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Using NetBeans in a Collaborative Environment

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Are You Connected?

Developers who are collaborating on a project require a set of tools and an infrastructure that can help them stay connected to each other and work together as a team. In addition to sharing sources, team members need to be able to share information and communicate with each other, and how they share information depends on the type of information they need to share.

In a collaborative environment, team members have different roles and requirements. For example, in addition to software developers, a team might also include people in the following

  • Quality assurance
  • Project management
  • Documentation
  • User experience design
  • Marketing

Not all team members will use the same tools, but communication between members can be simplified when the infrastructure and tools are integrated.


Working with other developers in NetBeans IDE

The IDE provides integrated support for the following collaborative tools and services:

Kenai

Kenai provides an infrastructure of services for each project hosted on Kenai. You can open and create Kenai projects and access many of the Kenai services in the IDE.

When you create a project on Kenai, you create more than a version-controlled repository for your source code. For each project Kenai provides resources and services that are important when working on a project, especially when there are many people collaborating on a project. Each person is a member of the project, and the members can have different roles. Some members will be developers, but there might also be people responsible for designing the user interface, testing quality, writing documentation, managing the build cycle, etc. A Kenai project can help all the project members to stay connected and informed as the project develops.

A project can develop in different ways. In some cases, in particular when starting a project from scratch, you might want to set up the project infrastructure before any coding starts. In other cases, a project might already be started and some code written, but the project has grown in scope and additional people need to be brought in to work on the project.

The following resources can provide good places to start learning about using NetBeans and Kenai.

A guide to opening a Kenai project from the IDE

A guide to creating Kenai projects from the IDE

An introduction to features and services available to projects hosted on Kenai


Issue Tracking

An issue tracking system enables developers and users to report and track issues associated with a project and provides a valuable feedback mechanism for people involved in the project. The integration of issue tracking systems in the IDE enables developers to find, view and resolve project issues from within the IDE. NetBeans IDE provides integrated support for Bugzilla and JIRA. Bugzilla and JIRA are offered as issue tracking options for Kenai projects.

The following resources can provide good places to start learning about using NetBeans and the supported issue trackers.

Tutorial on how to use the integrated issue tracking features

Overview of support for Bugzilla and JIRA offered for projects hosted on Kenai

Bugzilla

Demo of using the integrated issue tracking features in NetBeans IDE

JIRA

Explains how to integrate JIRA support in the IDE by installing the JIRA plugin


Version Control Systems

The IDE provides integrated support for version control systems to help developers manage the history of file revisions. NetBeans IDE provides integrated support for Subversion, Mercurial and CVS. Subversion, Mercurial and Git are offered as source code management options for Kenai projects.


The following resources can provide good places to start learning about using NetBeans and version control systems.

Overview of how to set up and use Subversion in the NetBeans IDE

Overview of how to set up and use CVS in the NetBeans IDE

Overview of setting up and working with source code management on Kenai


Continuous Integration

Using a continuous integration server enables developers to easily run automated tasks and obtain fresh builds of a project when the project sources are changed. The IDE includes integrated support for the Hudson continuous integration (CI) server in the Services window. After you register an instance of Hudson with the IDE, you can create and start jobs directly in the IDE and see the status of your Hudson jobs.

The following resources are good starting places to learn about how to use Hudson and NetBeans.

Other Resources

The following documents provide information about other features and tools that can help you in a collaborative environment.

About Instant Messaging (IM) Chat
Documentation about using the NetBeans chat client and setting up Pidgin and Adium chat clients

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