One way to become the "ultimate" of something is to simply declare it. JetBrains, maker of the IntelliJ IDEA Java IDE, on Thursday began previewing IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate Edition, the latest version of its commercial integrated development environment for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. The "ultimate" designation is presumably to differentiate it from the Community Edition, which is now available as open source.
The company had previously offered a free version if IntelliJ IDEA for non-commercial use, but source code was not made available until now. Both are based on the forthcoming version 9 of the IDE, formerly code-named Maia. No release date was given.
"Open source has become the mainstream, and we continue to embrace it as an exciting challenge," said JetBrains CEO Sergey Dmitriev of the move. "In brief, we're not changing direction — we're moving forward." The company positions the Community Edition, which will be available under the Apache 2.0 license, as a good choice for developers of pure Java/Groovy applications or for doing Swing development. "It has all the crown jewels ofIntelliJ IDEA, including various refactorings and code inspections, coding assistance, debugging, TestNG and JUnit testing; CVS, Subversion and Git support, as well as Ant and Maven build integration." It differs from Ultimate in too many ways to list, but if you're working with PHP, Python, Ruby or SQL, the free version won't cut it. Also, it works with CVS, Git and Subversion, but if you're using a commercial CMS, you'll need Ultimate. Luckily, JetBrains publishes a full comparison matrix.
The price did not change for last 2 years while I was I using it, so I do not expect to change it now. Beside providing community edition, JetBrains are big fans of open source development and support community for long time. They do lots of give-aways of their products on any large Java conferences plus some Java Champions been given option to have 1-2 copies of the IntelliJ IDEA as winning price for their BOFs (monthly community meetups)