelliJ IDEA is another one of the big three Java IDEs. It is available in 2 different editions, an Apache 2 Licensed community edition, and a proprietary commercial edition. IntelliJ IDEA boasts cross-language refactoring and data flow analysis features.

This IDE for Java has features that ease the life of a Java developer, such as chain completion, language injection, smart completion, and static member completion. In addition to supporting Java and a whole host of Java frameworks, IntelliJ IDEA also provides support for other JVM-based programming languages, such as Kotlin.


  • Supports other JVM-based programming languages, such as Kotlin.
  • Smart completion and chain completion.
  • Features such as cross-language refactoring and data flow analysis.
  • The community edition is free


  • Can slow down when working on a large project.
  • Can be overwhelming.

3. NetBeans

The last of the big three Java IDEs is NetBeans. NetBeans is the official IDE for Java 8 and is available on Linux, Mac, Solaris, and Windows. In addition to being available for a variety of platforms, NetBeans also comes in a feature-limited OS-independent version. Each novel version of NetBeans boasts an improved and reworked Java editor.

Lastly, NetBeans offers a GUI Builder and has extensions available for developing in C, C++, HTML5, JavaScript, PHP, and other programming languages.


  • Has an OS-independent version.
  • In-built tools to refactor code.
  • Has static analysis tools.
  • Offers a GUI Builder.
  • Free of cost.


  • Performance can be an issue.
  • Can be overwhelming.

4. BlueJ

Though mainly designed for education, BlueJ is apt for small-scale software development. Despite being developed as a ready-to-go IDE for beginners, many Java veterans choose this IDE. The primary screen of BlueJ displays the class structure of the application. It also allows for interactively creating and testing objects. Other powerful Java application development features offered by BlueJ include creating dynamic objects.


  • Good for educational purposes.
  • Contains a portal for teaching resources.
  • Interactive creation and testing of objects.
  • Free of cost.


May not be suitable for more advanced developers.

5.(Oracle) JDeveloper

JDeveloper is a free IDE by Oracle that offers a lot of features and visual development tools. JDeveloper covers the entire development lifecycle, such as coding, designing, debugging, optimization, profiling, and deploying.

In addition to Java, JDeveloper can also be used to develop applications in HTML, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, and XML.


  • Integrates with the Oracle Application Development Framework.
  • Has a drag-and-drop function.
  • Can be used to develop applications using other programming languages.
  • Free of cost.


  • More complex.
  • Can result in performance issues when working on large projects.

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