What Is An Integrated Development Environment?

Written by Caitlin Davidson

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Integrated Development Environment Defined

An Integrated Development Environment or IDE, is an application that facilitates application development. IDEs are designed to consolidate all programming tasks in one application. 

IDEs increase programmer productivity by combining common activities of writing software into a single application. These include but not limited to:

  • Compiler: A tool which transforms source code written in a human readable/writable language into a form executable by a computer.
  • Debugger: A tool that’s used during testing to help debug application programs.
  • Build automation tools: Tools which automate common developer tasks.

IDEs facilitates these with features like syntax highlighting and autocomplete.

  • Syntax Highlighting: Words that have special meaning in Java, are highlighted with different colors.
  • Autocomplete: Anticipating what will be written next.

IDE software currently available include Eclipse, NetBeans, Komodo, Aptana and Geany.

  • Eclipse: Supports C, C++, Python, Perl, PHP, Java, Ruby and more. 
  • NetBeans: Supports Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, C, C++ and more. 
  • Komodo IDE: Supports Perl, Python, Tcl, PHP, Ruby, Javascript and more. 
  • Aptana: Supports HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX and others via plugins. 
  • Geany: Supports C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl, Pascal and many more.

In Data Defined, we help make the complex world of data more accessible by explaining some of the most complex aspects of the field.

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