Today at JavaOne we learned about making plugins in the NetBeans IDE. Making your own plugin is a good idea because if your technology is available in the IDE, people are more likely to start using it.
Some general words of advice:
- Before diving straight in, create levels of requirements for your plugin. For example design a prototype, then decide on the minimal, medium and full requirements you would like to include
- Look at similar existing plugins and try and make yours as similar to those as possible. For example if you are creating a database plugin, look at how other database plugins work
Making a simple plugin is relatively straightforward. A tutorial is available here.
When you are done, right clicking on your new module will give you the option to Install/Reload. Now the software you have just been writing will be available to use in the very IDE you have just been using to create it.
When you are happy with your plugin you can go to NetBeans Plugin Portal and upload it. A community of verifiers will make sure the core functionality works and that it doesn’t break NetBeans. After that your plugin will be available in the plugin manager in NetBeans for anyone to use (just go to Tools > Plugins and search in available plugins).
Another tip: Once people are using it, be prepared for the fact that you will now need to ensure it keeps working and be prepared to respond to feedback.
The best way is to try it – have a go at creating your own plugin in NetBeans.