Everything you need to start building on the NetBeans platform is included in the IDE, including the platform itself and module development tools. If you already have the IDE, you do not need to download the platform separately.
However, if you would like to download the platform separately (without the module development tools), you can download the NetBeans Platform zip archive.
Save yourself a lot of time and energy in rich-client application development— reuse features from the IDE's core by basing your application on the free NetBeans Platform.
Building on the NetBeans Platform
Developing applications on top of the NetBeans Platform means you are developing on top of the NetBeans IDE's core.
The NetBeans Platform is a generic desktop application, and
most desktop applications have common requirements - menus, document management, settings and so forth.
Instead of writing the same code over and over again, write modules to implement what you need,
bundle them up with the NetBeans Platform, and you have a beautiful, branded, cross-platform application.
NetBeans-based applications are write-once, run-anywhere.
You get prebuilt components for free and you solve common problems by reusing,
mixing and matching them.
Use the platform and the modules you develop as the basis for multiple applications that share common logic.
The NetBeans Platform is a solid foundation and set of standards for clear design.
Applications based on the NetBeans Platform can install modules dynamically,
so users no longer need to download the entire application to get an upgrade or a new release.
You can even assemble an application from already existing modules
and benefit from the open-source work already done by others.
There are lots of useful modules written by the NetBeans community (tasklist, spellchecker, etc.)
that are ready to be embedded.