ARCHIVE / What is an IDE?

The term IDE, which is generally spelled out rather than pronounced, stands for Integrated Development Environment.  Development environments are sets of software applications used to facilitate the coding or development of other software applications.  For example, a simple LAMP web application is likely to have a development environment that includes a text editor to write code in PHP, (X)HTML and CSS, as well as edit configuration files for Apache, a Linux shell to access the operating system, the mysql interpreter to set up and update a MySQL database and probably an (S)FTP client to transfer files to and from other computers.

IDEs attempt to integrate development environments by providing access via a single interface to all or most of the features required to develop a given type of software application.  The most well-known IDE is Microsoft's Visual Studio, which integrates a text editor, multiple compilers, a version control system and other applications to facilitate the development of software that runs on Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

last updated 2008.07.29

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