IntelliJ IDEA 13 Adds Full Support for Java EE 7, Android Dev

JetBrains released the annual update of its flagship Java integrated development environment (IDE) this week. IntelliJ IDEA 13 adds full support for Java EE 7, a new Spring tool window and features from the company's collaboration with Google.

This release builds on a non-commercial partnership with Google, announced earlier this year, to develop an open source toolset for Android developers. In May, Google unveiled Android Studio, a new IDE based on the community edition of IntelliJ IDEA. The Google IDE, currently available as an early access preview, and the Android plugin for the IntelliJ IDEA IDE were built from the same code base and use the same project format, which allowed JetBrains to incorporate Android Studio features into its own tool set.

IntelliJ IDEA 13 is the first major release to include those features, among which is support for the Gradle open source build automation tool. Version 13 "refines" its support of Gradle with better project synchronization, code completion for dependencies and plugins, quick documentation, code generation, and the ability to configure Web facet and WAR artifacts automatically based on Gradle files.

The Google partnership has generated an "influx of passionate Android developers" to the JetBrains Platform, wrote Maxim Mossienko, IntelliJ IDEA project lead in a blog post, which "is not only improving our platform, but also resulting in some really great new features." The JetBrains Platform, which provides the underlying APIs for all JetBrains tools, including IntelliJ IDEA, AppCode (for Objective-C developers) RubyMine (for Ruby on Rails), PHP Storm (for PHP devs), WebStorm (HTML, JavaScript and CSS), PyCharm (Python and Django) and MPS (DSL development).

Java EE 7 support in this release includes code assistance for CDI 1.1 (the latest version of the Java standard for dependency injection), JAX-RS 2.0 (the Java API for RESTful Web Services), Java ServerFaces 2.2 and batch processing. This release also supports the current releases of a number of app servers, including GlassFish 4, Wildfly 8 and Tomcat 8, among others.

JetBrains first began supporting the Spring Framework in the last major release (v12), adding XML support, drag-and-drop support for enhanced dependency diagrams and annotation-based configurations. The Spring Integration framework for enterprise integration patterns was also supported, and so were the Spring Security authentication and access control framework, the Spring Batch framework and Spring Web Flow. Version 13 adds a new Spring tool window designed to help developers navigate through the contexts and to browse the MVC controllers for URL mappings.

The list of upgrades in this release also includes: better support for the Git, Mercurial and Subversion revision control tools; enhanced support for the Groovy language; built-in SBT integration for the Scala language; new Web dev tools providing JavaScript code coverage, Stylus and Compass support; and a new set of dev tools for CloudFoundry 2.0, OpenShift and Heroku.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].