Java developers are well acquainted with Eclipse IDE. It is the ‘de facto’ integrated development environment (IDE) used for Java development. Eclipse IDE offers various modern features, such as code editing, debugging and testing. It is very useful for developing Java applications, including web applications, games and websites.

Eclipse IDE also offers support for other programming languages, such as Python, Ruby, C, C++ and more. One of the characteristic features of Eclipse IDE is that it supports an extensible plug-in system. A vast collection of plugins are available for extending the features of Eclipse IDE, thereby creating support for various development tools, programming languages and platform-specific sub-projects. Developers can also write their own plugins and make it available for others.

The free and open-source nature of the Eclipse IDE project is the reason behind its success and popularity. Eclipse Plugin Marketplace features tons of plugins which provide development tools for Java programming and ease their workflow to a considerable extent. Alright, so here we will take a look at some of the most useful eclipse IDE plugins for Java developers and discuss their importance in detail. So, let us begin.

1. Log4E

Log4E is a useful Eclipse plugin which easily allows using logger in Java projects. Log4E supports various logging frameworks, such as Log4J, JDK 1.4 logging and SLF4J. Log4E provides a premium version which provides extended features, including editable templates, using the Jakarta string generator for common logging frameworks, preview wizard, preferences scope and more.

2. Mylyn

Mylyn is a powerful task and application lifecycle management (ALM) framework for Eclipse. It provides an Eclipse-based, task-focused interface as well as tools and APIs which allows developers to avoid information overload and perform multi-tasking easily. Mylyn integrates with useful tools like Jira, Bugzilla and Trac, offering task management and offline editing features.

3 Spring IDE

Spring IDE is a suite of plugins which provide support for Spring Framework to the Eclipse IDE. It creates support for Spring AOP (aspect-oriented programming), Spring Web Flow and Spring JavaConfig. Developers can also make use of wizards as well as textual and graphical editors for creating Spring configuration files and new Spring projects.

4. FindBugs

FindBugs is a free and an open-source software application which is used by developers to find bugs in the Java code. The application is capable to analyze Java programs compiled for any Java version from 1.0 to 1.8. FindBugs is used by developers through various available plugins for popular IDEs, such as Eclipse, Netbeans and IntelliJ. It also offers cloud storage features for a team of developers to find and share information about issue evaluations.

5. Eclipse Checkstyle

Checkstyle is a widely used code inspection tool for Java source code. It enables Java programmers to write Java code that adheres to the applicable coding standards by pointing out programs which deviate from the defined coding rules. Eclipse Checkstyle is a plugin for integrating Checkstyle code analyzer for various Eclipse workspaces. It allows developers to configure custom coding standards and rules and provides instant feedback and warnings about any violations/deviations. The discovered violations/deviations are available as code editor annotations as well as in Eclipse Problems View and Checkstyle Violations Views.

6. Eclim

Eclim is one of the most useful plugins for integrating the various code editing features of the Eclipse IDE with Vim, a popular text editor supporting several programming languages. Java developers can access several important features, such as code completion, code validation, Java doc and source searching, support for Checkstyle and regular expression testing. Programmers can also leverage Eclim code editing features for HTML, Python, Ruby, JavaScript and more. Moreover, third-party Eclim clients have been created to include support for other text editors, such as Sublime Text 2, TextMate and Emacs.

7. Apache IvyDE

Apache IvyDE is a useful plugin for integrating Apache Ivy, a dependency manager, with Eclipse IDE. It is a sub-project of the Apache Ant, which is a robust Java-based software tool for automating build processes.  Apache IvyDE provides powerful features, such as Java dependency management, support for transitive dependencies, Ivy XML files editor. It also managed class path container and reverse dependency explorer amongst multiple projects.

8. EGit

EGit is a great Eclipse IDE plugin which offers integration for the Eclipse Team Framework with GIT, a free and open source, distributed version control system. It allows developers to stay updated on any new commits created by users and allows keeping a track of the entire history of every single revision of the code. The EGit project implements Eclipse tooling on top of ‘The JGit Project’, which is the Java implementation of GIT.

9. P4Eclipse

P4Eclipse is a powerful solution for integrating Eclipse IDE with Perforce Helix Versioning Engine. It is a Helix plug-in for Eclipse IDE which provides support for fundamental Helix operations, developer-friendly features as well as agile and traditional development workflows from within the Eclipse Team Framework. P4Eclipse offers some useful features for Eclipse IDE users, such as code reviewing, collaboration, debugging, support for complex refactoring and more.

10. Hibernate Tools

hibernate-tools best java ide
Hibernate Tools is a suite of useful plugins for Eclipse IDE allowing Java developers to leverage the power of Hibernate3. It is an object-relational mapping tool for the Java platform and Hibernate Tools is an important part of JBoss Tools. It offer a range of features for Eclipse IDE, such as mapping editor, Hibernate console, unified Ant task and database reverse engineering.

I am sure that a lot of newbie developers who are new to the field of Java programming and Eclipse IDE will find these plugins very useful. However, there are also a bunch of necessary plugins that are not on the list. So, readers are welcome to share some of their favorite Eclipse plugins for Java development in the comments section below. Thank you.