Computer programming – Understanding integrated development environment (IDE)


In computer programming, an integrated development environment (IDE) is a set of tools to increase the productivity of programmers who develop programs.

It includes a text editor for programming functions that by pressing a button to start the compiler or linker and a debugger online, allows you to run the program line by line. Some environments are dedicated to a particular programming language.

The purpose of a development environment is to increase programmer productivity by automating some of the activities and streamlining operations.

Development environments also aim to improve the quality of the documentation related to the software construction.

Some development environments also offer the possibility of creating prototypes, plan work and manage projects.

Since 1980, the development and maintenance of software is partially automated using a lot of tools – the development environment.


The term development environment emerged in the 1980s to describe a set of tools and processes to assist and formalize the work of software development.

The goal was to create tools that assist developers in all stages of the software development: definition, design, programming, testing and maintenance. These tools also reflect the different roles within a team programming: programmer, manager.

The new generation of development tools, which also cover the preliminary steps in programming and direct the developer to good software engineering practices were called Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE).

A development environment typically has the tools to analyze, write and debug a program. In integrated models, different tools have a similar look and feel and can be interconnected.

For example, it may be possible to open the text editor or compiler from the debugger or modify the source code being debugged directly.

A development environment may also include the following tools:

a tool for creating GUI. Such tool allows the programmer to gain a significant time in building the GUI of the program. Until the arrival of the Java technology, such tools still target an operating system.

a tool to automatically performs tests.
tools for analyzing the source code. For example, a graphical generator that provides the tree diagram of the use of a function of program.7 .

a search engine that takes into account the programming language : it allows for example to find the name of a function, avoiding comments and literals, and limiting the scope of a module or class.

tools to handle preliminary operations to programming , eg modeling, or analysis.
a tool for version control. Such a tool allows multiple programmers to work simultaneously on the source code files of program.

The integrated development environments are sometimes derived from tools that provide a single function and that the perpetrators were then enriched and merged with other tools. It can be a tool for creating GUI or handling basic data.

Integrated Development Environments

An IDE typically has a graphical interface to launch different tools, an editor for the source code, a compiler, debugger and often a tool to build graphical interfaces programs.

An editor offers the functionality of a regular text editor, the compiler allows the programmer to check the syntax errors in the source code, and the debugger can check errors.


Visual Studio11 and Eclipse development environments .

Eclipse allows you to write, compile, run and debug applications. The debugger allows you to run the program line by line and check the status of variables. Eclipse allows , from a Workbench main window to access different perspectives from which the source code of the program can be viewed and modification.

It can be used with many programming languages, the most commonly used being Java. It includes features to assist the creation of common constructs of the Java language (packages, classes … ) and a function to generate documentation.

Visual Studio, marketed by Microsoft, allows you to create programs , compile and debug. Since 2002 it is intended to create programs for the Microsoft. NET platform in Visual Basic languages, C #, C + + and F # .

It allows you to create Web applications. In addition to the program source code , web pages and style sheets and XML documents can be changed from Visual Studio. It also allows you to create graphical user interfaces and includes a tool for version control.

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