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Article

Favorite free (or cheap) developer tools

Disclaimers

Pegasystems has not tested the software products listed in this article.

Pegasystems does not endorse third-party software products.

Pegasystems respects all trademarks and copyrights of the companies and products listed in this article.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Use the software products listed in this article at your own risk.

Always comply with your organization's policies and restrictions regarding the download, installation, and software licensing of third-party products, including open source software.

Purpose

The intent of this article is solely to share information about free or inexpensive software tools, plug-ins, or add-ons that experienced users of Pega products have found useful in simplifying aspects of application design, development, or testing.

Whether you spend 95% of your time or only 20% using the Pega Designer Studio, there are always tasks that you and your team perform outside of that portal.

The list in this article reflects the opinions of many application developers about tools that are simple to learn and use and that are free, available for free trial, or for sale for $40 USD or less.

Database

Editors

File management

Java

Log files

Mail

Network

Performance

Platform emulators

Screen capture and recording

Security

User interface

Web services

Database

IBM Data Studio

Browse database objects, run SQL statements and SQL scripts, and edit and debug PL/SQL statements. Works with almost all modern SQL-based database systems.

Free from www-03.ibm.com/software/products/en/data-studio

Oracle® SQL Developer

A free graphical tool for database development. Browse database objects, run SQL statements and SQL scripts, and edit and debug PL/SQL statements.

Free from www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/sql_developer/index.html

SQL Developer

A database administration and query tool that provides a single consistent interface for various databases

Free from www.sqldeveloper.solyp.com/index.html

SQLTools

A light-weight and robust front-end for the Oracle database, offering a powerful text editor, a SQL console, an object browser, and other useful features

Free from www.sqltools.net

SQuirrel SQL Client

A graphical Java program for viewing the structure of a JDBC compliant database, browse the data in tables, issue SQL commands, and so on.

Free from www.squirrel-sql.sourceforge.net

Editors

Notepad++

A source code editor and Microsoft Windows Notepad replacement

Free from www.sourceforge.net/projects/notepad-plus/files

RegexBuddy

Prompts you through creating, developing, and testing regular expressions by selecting menu options, rather than by typing the syntax

Under $40 from www.regexbuddy.com

TextPad

An alternative to Microsoft Windows Notepad, offering multi-file search-and-replace, HTML code coloring, regular expressions, file differences, and spell checking

Free unrestricted trial from www.textpad.com

File management

Compare IT!

Compare and merge files, both text files and binary files with HTML syntax highlighting

Purchase from www.grigsoft.com/wincmp3.htm

Multiple File Search and Replace

Edit, find, and replace text in multiple files

Purchase from www.internet-soft.com/replace.htm

Total Commander

An alternative to the Windows file manager, offering side-by-side window views, FTP support, and ZIP support

Free trial from www.ghisler.com

WinDiff

Easily compare two files or folders and get differences highlighted for quick identification

Free from www.softpedia.com/get/File-managers/WinDiff.shtml

WinMerge

An open source differencing and merging tool for Microsoft Windows to compare folders and files and view differences in a visual format

Free from www.winmerge.org

WinSCP

An open source SFTP, SCP, and FTP client for Microsoft Windows that now supports WebDAV, offering secure file transfer between a local and a remote computer

Free from www.winscp.net

Java

CMIS Workbench

An open source CMIS thin-client that works with almost all content management systems, useful for debugging Connect-CMIS issues in Pega products

Free from www.chemistry.apache.org/java/developing/tools/dev-tools-workbench.html

Eclipse

Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Java development

Free from www.eclipse.org/downloads

JConsole

Included in the Sun Microsystems JDK for Java 8. Using MBeans and JMX, this Java applet allows external monitoring of a Java application. Starts a graphical console that lets you monitor and manage Java applications.

See www.docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/tools/windows/jconsole.html and

www.docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/guides/management/jconsole.html

MC4J JMX Console

A Swing application for remote monitoring and administration using Java Management Extensions (JMX). Supports all major application servers and advanced features such as live attribute graphing and customizable dashboards.

Free from www.sourceforge.net/projects/mc4j/files

Log files

Baretail

Connect to an open log file and search or display the "tail" of recently added lines, similar to the UNIX tail -f command

Free from www.baremetalsoft.com

mTail

A graphical user interface tool for tailing log files

Free from www.ophilipp.free.fr/op_tail.htm

Mail

ArGoSoft Mail Server .Net

A basic mail server that is a freeware version of a commercial product. Lacks anti-spam features and is single-threaded; only one message can be delivered at a time.

Free from www.argosoft.com/RootPages/MailServerNetFree

James mail server

A pure Java SMTP and POP3 Mail server and NNTP News server for setting up, administering, and using a mail server for interaction with Pega development systems without affecting any corporate mail systems

Free from www.james.apache.org/server

SMTP Test

An open source tool to test outbound email and configurations, very similar to the Pega outbound email configuration (Sender) in the Email Account record. Try this handy tool for testing SMTP outside of the Pega product.

Free from www.smtptest.codeplex.com

Network

DNSQuerySniffer

A network sniffer that shows the DNS queries sent on your system. For every DNS query, view Host Name, Port Number, Query ID, Request Type (A, AAAA, NS, MX, and so on), Request Time, Response Time, Duration, Response Code, Number of Records, and the content of the returned DNS records.

Free from www.nirsoft.net/utils/dns_query_sniffer.html

EffeTech Network Monitoring Software

A set of network diagnostic and Internet administration software products for network administrators and network protocol developers. These sniffer tools help you accelerate your development, identify Internet abuse in your LAN, and discover information beyond what common packet sniffers provide.

Free trials from www.effetech.com

FileZilla

An open source FTP solution for both clients and servers that is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License

Free from www.filezilla-project.org

IBM WebSphere MQ Explorer plug-in for Eclipse

Explore and configure all IBM MQ objects and resources, including Java Message Service (JMS), and publish and subscribe

Free from www.marketplace.eclipse.org/content/ibm-websphere-mq-explorer

Packetyzer packet sniffer

A network protocol analyzer for Windows based on the Ethereal project, but provides a native Windows graphical user interface (GUI). Can capture from many network adapters.

Free from www.sourceforge.net/projects/packetyzer

Process Hacker

An open source alternative to programs such as Task Manager and Process Explorer

Free from www.processhacker.sourceforge.net

Hover over a process to see additional information and use the Network tab to troubleshoot connectivity issues.

Process Hacker example screen

PuTTY

A free implementation of Telnet and Secure Shell (SSH) for Windows and UNIX platforms, along with an xterm terminal emulator

Free from www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html

Wireshark

A network protocol analyzer that runs on Windows, Linux, and UNIX. Can read live data from Ethernet, Token-Ring, FDDI, serial (PPP and SLIP), and 802.11 wireless LAN.

Free from www.wireshark.com

Performance

Fiddler

A web debugging proxy for any browser, system, or platform

Free from www.telerik.com/fiddler

VisualVM

An open source tool to view detailed information about a Java application while it is running on JVM, for example, thread monitoring, performance and heap analysis, and MBean analysis. Useful for debugging SMA issues.

Free from visualvm.java.net

Platform emulators

Console

A Windows console window enhancement featuring multiple tabs, text editor-like text selection, different background types, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable font, and different window styles

Free from www.sourceforge.net/projects/console

Cygwin

A Linux-like environment for Windows that includes --

  • a DLL that acts as a Linux API emulation layer providing substantial Linux API functionality, and
  • a collection of tools that provide a Linux look and feel.

Cygwin is not a way to run or build Linux applications, but it is useful if you're already familiar with Red Hat Linux commands and scripts.

Free from www.cygwin.com

GnuWin32

A collection of the familiar *nix tools, such as sed, awk, grep, gd, and others, for 32-bit Microsoft Windows. In contrast to Cygwin, these tools are compiled natively in 32-bit Microsoft Windows and are run at the command line.

Free from www.gnuwin32.sourceforge.net

Screen capture and recording

CamStudio™

Capture screens and mouse actions and save them as an AVI or Adobe Flash SWF files

Free from www.camstudio.org

HyperSnap

Capture screens quickly and easily without having to save them to files. Copy and paste your snapshot into an email message or other target. Great for capturing screens during screen-sharing sessions.

Free from www.hyperionics.com

Paint.net

A pixel editor for screen shots, photographs. and other images

Free from www.getpaint.net

ScreenHunter

A free and simpler version of a more powerful screen image capture program

From www.wisdom-soft.com/products/screenhunter.htm

Security

KeyStore Explore

An open source graphical user interface (GUI) replacement for the Java command-line utilities keytool, jarsigner, and jadtool. KeyStore Explorer presents their functionality and more in a graphical user interface.

Free from www.keystore-explorer.sourceforge.net

OpenSSL

A cryptography toolkit that implements the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL v2, v3) and Transport Layer Security (TLS v1) network protocols and their related cryptography standards

This command-line tool offers various cryptography functions in its library:

  • Key creation and management (private keys, public keys, and their parameters)
  • Public key cryptographic operations
  • Creation of X.509 certificates, Certificate Signing Requests (CSRs) and Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs)
  • Calculation of message digests
  • Encryption and decryption with ciphers
  • SSL/TLS client and server tests
  • Handling of S/MIME signed or encrypted mail
  • Time Stamp requests, generation, and verification

Free from www.openssl.org

SAML Tracer

A Mozilla Firefox plug-in to view SAML messages sent through the browser during SSO and SLO. Very useful for debugging SAML issues in Pega 7.

Free from www.addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/saml-tracer

User interface

ColorZilla

A Firefox and Chrome extension for quick selection of colors for a web page and color themes for a website. Very useful for customizing the user interface of Pega 7 applications to match an existing corporate style.

Free from www.colorzilla.com

Firebug

A Firefox plug-in for editing, debugging, and monitoring CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page. Firebug Lite is the plug-in for other browsers.

Free from www.getfirebug.com/downloads

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

An application for photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring under the terms of use in the GNU General Public License

Free from www.gimp.org

Internet Explorer Developer toolbar

For Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, provides a variety of tools for quickly creating, understanding, and troubleshooting web pages

Free from www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=18359

JSFiddle

Test JavaScript, CoffeeScript, and similar scripts to see the resulting output. Also test snippets using almost every popular JavaScript library on the web, for example, Angular, JQuery, Ember, Knockout, and others.

Free from www.jsfiddle.net

WhatFont

A Chrome extension for quick identification of fonts on web pages. Very useful for customizing the user interface of Pega 7 applications to match an existing corporate style.

Free from www.chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/whatfont/jabopobgcpjmedljpbcaablpmlmfcogm?hl=en

Web services

cURL

An open source command-line tool and library for transferring data with URL syntax. Handy for developing and debugging RESTful and SOAP Web Services.

Free from www.curl.haxx.se/download.html

Liquid XML Studio

A set of XML development tools including an XML editor, XSD editor, and XML validator. Can infer WSDL or XSD documents from sample XML messages. Can generate calls to Web Services.

The Community Edition is free from www.liquid-technologies.com/XmlStudio/XmlStudio.aspx

SOAPUI

A free and simpler version of SOAPUI Pro, the for-sale product, that provides functional testing features for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Web Services

Free from www.soapui.com

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Published August 15, 2008 — Updated March 17, 2015


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