What is IDE? Integrated Development Environment

By | October 7, 2021
What is IDE

Every programmer and coder need software on which he/she can write code for particular or discrete programming languages, on the internet, there are many software’s which can be used to serve this purpose. We all know we cannot write code using office or WordPad, to write code we require a dedicated interface though using a notepad and by changing a file extension we can use notepad to write code, but that would not be a good idea.

So, there are two types of software we can use to write code “Text-Editors” and “IDEs”. Text-Editors are simple and light-weighted software which the main objective to provide an interface for code writing. And, Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are the extension of text editors that provide more functionalities than a text editor.

What is IDE?

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a desktop software, used by computer programmers for software development such as writing code, debugging, compiling, testing, etc. It is a software that is used to assist the programmer to increase productivity, it provides a set of functionalities that assist the programmer and make coding and debugging easy and interesting.

There are many IDEs on the internet such as Microsoft Visual Studio, Net Beam, Eclipse, PyCharm, etc. out of which many IDE’s are dedicated by nature which means they are specially designed for a particular programming language, for instance, TurboC++ is designed for C++, Eclipse is designed for Java, and PyCharm is designed for Python, but there are many IDE’s which can be used to write and compile or interprets any programming language code.

Here are some of the most popular IDE software’s:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Net Beans
  • PyCharm
  • IntelliJ IDEA
  • Eclipse
  • Dev C++
  • Code: Blocks
  • Android Studio
  • Komodo
  • RubyMine
  • Xcode
  • Enide Studio 2014
  • jEdit
  • jGRASP
  • BlueJ
  • Coda
  • Aptana
  • Blackadder

Features of IDE

Though there are many IDE’s, and it’s their functionalities and features which distinguish them from others, but there are some features that are common in every IDE.

  • Text Editor
  • Code Auto-Completion
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Compiler
  • Debugger
  • Integrated plugin.
  • Create Virtual Environment
  • Support Control Version

Text Editor

The text editor is the most important part of any IDE because it provides us with a Graphical interface to write our code. The text editor of the IDE signifies the IDE quality, and many IDEs provide the custom themes for the text editor, such as a dark or white theme.


Code Auto-Completion

It is one of the most interesting features of IDE, and now even Text-Editors provide auto-completion feature. The code auto-completion anticipate what are you going to type next and provide you with some suggestion so you do not have to write the complete statement again. The code auto-completion also helps in reducing the syntax error, for instance, if you open a bracket the IDE will simultaneously generate a close bracket so you do not need to worry about the closing part of the syntax.

Syntax Highlighting

Syntax Highlighting feature makes your code colorful and also helps you to provide information using different colors, for instance, if there is a syntax or semantic error in your program, the IDE will Highlight that statement with different colors. For every statement the color is already defined by the IDE, for example, the color of functions and keywords will be different from each other.


Every IDE’s provide you with a compiler or Interpreter so you can compile and execute your code to see the proper output. But for many programming languages, you first need to download their packages to make the IDE compiler run.


No one can avoid bugs and errors the length of the program increases the chances of the errors and using an IDE, it’s become very easy to debug your code, here the syntax highlight feature also helps to find the errors in the program.

Integrated Plugins

IDE’s also provides plugins that bring extra functionalities in the IDE and helps you to code more easily, for example, there are many database plugins that help to visualize the database you have created using a programming language.

Create Virtual Environment

Now mostly every popular IDE provides a feature to create a virtual environment, the IDE automatically created a virtual environment when you create a new project.

Support Version Control

Version control keeps tracking your code history, though many IDE’s does not provide their own version control you can integrate any other version control with your IDE.

Benefits of Using an IDE

  • It allows developers to increase their productivity.
  • Using an IDE, you do not worry about the syntax error up to some extent the IDE designed to reduce the syntax error.
  • With the auto-completion feature you do not need to write the same thing, again and again, the IDE auto-fill the statement for you.
  • It provides you with a Graphical Interface and custom theme which makes fun to code on an IDE.
  • It provides program resources that are easy.
  • Using Plugins, you can easily access a database and integrate with your program
  • It helps you to manage your project files.
  • The paid versions of IDE’s also provide the collaboration feature where your complete teamwork can on the same project using an IDE.

Limitations of IDE

  • IDE require high-end computers, computer with low specifications can face problems while booting an IDE.
  • IDE eats too many computer resources.
  • For a beginner, it could be complex to operate an IDE.


The main objective of an IDE to increase the productivity of the developer by providing them with extra features. An IDE does not change any syntax and rules for the code it just makes it easy to write, compile and debug the code. It always suggested that install and use the dedicated IDE’s which are specially designed for the particular programming languages. Mostly every popular IDE has a paid version which provides you more feature than the free version, so you should always try the free version first before buying the enterprise version of the IDE.

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