Backward Compatibility Testing of NetBeans Platform



We want to assure the backward compatibility of NetBeans Platform/IDE

What is backward compatibility

The goal when producing new version of NetBeans Platform is to be backward compatible, unless otherwise stated. This means that if you developed a module/plugin for version A of the platform then it should work even in platform version B that was developed a few years later. If there is a module for which the previous statement is not true, then the compatibility is compromised. Discovering such modules is generally bad sign. It can either mean that there is an unwanted incompatible change, and in such case we shall fix it prior to release, or this change is desirable and highly justified, and in such case it should be properly documented. In either case, backward compatibility is the strongest commitment of the NetBeans platform. Undesired incompatible changes have to be eliminated.

How can you help

If you develop a module for NB IDE or an application based on NB Platform then it is in your own interest to know if your module works with the newer version of IDE/Platform. You can test the backward compatibility by yourself and let us know the result of your testing. We will evaluate your results and report bugs to the developers. Or you can report the bugs by yourself.

There are multiple levels of compatibility. Ability to compile old code against new version. Ability to link old binaries with new version and last, but definitely not least, ability to guarantee that behavior of NetBeans libraries remains unchanged. That is the highest level of compatibility.

How to test

Modules for NetBeans IDE

  1. install the module to newer version of IDE. E.g. module was developed for NB 6.0 (previous version). Install it to NB 6.1 (next version).
  • module have to install correctly -> no exceptions/no warning/no missing dependencies etc.
  1. test module functionality
  • it should work without any unexpected exceptions

Application based on NB RCP

  1. install the application
  2. replace the RCP with newer (next) version -> replace platformX directory in the platformX+1 from the latest version of IDE
  3. start your application
  • the application works correctly
  • your tests pass
  • If not sent us the results of your test or write down what was wrong

How to join

  • Wait for a message "Backward Compatibility Testing Call for NB VERSION" on
  • Test your module/application with NB VERSION of NetBeans
  • test the functionality with automated tests or manually
  • Let us know the results at
  • the e-mail must contain:
      1. brief module/application description - we don't want to test the module/app by ourself however we would like to know what it is doing
      2. platform/IDE version that the application/module was created on/for
      3. test results - summary of passed/failed tests is enough
      4. bug numbers (if you filled any)
  • we will contact you back if we will need a more informations

For late comer or people that have problem with deadlines

  • Fell free to mail us results of your backward compatibility testing anytime
  • Fill bugs about your problems

Results of testing

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