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NetBeans IDE vs Terraform: What are the differences?

Developers describe NetBeans IDE as "Quickly and easily develop desktop, mobile and web applications with Java, HTML5, PHP, C/C++ and more". NetBeans IDE is FREE, open source, and has a worldwide community of users and developers. On the other hand, Terraform is detailed as "Describe your complete infrastructure as code and build resources across providers". With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.

NetBeans IDE belongs to "Integrated Development Environment" category of the tech stack, while Terraform can be primarily classified under "Infrastructure Build Tools".

Some of the features offered by NetBeans IDE are:

  • Best Support for Latest Java Technologies
  • Fast & Smart Code Editing
  • Easy & Efficient Project Management

On the other hand, Terraform provides the following key features:

  • Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.
  • Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates an execution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.
  • Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.

"Rich features" is the primary reason why developers consider NetBeans IDE over the competitors, whereas "Infrastructure as code" was stated as the key factor in picking Terraform.

Terraform is an open source tool with 17.7K GitHub stars and 4.83K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Terraform's open source repository on GitHub.

Uber Technologies, Instacart, and Slack are some of the popular companies that use Terraform, whereas NetBeans IDE is used by Accenture, Edify, and Adsia. Terraform has a broader approval, being mentioned in 509 company stacks & 312 developers stacks; compared to NetBeans IDE, which is listed in 62 company stacks and 46 developer stacks.

Decisions about NetBeans IDE and Terraform

Because Pulumi uses real programming languages, you can actually write abstractions for your infrastructure code, which is incredibly empowering. You still 'describe' your desired state, but by having a programming language at your fingers, you can factor out patterns, and package it up for easier consumption.

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Sergey Ivanov

We use Terraform to manage AWS cloud environment for the project. It is pretty complex, largely static, security-focused, and constantly evolving.

Terraform provides descriptive (declarative) way of defining the target configuration, where it can work out the dependencies between configuration elements and apply differences without re-provisioning the entire cloud stack.


Terraform is vendor-neutral in a way that it is using a common configuration language (HCL) with plugins (providers) for multiple cloud and service providers.

Terraform keeps track of the previous state of the deployment and applies incremental changes, resulting in faster deployment times.

Terraform allows us to share reusable modules between projects. We have built an impressive library of modules internally, which makes it very easy to assemble a new project from pre-fabricated building blocks.


Software is imperfect, and Terraform is no exception. Occasionally we hit annoying bugs that we have to work around. The interaction with any underlying APIs is encapsulated inside 3rd party Terraform providers, and any bug fixes or new features require a provider release. Some providers have very poor coverage of the underlying APIs.

Terraform is not great for managing highly dynamic parts of cloud environments. That part is better delegated to other tools or scripts.

Terraform state may go out of sync with the target environment or with the source configuration, which often results in painful reconciliation.

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I personally am not a huge fan of vendor lock in for multiple reasons:

  • I've seen cost saving moves to the cloud end up costing a fortune and trapping companies due to over utilization of cloud specific features.
  • I've seen S3 failures nearly take down half the internet.
  • I've seen companies get stuck in the cloud because they aren't built cloud agnostic.

I choose to use terraform for my cloud provisioning for these reasons:

  • It's cloud agnostic so I can use it no matter where I am.
  • It isn't difficult to use and uses a relatively easy to read language.
  • It tests infrastructure before running it, and enables me to see and keep changes up to date.
  • It runs from the same CLI I do most of my CM work from.
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Context: I wanted to create an end to end IoT data pipeline simulation in Google Cloud IoT Core and other GCP services. I never touched Terraform meaningfully until working on this project, and it's one of the best explorations in my development career. The documentation and syntax is incredibly human-readable and friendly. I'm used to building infrastructure through the google apis via Python , but I'm so glad past Sung did not make that decision. I was tempted to use Google Cloud Deployment Manager, but the templates were a bit convoluted by first impression. I'm glad past Sung did not make this decision either.

Solution: Leveraging Google Cloud Build Google Cloud Run Google Cloud Bigtable Google BigQuery Google Cloud Storage Google Compute Engine along with some other fun tools, I can deploy over 40 GCP resources using Terraform!

Check Out My Architecture: CLICK ME

Check out the GitHub repo attached

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Pros of NetBeans IDE
Pros of Terraform
  • 75
    Rich features
  • 68
  • 48
    Plugins(Git, SVN)
  • 38
  • 37
    Easy to use
  • 35
    PHP Support
  • 33
    Java support
  • 28
    File History
  • 21
    Code analysis
  • 18
    MySQL support
  • 13
    Open source
  • 13
  • 9
    Code completion
  • 9
    Strong Maven Support
  • 8
    NodeJs support
  • 6
    Webdev king
  • 6
  • 5
    Easy maven project start
  • 4
    Jira Plugin
  • 3
    History of changes, friendly tabs
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
    Out of the box integration with maven, git, svn
  • 2
    Native Nette support
  • 2
    I don't like NetBeans
  • 2
    Smarty support
  • 2
    Groovy support
  • 2
    Intuitive ui
  • 2
    Chrome plugin to live update javascript from browser
  • 2
    Custom html tags support
  • 1
    Visual GUI Builder for Swing / AWT
  • 1
    Composer commands inside IDE
  • 1
    Powerful refactoring
  • 117
    Infrastructure as code
  • 73
    Declarative syntax
  • 44
  • 28
  • 24
  • 8
  • 7
    Cloud agnostic
  • 6
    It's like coding your infrastructure in simple English
  • 5
    Platform agnostic
  • 5
    Immutable infrastructure
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
    Automates infrastructure deployments
  • 4
  • 2
    Scales to hundreds of hosts
  • 2

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Cons of NetBeans IDE
Cons of Terraform
  • 2
    PHP debug doesn't support conditional breakpoints
  • 1
    Doesn't have full support to GKE

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is NetBeans IDE?

NetBeans IDE is FREE, open source, and has a worldwide community of users and developers.

What is Terraform?

With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.

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