Integrated development environment (IDE)

It also known as integrated design environment or integrated debugging environment is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a:

  • source code editor,
  • compiler and/or interpreter,
  • build automation tools, and
  • debugger (usually).

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. This should mean that the programmer has much less mode switching to do than when using discrete development programs. However, because an IDE is by its very nature a complicated piece of software, this high productivity only occurs after a long learning time.

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