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Google Becomes A Java Developer's Best Friend: Instantiations Developer Tools Relaunched For Free

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Back in August when Google acquired Instantiations, the speculation was that Google would possibly provide Instantiations GWT Designer as a free tool for all to use. Today, Google has made my day, because not only is GWT Designer relaunched as a free tool, but so are their three other core products. This is a huge day for Java developers, particularly those focussed on the desktop, as these tools are among the best of breed: as commercial tools they were worth the cost as they boosted productivity, but as free tools they are now an indispensible part of your software development workflow.

The importance of this announcement can not be overstated. Firstly, Java developers now have a production quality UI builder for fast prototyping of their desktop application using either Swing, SWT or RCP, as well as GWT and XWT. I've used WindowBuilder in the past, and it's a great way to get started quickly. The code generated is very usable. There has been no convincing free solution available for this range of UI frameworks in the past: today that all changes.

High quality static analysis of code is important for Java developers. Before you walk into a code review, it's always worth taking a scan over your code. Typically developers skip this, or else they use a free static analysis tool (e.g. FindBugs). Working CodePro AnalytiX into your development process, or just your nightly build, will help you identify bugs, and possible security issues, with your codebase earlier.

Finally, automated UI testing is one of the most difficult areas to get right. While there are free solutions available, the commercial products have always seemed one step better. WindowTesterPro will allow you to automated tests for your Swing, SWT or RCP applications. It includes record and playback functionality to get you started with an automation test suite quickly. 

Here's a quick overview of the tools, now relaunched as Google products

  • GWT Designer
    Powerful Eclipse-based development tools that enable Java developers to quickly create Ajax user interfaces using Google Web Toolkit (GWT)

  • CodePro AnalytiX
    Comprehensive automated software code quality and security analysis tools to improve software quality, reliability, and maintainability

  • WindowBuilder Pro
    Java graphical user interface designer for Swing, SWT, GWT, RCP, and XWT UI frameworks

  • WindowTester Pro
    Test GUI interactions within Java client rich applications for the SWT and Swing UI frameworks

Google plans to unify the products into the Google Plugin for Eclipse.  You can download any of the tools from the GWT download page. Check out Google's announcement to find out more.




Sundre Phillips replied on Thu, 2010/09/16 - 12:11pm

Does anyone know when UIBinder support will be available in these products?

Sekhar Ravinutala replied on Thu, 2010/09/16 - 5:57pm in response to: Sundre Phillips

My thought exactly. I'm not a big fan of drag/drop tools - they make great demos, but for me hand-coding XML works better. I love UiBinder and the only thing I miss is a quick preview (hosted mode is fast but I'm talking interactive). Hope GWT Designer provides at least that preview of UiBinder.

Chad Retz replied on Thu, 2010/09/16 - 6:10pm

In their blog, they mention:

So, there’s much more to come, including things we’re pretty sure you’ll like, such as UiBinder support in GWT Designer.

Mark Haniford replied on Thu, 2010/09/16 - 6:13pm

I prefer both approaches (visual and hand) when you have roundtrip engineering.  I like to mock things up real fast in a visual format, and then start cutting/copying and pasting xml.

 I've done a complete 180 on Java code GUIs.  These days I much prefer a declarative markup for GUIs.

Raw ThinkTank replied on Thu, 2010/09/16 - 10:31pm in response to: Mark Haniford

Why dont you all Hand code in assembly language ?


Why use Java at all ?



Well ,i will use UiBinder for sure

Cosmin Mutu replied on Thu, 2010/09/16 - 11:47pm

@RawThinkTank : there are times when these tools come in handy, like

1) Your company is all about delivering products as quick as possible with as few people as possible

2) You already know everything there is to know about the technology, so coding by hand could get boring

Otherwise, gettting a little code on your whiskers never hurt nobody.

Andrew McVeigh replied on Fri, 2010/09/17 - 3:02am

this is a huge deal.  the codepro stuff is very good and was priced at over US$1k.  that's the bit i really care about, i used to own a gwtdesigner license but let it lapse because i prefer coding.  but the analytix stuff had no real competitor...

Guido Amabili replied on Fri, 2010/09/17 - 3:16am


Does anyone know if maven based GWT projects are supported by the GWT Designer ?

I am working on a project with a couple of independent maven poms and use NetBeans and would like to try this tool because OS (Oracle sucks).


Mark Haniford replied on Fri, 2010/09/17 - 11:11am in response to: Raw ThinkTank

RawSepticTank, what are you babbling on about assembly language for?  RawSepticTank, remember you never grokked Java.

Instant Tax Sol... replied on Thu, 2011/08/04 - 11:23am

Looks like their tools are very powerful, and after acquiring them, Google has made them available for free. -Instant Tax Solutions

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