The NetBeans Platform is a broad Java framework on which you can base large desktop applications. NetBeans IDE itself is one of the hundreds of applications based on the NetBeans Platform. The NetBeans Platform contains APIs that simplify the handling of windows, actions, files, and many other things typical in applications.
Each distinct feature in a NetBeans Platform application can be provided by a distinct NetBeans module, which is comparable to a plugin. A NetBeans module is a group of Java classes that provides an application with a specific feature.
You can also create new modules for NetBeans IDE itself. For example, you can write modules that make your favorite cutting-edge technologies available to users of NetBeans IDE. Alternatively, you might create a module to provide an additional editor feature.
Using the NetBeans APIs
NetBeans Platform Fundamentals
Are you new to the NetBeans Platform? If so, after following the documents in the "Getting Started" section above, please continue your learning path by reading the documents below. In particular, the "Selection Management Series", in four parts, listed below, will show you how the various parts of the NetBeans Platform fit together!
Applications Built on the NetBeans Platform
NetBeans APIs for Developing Code Editors
NetBeans APIs for Visualizing Data
Miscellaneous NetBeans Platform Tutorials
Using Maven with the NetBeans Platform
Using OSGi with the NetBeans Platform