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IDE – Integrated Development Environment

August 12, 2009
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Integrated development environments (IDE) combine the features of many tools into one complete package. They are usually simpler and make it easier to do simple tasks, such as searching for content only in files in a particular project. IDEs are often used for development of enterprise-level applications.
An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a source code editor, a compiler and/or interpreter, build automation tools, and (usually) a debugger. Sometimes a version control system and various tools are integrated to simplify the construction of a GUI. Many modern IDEs also have a class browser, an object inspector, and a class hierarchy diagram, for use with object oriented software development.
IDEs are designed to maximize programmer productivity by providing tightly-knit components with similar user interfaces, thus minimizing the amount of mode switching the programmer must do comparing to loose, discrete collections of disparate development programs.
Typically an IDE is dedicated to a specific programming language, so as to provide a feature set which most closely matches the programming paradigms of the language. However, some multiple-language IDEs are in use, such as Eclipse, ActiveState Komodo, SlickEdit and recent versions of Microsoft Visual Studio.
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