The best Liferay-specific development tool is Liferay IDE, a fully featured Integrated Development Environment (IDE) based on Eclipse. Even if you’re a grizzled veteran Java developer, consider using Liferay IDE when you’re doing a lot of development for your Liferay Portal instance. When Liferay IDE is paired with the Plugins SDK or Maven and a Liferay runtime environment, you have a one stop development environment where you can develop your Liferay plugins, build them, and deploy them to your Liferay instance.
Liferay IDE is an extension for Eclipse IDE and supports development of plugin projects for the Liferay Portal platform. You can install Liferay IDE bundled with Eclipse or as a set of Eclipse plugins from an update site. The latest version of Liferay IDE supports development of portlets, hooks, layout templates, themes, and Ext plugins. To use Liferay IDE, you need the Eclipse Java EE developer package using Indigo or a later version. You can read the learning path article Developing Applications with Liferay IDE for instructions on installing and setting up Liferay IDE.
In this section’s tutorials you’ll learn how to set up projects for your applications and deploy them to your portal.