NetBeans 6.8m2 is already surprisingly stable. I used the development build of NetBeans 6.8 in a workshop last week and it worked without major problems on different operating systems. Major features are:
- NetBeans 6.8m2 comes with Glassfish v3 b66 and so with already well integrated, embedded EJB 3.1 container. See working sample.
- The JSF 2.0 editor does support code completion and JavaDoc for JSF tags as well as auto-completion for managed bean value-binding. So you can navigate in the expression from a managed bean, into a session bean and even bind JPA 2.0 entities directly to the UI-elements.
- You can create page flows with the JSF 2.0 flow editor. It will create the faces-config.xml for you. In JSF 2 you don't have to -> you can use annotations as well.
- JPA 2.0 + Bean Validation are supported and already integrated with JSF 2.0. It means: it is enough to annotate an entity - the error will be displayed directly in the JSF 2 without any additional overhead (<h:messages/> is required). An example (LeanJSF2EJB31Component) was checked in into: http://kenai.com/projects/javaee-patterns/.
- Incremental deployment with Glassfish v3 b66 is extremely fast. It takes less than a second in general. Class, interface, method changes are immediately recognized and deployed.
- The HttpSession is preserved during deployment. You don't even have to re-login after the deployment of your application.
- Java EE 6 is now supported in maven projects. You can create a Java EE 6 maven project from wizard.
- JIRA is directly supported for kenai.com. Additional plugins are no more needed.
You can actually develop a whole Java EE 6 application without any XML (no ejb-jar.xml, no application.xml no faces-config.xml) - except the persistence.xml.