Integrated Development Environment

by Craig Anthony

1 min read

An integrated development environment, or IDE, is a software application that provides all the necessary tools for a software developer to write and test software. IDEs are designed to make the job of creating software as seamless as possible for the developer. The main benefit is that most or all of the tools a software developer needs are in one place. Typically, an IDE has a source code editor, build automation tools, and a debugger. The source code editor is a text editor used to actually write the lines of code within the software application; this is the most fundamental software creation tool. Build automation tools are designed to help with the process of automating the creation of the “software build,” which is the process of converting the source code into the actual program that can be ran on a computer. These tools include compliers, which turn the source code into binary code; tools for packaging binary code; and a variety of automated tests. The IDE typically has a debugger. Debugging tools are used to analyze, find, and fix problems in the code that prevent it from running the way it is intended. There are many IDEs available, but two very popular ones are NetBeans, which is used for Java applications and Android apps, and Xcode, which is used for all Apple-related products.

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