The term IDE stands for integrated development environment. It is software that combines all the necessary developer tools in a single graphical user interface. In other words, it is a computer application that facilitates the development of applications by bringing all the necessary developer tools under one roof. This blog post will focus on the concept of online IDE.
The basic developer tools that any IDE consists of are a source code editor, local build automation, and debugger. Since all these tools are available in a single platform, programmers do not need to install and configure them separately on their devices. Also, developers do not need to switch between different tools while developing applications.
Well, offline IDEs require you to install them on your computer system, which consumes a lot of space. Also, it becomes pretty challenging to transfer the code, which is written in an offline IDE, to multiple systems. To make your code accessible from anywhere, online IDEs come in handy. Also, you do not need to install and configure online IDEs on your local system.
This article will make you familiar with some popular and widely used online IDEs. Also, it will help you understand what exactly an online IDE is, along with its advantages and disadvantages.
So, let us get started!
What is an Online IDE?
An online IDE, also known as a web IDE or a cloud IDE, is a browser-based programming environment that combines the necessary developer tools and works within your browser. It is a web-based integrated development environment that you can access from various browsers, including Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
Therefore, for using a web IDE, you just need a compatible browser and a reliable internet connection. You can write, compile, debug, and save your code and access it anywhere from any device. However, online IDEs, as of yet, do not provide all the features that traditional or offline IDEs offer.
Advantages of Online IDEs
- Access code anywhere from any device with a browser and an active internet connection.
- You do not need to install and configure an IDE on your local system.
- Work on any device.
- Not prone to configuration drift.
- Since all the information is stored in the cloud, there are no hardware limitations.
Disadvantages of Online IDEs
- Code is available only when there is an internet connection.
- You cannot customize your development environment.
- Many online IDEs lack important features that offline IDEs offer. They are more powerful than text editors but have limited features compared to offline IDEs.
Top 10 Online IDEs to Use in 2022
Here is a curated list of the top 10 online IDEs that facilitate the development of applications:
- AWS Cloud9
1. AWS Cloud9
AWS Cloud9 is a web-based IDE that enables you to write, run, and debug your source code inside a browser. It is one of the best professional online IDEs available on the internet.
- Fully-Featured Code Editor: This browser-based code editor helps you write, run, and debug source code in various programming languages. Code completion and syntax suggesting features help you write code faster and also reduce errors.
- Integrated Debugger: AWS Cloud9 has an integrated debugger. This debugger provides common features, including setting breakpoints, stepping through code, and inspecting variables.
- Built-in Terminal: A built-in terminal allows you to run commands for various purposes, such as compiling your code, displaying output, or pushing code changes to Git. In addition, this built-in terminal comes with a pre-installed and authenticated AWS Command Line Interface (CLI). This AWS CLI allows you to access any AWS services easily.
- Collaboration: AWS Cloud9 allows you to share your development environment with other team members. Therefore, it is possible for your team to work together and pair-program on the same file. In addition, it has a built-in chat feature that allows you to communicate with other team members without leaving the IDE.
- Themes: A variety of color schemes for syntax highlighting and the user interface are available in AWS Cloud9.
- Integrated Tools: AWS Cloud9 comes with SDKs, tools, and libraries required for developing serverless applications.
AWS Cloud9 does not charge any additional fee. If you use Amazon EC2 instances for AWS Cloud9, you only have to pay for the compute and storage resources required for running and storing code.
CodeTasty is a modern, robust, and extensible web IDE that comes with all the features of a desktop IDE. It lets you write clean and readable code in real-time, regardless of the device you are working on. Moreover, it can handle hundreds and thousands of lines of code in a single file without sacrificing speed.
- Code Editor: CodeTasty comes with a powerful source code editor that lets you write and run source code with ease. In addition, it offers code completion, error detection, and built-in compilation features.
- Extensible: This online IDE is extensible, meaning that you can download and install various extensions to extend its functionality and boost your productivity.
- Built-in Terminal: CodeTasty comes with a built-in terminal that you can use in any workspace folder.
- Personalization: Everyone’s choice is different, and keeping this in mind, CodeTasty allows you to change the theme, customize settings, and resize or split panels. You can customize the workspace as per your needs.
- Collaboration: Other members of your team can edit your source code, and you can see all the changes in real-time.
CodeTasty provides four different pricing options, as listed below:
- Free: Free forever
- Starter: $4 per month
- Developer: $10 per month
- Team: $50 per month
- Collaboration: You can collaborate with your friends or colleagues by sending a link to them. Moreover, you can click on the microphone icon to start audio chat if only your browser supports it.
- Editor Layout: You can change the editor layout from the six available options.
Codepen.io is the best online place for you to write and test code for front-end applications. It is an online social development environment specially designed for front-end designers and developers. It allows you to build and deploy websites and write test cases to debug your source code. In addition, Codepen.io allows you to save your code snippets, called ‘pens,’ and search them easily with their names.
- Asset Hosting: This feature allows you to store essential files on Codepen and use them as and when required.
- Image Editing: There is no need to switch to another tool for editing images. Codepen.io allows you to edit, optimize, resize, and rotate images.
- Collaboration: This feature allows multiple members to type and edit source code simultaneously. It also has a chat field to start discussions with team members.
- Build Entire Projects: Codepen.io provides all the features of traditional IDE in your browser, such as live preview, drag and drop uploading, automatic preprocessing, and website deployment.
Codepen.io provides two different plans, namely Individual and Team. The Individual plan further provides four different options, as follows:
- Free: Free forever
- Starter: $8 per month and $96 per year
- Developer: $12 per month and $144 per year
- Super: $26 per month and $312 per year
The Team plan charges $12 per month per user.
GroomIDE is a developer-focused web IDE that aims to boost programmer productivity. This cloud IDE enables developers and programmers to write, edit, and share projects in containers right from a web browser. In addition, it allows you to build your own development environment with just a few clicks.
- Code Editor: The code editor in GroomIDE enables you to write, edit and run source code written in various programming languages. Moreover, this code editor saves your time and increases efficiency with the auto code completion feature.
- Programming Language Support: The offline IDE supports more than 28 programming languages, including PHP, Ruby, Node.js, Python, C, Perl, Go, C++, and Java.
- Web-based Terminal: GroomIDE comes with a fully-featured web-based terminal that lets you access the Linux-based container.
- Integrated debugger: The online IDE comes with a debugger that facilitates debugging.
- Collaboration: Multiple members can type or edit the code in the code editor simultaneously.
- Integration: GroomIDE seamlessly integrates with Git repositories and the Git collaboration platform GitHub.
- Deployment: This online IDE supports deployment to AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Heroku, and Cloud Foundry.
GroomIDE offers a 14-day free trial. Once the trial period ends, you need to subscribe to one of the following plans:
- Free: Free forever
- Basic: $7.35 per month or $88.2 per year
- Student: $10.5 per month or $126 per year
- Premium: $21.88 per month or $262.5 per year
Codeanywhere is a cloud-based IDE that allows developers to write, edit, and run web development projects from a browser. This online IDE is based on CodeMirror. It utilizes OpenVZ containers for its development environments called DevBoxes.
- Code Editor: The intelligent code editor in Codeanywhere allows you to write and edit code in all the supported programming languages. Moreover, it offers features such as auto code completion, code refactoring, and syntax highlighting.
- Integrated Debugger: The web IDE comes with a debugger that lets you debug your code by setting breakpoints, call stacks, and stepping through your code.
- Servers: This online IDE allows you to work directly on your servers. It supports all the standard protocols, including SSH, FTP and SFTP, to connect with your server.
- Built-in Terminal: Codeanywhere comes with a built-in terminal. It enables you to run commands, debug your application’s source code, and display command outputs from your server.
Codeanywhere provides three different pricing plans, as listed below:
- Basic: $6 per month per user (billed monthly) or $4.80 per month per user (billed annually)
- Standard: $15 per month per user (billed monthly) or $12 per month per user (billed annually)
- Premium: $40 per month per user (billed monthly) or $32 per month per user (billed annually)
Repl.it is the best online IDE for Ruby, which includes Read–Eval–Print Loop (REPL). Along with Ruby, it also supports various other popular programming languages. The interface of Repl.it consists of a code editor and a results pane beside it.
- Code Editor: The code editor of Repl.it allows developers to write and edit code in various programming languages. It also provides syntax highlighting and auto code completion features. Moreover, you can share your source code with others.
- Code Together (Multiplayer): This feature of Repl.it provides Google Docs-like experience. It allows you and your friends or colleagues to work together to write, run, and debug code in real-time.
- Collaboration: You can also chat with your team members or friends without leaving your browser.
- Customize: The online IDE allows you to customize your workspace the way you want with custom themes and plugins.
- Universal Package Manager: This feature of Repl.it saves your time by running a package manager for whatever language you use.
- Integration: Repl.io seamlessly integrates with GitHub.
Repl.it provides three different pricing plans – Personal, Organization, and Education.
- Personal: The Personal plan further provides two different plans, as follows:
- Free: Free forever
- Hacker: $7 per month
- Organization: It includes the Teams Pro plan, which charges $15 per month per member.
- Education: The Education plan is available for individual teachers and educational institutes.
- Educational Institutes: $1,000 per year
- Individual Teacher: $35 per month
ShiftEdit is an online IDE best suited for developing responsive websites. More interestingly, this online IDE allows you to connect your project files from their original location, from good or bad FTP and SFTP, to cloud-based services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
- Code Editor: ShiftEdit’s code editor lets you write and source code in various programming languages. Also, it provides various features, including syntax highlighting, auto code complete, and syntax checking.
- Built-in Terminal: With its fully-functional built-in terminal, you can connect to the development environment or the SSH server.
- Live Preview: You can quickly observe the changes in the output as you change the source code of your project.
- Compare Files: This feature allows you to compare two different files in real-time.
- Customizable: ShiftEdit is a customizable IDE that allows you to change themes and import your own CSS.
There are two pricing options available in ShiftEdit, as given below:
- Basic: $10 per month or $8 per month if billed annually.
- Business: $20 per month or $16 per month if billed annually.
StackBlitz is one of the fastest and most secure online IDEs that are ideal for web development. This IDE allows developers to create Angular, React, and Vue projects quickly and effortlessly in a browser. Also, you can share these projects with others in just one click via a link. This online IDE is powered by Visual Studio Code.
- Code Editor: The code editor of StackBlitz is similar to the code editor of VS Code. Along with writing and editing source code, it provides various features, such as syntax highlighting and auto code completion.
- NPM client: StackBlitz comes with a built-in npm client that enables you to install multiple packages at the same time.
- Hot Reloading: This feature allows you to tweak your application in real-time without reloading its pages while preserving the application’s state.
- Live Preview: You can preview the results in your browser as you make changes to your code.
- Keep Editing while Offline: The online IDE has a live in-browser dev server that lets you code even if you are offline.
There are two editions of StackBlitz, namely StackBlitz Self-Hosted and StackBlitz Cloud. To know the pricing of StackBlitz Self-Hosted, you need to contact the sales team. StackBlitz Cloud offers three different pricing plans:
- Free: Free forever
- Astronaut: $9 per month per user or $99 per year per user
- Commander: $39 per month per user or $349 per year per user
SourceLair is an online IDE that allows you to code in more than 25 programming languages and frameworks. It lets you develop various applications, from static HTML websites to robust Django and Node.js applications powered by MongoDB, PostgreSQL, or MySQL.
- Code Editor: The code editor enables developers to write and edit code faster with its syntax highlighting, code completion, code suggestions, automatic indentation, and code folding features.
- Linux Terminal: This built-in terminal allows you to access the Linux environment from your browser and lets you install libraries, manipulate files, and run commands.
- Split View: The split view feature allows you to observe your websites next to the code editor and preview changes as you change the code.
- Emmet Support: SourceLair has a built-in Emmet.io that lets you write HTML code quickly.
- Integration: This online IDE seamlessly integrates with Git, PIP, and npm.
SourceLair offers two different pricing plans, as given below:
- Lite: $10 per month and supports 3 projects
- Pro: $25 per month and supports 10 projects
Moreover, most online IDEs, like CodeTasty, Codepen.io, GroomIDE, Repl.it, and StackBlitz have free and paid editions, while JSFiddle is always free and does not have any paid version. On the other hand, AWS Cloud9, Codeanywhere, ShiftEdit, and SourceLair have only paid versions.
We hope this blog post has helped you choose the best online IDE as per your project requirements. Also, if you know any other popular online IDEs, do let us know in the comments section below.
People are also reading: