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Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Developing and testing applications require a lot of time, but using a development environment simplifies the process.

It provides a collection of development tools and procedures to build software without affecting the original application. So, an integrated development environment (IDE) is a software suite that combines all the development tools into a single graphical user interface (GUI).

This makes the development process faster and more efficient.

Types of Development Environment

As development environments are used to develop, test, and debug an application or a website, they come in different types of servers.

Each one has its own functions:

Development server

This refers to the core tier of the environment, where developers create the code and test it directly to an application.

It provides basic hardware and software tools for running development tasks, such as programming, designing, and debugging.

Test server

Within this environment, developers can identify and fix errors that may affect the application's workflow and user experience. In short, it allows them to check whether all the functions can work as intended before the final upload to the production server.

Staging server

This lets developers create a duplicate product to demonstrate to their client, but not users.

A staging server allows them to make any change they want and ensures that the application runs smoothly on the actual production server.

For example, using a WordPress staging environment will help you update themes without breaking the original website.

Production server

The production server environment, also known as the live environment, is where end users can use the application.

Even though the product in this server works properly and has passed all the tests, developers can still conduct tests and add new features in this final step.



Examples of popular IDEs


Microsoft Visual Studio


Adobe Creative Cloud

IDE features to improve overall productivity

Code editor

This is used for writing and editing the source code.

Many IDEs also integrate with a text editor like an HTML editor that can highlight keywords and syntax errors.

Code completion

This is known as a code prompt, this feature is used to analyze the entire code to identify and insert missing code components. Using it will save time and minimize bugs or errors.


This translates plain text into a programming language like JavaScript or Python so the computer can process it.


This helps developers find and fix error codes in an application or a website during the testing phase. This will ensure its functionality and performance work well before publishing it to users.

Build automation tools

These are used to automate creation and software development processes, such as compiling the source code into machine code, packaging the binary code, and running automated tests.

Programming language support

Most IDEs are dedicated to a specific programming language.

For example, Xcode is used to develop macOS with the Objective-C and Swift languages. However, some IDEs also offer multiple languages like Eclipse and Komodo IDE.

Version control

This enables developers to track any changes they've made. It also can help the IDE connect with the source repository they use. In addition, soeme IDEs may also include a class browser, an object browser, and a class diagram.


Note that an IDE may be a stand-alone application, although it might be a part of one or more applications.

Types of Integrated Development Environment

Many types of IDEs offer different features to generate a high-quality application efficiently - such as the programming language, ease of use, reliability, and type.


Programs supporting multiple languages can be beneficial for beginners to improve their skills.

For example, Microsoft's Visual Studio is one of the most popular multi-language IDEs that offers solid features and supports easy setup for extensions and upgrades.

Mobile development

Some are specifically built for mobile development, such as AppCode and Android Studio.

Some IDEs, especially multi-language IDEs, support mobile development plugins like Real-Time chat and File Manager.


These are designed for software developers who work in one language.

For example, Jikes and Jcreator are built for Java, and Idle for Python.

Cloud-based This provides a built-in feature for real-time pair programming with instant feedback that lets developers build software with only a browser, allowing them to access the code remotely.

This is used for developing HTML applications, such as Notepad++, Atom, and Adobe DreamWeaver CC.

These tools automate multiple tasks in web development.