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What is IDE?

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An integrated development environment (IDE), also known as integrated design environment and integrated debugging environment, is a type of computer software that assists computer programmers in developing software.

IDEs normally consist 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 to simplify the construction of a GUI are integrated as well. Many modern IDEs also integrate a class browser, an object inspector and a class hierarchy diagram, for use with object oriented software development. Although some multiple-language IDEs are in use, such as the Eclipse IDE, Komodo IDE, NetBeans, Borland Developer Studio or Microsoft Visual Studio, typically an IDE is devoted to a specific programming language, as in the Visual Basic IDE.

An example for a multiple-language IDE, Eclipse's base installed language is Java. It also has plugins for C/C++, Python, Perl, Ruby, Fortran, Cobol, PHP, JSP/Servlet, J2EE, OOD/OOP design tools and many more plugins. These all can be installed on the same IDE at the same time. They all have their own debugger and integrated IDE options.

Graphical computer applications with an IDE-style interface (IDE) are those whose child windows reside under a single parent window (usually with the exception of modal windows). An IDE-style interface is distinguishable from a Multiple Document Interface (MDI), because all child windows in an IDE-style interface are enhanced with added functionality not ordinarily available in MDI applications. Because of this, IDE-style applications can be considered a functional superset and descendant of MDI applications.
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