NetBeans 7.1 IDE has a feature that has been around for a while, but does not get as much attention as it should. NetBeans allows you to take advantage of using remote databases for doing Java development. There are a number of wizards which can take advantage of connections created in the Services → Database tab.
In the demonstration video, I connect to a remote Apache Derby Database, but the same principals apply to any database as long as you have JDBC drivers available.
Tips & Tricks
To verify that a remote database is Apache Derby (Java DB) which is listening on port 1527 (default Derby port). I connect to the remote application and append XXX;create=true; to the end of the connection string. When I test the database connection, if it is Apache Derby, it will create the new database which confirms our suspicion.
This 3 minute video demonstrates this valuable feature which developers should use for all their database needs.