October 17, 2009, 9:27 PM — JetBrains, which has provided its IntelliJ Idea Java IDE as a commercial product, now is offering a preview of a free, open source version of the IDE.
The company on Thursday unveiled the free Community Edition of IntelliJ Idea, downloadable at this Web page. The upcoming version 9.0 of the IDE marks the first time the product will be offered in two editions, with the commercial product to be called the Ultimate Edition. The two editions are due for general release in late November.
[ Also in the Java IDE space, Oracle has a predicament on its hands pertaining to its planned Sun merger, which could leave Oracle backing three IDEs. ]
With the free edition, JetBrains said it hopes to remove the only barrier to wider use of the product -- its price tag. A commercial license for IntelliJ Idea costs $599.
"We've always been open to the community -- with our public EAP (Early Access Program), issue trackers, forums, and so on. This made for a tight and direct feedback loop with our users, even at a time when this wasn't a widely accepted practice in the industry. Since then, we've supported hundreds of open source projects with free product licenses, contributed code to various open-source projects like Groovy and Scala, and developed several open-sourced IntelliJ Idea plugins ourselves," said Sergey Dmitriev, JetBrains CEO, in a statement released by the company. "So, you can see how offering the IntelliJ Idea experience for free, through an open source license, goes hand in hand with our focus on the community. Open source has become the mainstream, and we continue to embrace it as an exciting challenge. In brief, we're not changing direction -- we're moving forward."
The Community Edition is geared to pure Java/Groovy applications or Swing development. It features such IntelliJ capabilities as refactorings, code inspections, coding assistance, debugging, and JUnit testing. Subversion also is supported as are Ant and Maven build integration.
The Ultimate version also offers advanced code manipulation and integration with Rational ClearCase and Microsoft Team Foundation Server.