EJBs, JSPs, servlets etc.
Things that I can think are needed are easy access to help,
good debugging tools, code management tools (search/replace, method completion)integration with source code control - (the SCC API)
My favourite IDE is Visual Age. Visual Age is not a file based IDE like the others, it is an object based IDE where you work with your code on a class / method basis.
Visual Age's unique repository based source control as saved me innumerable times (it saves backups of all changes, on a method/class basis, rather on a file basis).
The only other tool I used besides Visual Age is VI, which of course is the king!
I saw the ToghetherSoft tools at JavaOne and was largely
impressed (except with the prices). Would anyone using them care to comment on their value in a working environment?
I have used Together 4.0 to create simple entity EJBS and deploy them to Weblogic. It is very easy and fairly intutitive, but I don't know if it is worth the (HUGE!) cost when the Weblogic deployment tool does half of it...
I would certainly agree with you that VA for Java is simply the best for server side development.The best thing I like about it is its integration with Websphere application server.This makes your servlets and EJBs so easy to deploy and test.
Also its smartguide for developing enterprise beans makes life soooo comfortable for EJB programmers.
However,one thing that we found annoying was its extemely slow perfomance even with 128 MB of RAM.This is perhaps because VA loads everything into memory.So even for satisfactory performance,you require 256 MB RAM.
jbuilder is also certainly a good IDE,but its EJB development tools are not even close to the facilities which VA provides.Also JBuilder is a more recent entry into providing EJB development tools.It did not have EJB facilitites till 3.0.
However,IBM people still agree that Visual Age/Websphere is not fully EJB 1.1 specification compliant and will not be till August this year,although they have incorporated most of the 1.1 features in their current releases.
What's the comment about Jdeveloper3.0? It is because we will migrate the source from VAJ to Jdeveloper3.0. As we know there is some wizard in Jdeveloper3.0 such that can easily deploy to EJB server
Oracle JDeveloper3 is very user friendly. Its wizards tools lets you create JSP/Servlet, Beans and package them into EJB/Cobra container easily.
However, I found that the Oracle JDeveloper will automatically import Oracle... class in to the code. for what ever reason, it seems that its to make use of the proprietry Oracle JVM on the 8iEE.
I may be wrong, but it seems like Oracle JDeveloper can only create codes for Oracle AppServer!
My all-time favorite development tool is Together, from TogetherSoft. It's very expensive (though there's a free, reduced-feature version), but the ability to simultaneously model and edit code is a life-saver (especially if you're a framework guy like me).
Refactoring becomes easy when you can change the model and immediately have the code reflect the changes.
The "Control Center" edition includes a lot of stuff for EJB (hot deployment, EJB code generation, etc), that I don't use. But it also includes the remote debugger, which has saved our bacon a couple of times. There are also code audit (like "lint" for Java) and metrics features, which can result in better quality code.
Honestly, I can say that I wouldn't be anywhere near as productive with any other tool that's available now (let's face it - most of them are text editors with a bunch of the same gizmos attached).