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NetBeans Platform 6.9 Developer's Guide

Jürgen Petri

Create professional desktop rich-client Swing applications using the world's only modular Swing application framework
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849511766
Paperback288 pages

About This Book

  • Create large, scalable, modular Swing applications from scratch
  • Master a broad range of topics essential to have in your desktop application development toolkit, right from conceptualization to distribution
  • Pursue an easy-to-follow sequential and tutorial approach that builds to a complete Swing application
  • English translation by leaders of the NetBeans community of a Germany Developer's Notebook on the NetBeans platform



Appendix A

Appendix B

Who This Book Is 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.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Modules
Modular application development
Characteristics of a module
Creating an application
Setting dependencies
Installing modules
Integrating OSGi Bundles
The sample application
Chapter 2: Forms
Form Builder
Properties window
Event handling
Modification of generated code
Extending the palette
Chapter 3: Window System
Creating a window
Automatic window lifecycle management
Positioning of windows
Creating custom modes
Creating window groups
Extending the default TopComponent persistence
Chapter 4: Lookup
Registering and finding services
Creating extension points
Enabling loosely-coupled communication
Dynamic changes and notifications
Proxy Lookups
Listening to the selection
Chapter 5: Actions
Preparing to work with global actions
Creating global actions
Examining the created files
Enabling Users to Invoke actions
Chapter 6: Nodes and Explorer Views
Multiple models in pure Swing
Nodes and the global Lookup
Multiple node implementations
Multiple explorer view implementations
Controlling views with the ExplorerManager
Key-based node hierarchies
Lazy child creation
Context-sensitive actions
Decorating nodes
Displaying properties
Inplace property editors
Adding widgets
Chapter 7: File System
Central registry
Accessing the local FileSystem
Listening to file changes
Chapter 8: Data System
Support for new file types
Context-sensitive capabilities
Chapter 9: Dialogs
Standard dialogs
Custom dialogs
Chapter 10: Settings
Options window
Chapter 11: Help
Creating a helpset
Creating context-sensitive help
Combining help sets from different modules
Removing help sets provided by other modules
Chapter 12: Branding
Application launcher
Limiting the set of modules
Branding editor
Chapter 13: Distribution and Updates
Creating a ZIP distribution
Creating an installer
Enabling online updates

What You Will Learn

  • 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

In Detail

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.


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