About some of the tools I am using in my everyday life

As a consultant, I'm always on the run, switching from clients to others, resolving (or at least, trying to) problems.

(even if it's not been the case lately, since I'm working for a very large client who needs a lot of attention :p)

Anyway, I could not do my job without my tools. And as they are very very useful to me, I wanted to share them with you !

Sorry Aurélien for taking your blogpost idea, but I’ve been waiting about a year for your blog to be created, and I’m still waiting ;)


Network (tools to grab some remote files, setup a FTP server ...)


First of all, Putty. Very famous SSH client I find very useful BUT even more when used within Putty Connection Manager.

The latter is a layer above putty that allows you to centralize all your putty windows, enter some extra-commands, such as auto-login etc.

I'm using it everyday !


Then, when you want to browse a remote server windows-style, you may use a FTP client (of course,

only if the server you want to reach is running a FTP server).

In that case, the most famous FTP client is probably FileZilla. If you want to serve your files through FTP,

you may use FileZilla Server or Serv-U FTP, which is pretty good too (but not free).

Else, I use WinSCP, SFTP / FTP but also SCP client.


When you really want to know what’s going on& what’s exchanged between two servers, you may use Fiddler to watch HTTP traffic.

And if you want to “go deep”, use WireShark.


If you’re looking for a cool & free LDAP client, then forget about Softerra & JXplorer !

Try Apache Directory Studio and you’ll see what I mean …




Well, all depends on the database manufacturer you're relying on. Personally, it's Oracle (no kidding).

Then as my personal database, I'm using Oracle XE, and as a client, I'm using Oracle SQL Developer, which is pretty good.


Java / Java EE


I will not start a war by saying that my IDE is the best :)

I’m using Workshop (Eclipse with a BEA flavor) but it’s more a pain in the … than everything else !

I remember enjoying IntelliJ Idea but it was a long time ago. NetBeans has a pretty good reputation !

I have been playing with JDeveloper and even if it took me a while to get used to it, I can say it’s not bad, rather good in fact.

Finally, I would go for Eclipse without the bunch of annoying plugins brought by Workshop.


When I’m stuck on a common error such as “NoClassDefFoundError”, my life saver is “Jar Finder”.

You may find some other ways to do so, such as websites, Eclipse plugins etc,

but I can assure you that there is nothing better than this tool !

Quick to start (no workspace to load …, can use it offline) and pretty efficient : the must-have.


And sometimes, when I want to take a closer to look to an implementation, I use JD-* (Java Decompiler) which is an excellent,

I would even say the best tool to assist you in decompiling Java classes.

(and the fact it’s been written by a former colleague has nothing to do with it ! :D)


As everyone using webservices, I’m using SOAPUi (which allows you in its latest version to do some stress test too !)


And when I have to perform some stress tests, I’m using JMeter (I tried once OpenSTA but was more at ease with JMeter).


Dealing with JMS, I’m also using HermesJMS wich is good (not always providing the best stability but cool even though).

My former colleague James blogged about it and its integration with WebLogic Server.


When I want to analyse some thread dumps, I’m using Samurai.

Knowledge sharing (in other words blogging !)


To me, online writing is not a good solution. You may lose your content, you can't write anywhere and so on.

As an offline writer, I'm using Windows Live Writer, which is pretty good. It supports a lots of blog providers :

I started with it when I first blogged on Dev2Dev on WordPress, then I switched to blogspot and WLW switched without any trouble.


To shoot and capture screens, I use Gadwin which can be used in a free edition and it’s excellent !




Who hasn’t faced one day an annoying popup saying there was not enough space to copy a very important file ?

When such a situation happens, you can spend a lot of time looking for some files & folders to delete or you can use WinDirStat.

It’s a freeware which will allow you to find in a snap the biggest files on your harddrive.


I’m also currently playing with Sun’s (Oracle’s ?) VirtualBox to virtualize a whole development environment

and it’s hard not be seduced by this wonderful soft. If you try it, you will adopt it :)


To replace the original Windows file copying system, I’ve chosen SuperCopier. Far better !


And last but not least, the super text editor : Notepad++ !

If you’re working with XML : read that useful post about enabling XML indent in Notepad++.


Well that’s all for now and if you have an extraordinary tool you like to share, don’t hesitate to post a comment ! :)


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