Our Top Picks

Adobe
Adobe Flash Builder
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Live chat, remote assistance, self-help resources, community support, customer support portal
  • Integrations: Zend Studio 8, Java, PHP, Adobe ColdFusion, Facebook
Adobe Flash Builder 4.7 is an integrated development environment software for building games and apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS using ActionScript and the open-source Flex framework. Direct-to-device publishing and debugging features make building mobile games faster and include built-in support for Adobe Scout.

Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP is a development tool based in Eclipse to create desktop, mobile, and web apps using ActionScript, PHP, and the open-source Flex framework. Build native applications for Android, iOS, and Blackberry Tablet OS and package apps for upload to application stores.

Both versions include debugging and testing on a mobile emulator or locally connected mobile device and faster coding through syntax coloring, code collapse, statement completion, refactoring support, interactive step-through debugging, and live highlighting of invalid references. They also have over 100 code templates with code assist.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a free trial
  • Live chat and remote assistance support
  • Includes all key development features

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a free version

Summary

Adobe
Adobe Flash Builder
  • Starting Price
    • Flash Builder 4.7 Standard Edition: $249
    • Flash Builder 4.7 Premium Edition: $699

    • Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP Standard Edition: $399
    • Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP Premium Edition: $799
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Live chat, remote assistance, self-help resources, community support, customer support portal
  • Integrations: Zend Studio 8, Java, PHP, Adobe ColdFusion, Facebook
Android-Studio
Android Studio
  • Deployment: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Support: Support ticket, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Kotlin, Java
Android Studio is the official integrated development environment software for Android application development. Users can build apps for every type of Android device with a visual layout editor that allows them to create complex layouts. Other key features include:

  • APK analyzer to reduce Android app size, compare APKs to see app size changes, and inspect the manifest and DEX files
  • Fast emulator to install and run apps faster and simulate different configurations and features, including Google’s ARCore for building augmented realities
  • Intelligent code editor that includes code completion for Java, Kotlin, and C/C++ languages to write better code more quickly
  • Flexible build system powered by Gradle to customize builds and generate multiple variants for different devices
  • Built-in profilers to obtain real-time statistics for the app’s memory, CPU, and network activity and identify performance issues
  • Debugger that lets users set breakpoints in their code and examine variables and evaluate expressions at runtime

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free software
  • Includes debugging, code refactoring, and data modeling
  • Includes reporting and collaboration tools

Cons

  • No web app development
  • Only for Android devices

Summary

Android-Studio
Android Studio
  • Starting Price
    • Free
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Support: Support ticket, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Kotlin, Java
Aptana
Aptana Studio 3
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub
Aptana Studio is a free, open-source IDE software designed to edit and debug HTML, Python, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, and CSS web apps. Based on Eclipse, it can be used as a stand-alone application or plugged into existing Eclipse installations. Aptana includes a code assist that helps in authoring code from all supported languages. Other key features include:

  • Deployment wizard supports one-shot and keep-synchronized setups
  • Multiple protocols, including FTP, FTPS, SFTP, and Capistrano
  • Automatically publishes Ruby on Rails applications to Heroku, Engine Yard, and other hosting services
  • Integrated JavaScript and Ruby on Rails debuggers inspect variables, set breakpoints, and control execution
  • Git integration puts projects under Git source code control
  • Team member collaboration through merge, pull, and push actions to remove repositories
  • Facilitates Git-based deployment
  • Built-in command line terminal to execute language utilities and operating system commands
  • Customization of IDE setup by extending core capabilities through custom command scripting

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free, open-source software
  • Includes all key development features

Cons

  • Limited support options
  • Limited integrations

Summary

Aptana
Aptana Studio 3
  • Starting Price
    • Free & Open-Source
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub
Aws
AWS Cloud9
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Support: Phone, support ticket, live chat, 24/7 premium support, remote assistance, self-help Resources, community support, customer support portal
  • Integrations: JavaScript, Python, PHP, Ruby, C++, Node.js, and others
AWS Cloud9 is a cloud-based IDE that lets users write, run, and debug their code using a browser-based code editor with code completion and code hinting suggestions to save time and avoid errors. It comes prepackaged with tools for more than 40 popular programming languages, including Go, PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, Python, Node.js, and C++. Key features include:

  • Integrated debugger that sets breakpoints, inspects variables, steps through code, and provides other commonly used capabilities
  • Preconfigured development environments include all the plug-ins, SDKs, and libraries needed for building serverless applications
  • Environment for debugging and testing AWS Lambda functions locally to improve code quality
  • Built-in image editor to edit, crop, resize, flip, and rotate images right from the browser
  • Fully customizable view by adjusting panels in any direction with drag-and-drop action
  • Collaboration tools for coding together in real time and chatting from within the IDE
  • Maintain multiple cloud-based development environments to isolate project resources

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No additional charge for new customers when combined
  • 24/7 support
  • Includes all key development features

Cons

  • Some users pay for compute and storage

Summary

Aws
AWS Cloud9
  • Starting Price
    • There is no additional charge for AWS Cloud9. If you use an Amazon EC2 instance for your AWS Cloud9 development environment; you pay only for the compute and storage resources (e.g. EC2 instance; EBS volume) that are used to run and store your code
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Support: Phone, support ticket, live chat, 24/7 premium support, remote assistance, self-help Resources, community support, customer support portal
  • Integrations: JavaScript, Python, PHP, Ruby, C++, Node.js, and others
Brackets
Brackets
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub
Brackets is an open-source text editor built primarily for web design with the power of a code editor and the convenience of in-browser development. Created by Adobe, Brackets is lightweight yet powerful. It’s maintained by GitHub and other open-source developers and written in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Brackets blends focused visual tools into the editor to provide users with extra help when needed. Its inline editors let users open a window into the desired code so they can work on code side by side, instead of jumping between file tabs, and without popups. Live previews provide a real-time connection that instantly shows changes to HTML and CSS on screen as they’re made. It also includes preprocessor support that lets users apply Live Highlight and Quick Edit with their SCSS and LESS files.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free, open-source software
  • Includes many of the key development features

Cons

  • No mobile development
  • No data modeling

Summary

Brackets
Brackets
  • Starting Price
    • Free & Open-Source
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    No
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub
Code-Blocks
Code:: Blocks
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Fortran, C/C++
Code:: Blocks is a free Fortran and C/C++ integrated development environment software designed to be extensible with a plug-in framework and fully configurable. It works across platforms, running on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and supports multi-target projects. Code:: Blocks has an easy to navigate, tabbed interface with syntax highlighting, code completion, smart indent, and open files list for quick switching between files. It supports multiple compilers with a fast, custom build system without make-files needed. Users have workspaces to combine multiple projects with support for parallel builds and simple task management tools make it ideal for multiple users.

Code:: Blocks’ debugger interfaces GNC GDB and supports MS CDB. Debugger includes breakpoint support, including code and data breakpoints, breakpoint conditions, and breakpoint ignore counts. It also provides support for watching user-defined types through scripting, views CPU registers, switches between threads, and provides a custom memory dump.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free, open-source software
  • Includes debugging and code refactoring
  • Has reporting tools

Cons

  • Doesn’t include data modeling
  • Doesn’t include web app or mobile development

Summary

Code-Blocks
Code:: Blocks
  • Starting Price
    • Free & Open-Source
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    No
  • Collaboration Tools
    No
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Fortran, C/C++
CodeLite
CodeLite
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub, Subversion, Node.js, C++, PHP, JavaScript
CodeLite is an open-source integrated development environment software for the PHP, JavaScript, and C/C++ program languages that runs on all major platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. CodeLite offers two code completion engines that can both be enabled at the same time. It has generic support for compilers with built-in support for clang/GCC/VC++. Other key features include:

  • Errors displayed as code annotations or tooltips in the editor window
  • Clickable errors via the build tab
  • Supported debuggers include LLDB, XDebug, and GDB
  • Refactoring includes renaming symbols and files, implementing inherited virtual and pure-virtual functions, and changing function signatures to match headers
  • Workspace Mirroring to work remotely on workspaces from anywhere
  • Source control plug-ins for Git and Subversion
  • Rapid Application Development tool for building wxWidgets-based applications

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free, open-source software
  • Deploys on all major platforms
  • Includes several key development features

Cons

  • Doesn’t include data modeling
  • Doesn’t include reporting or collaboration tools

Summary

CodeLite
CodeLite
  • Starting Price
    • Free & Open-Source
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    No
  • Collaboration Tools
    No
  • Reporting
    No
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub, Subversion, Node.js, C++, PHP, JavaScript
Eclipse
Eclipse
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Phone, email, support ticket, self-help resources
  • Integrations: C++, Python, JavaScript, GitHub, JUnit
Eclipse is an open-source IDE software with desktop and cloud IDEs. Its Java IDE is its most famous desktop IDE. but it also has IDEs for numerous programming languages, including PHP, JavaScript/TypeScript, and C/C++. Users can combine multiple languages and other features into any of its default packages.

Eclipse’s cloud IDEs let users develop software from anywhere with a modern development environment for Java, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Standard Eclipse editions include debugging tools and Git/CVS support, but users can choose packages that include modeling, charting, building GUIs, testing, and reporting.

The Eclipse Marketplace Client also supports virtually limitless customizations and extensions. Users can find and install new plug-ins from an extensive ecosystem of providers. They can also build and publish their own plug-ins on the marketplace using the Plugin Development Environment.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free, open-source software
  • Multiple support options
  • Includes all key development features

Cons

  • No Linux deployment

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Free & Open-Source
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Phone, email, support ticket, self-help resources
  • Integrations: C++, Python, JavaScript, GitHub, JUnit
IntelliJ-IDEA
IntelliJ IDEA
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Phone, fax, support ticket, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub, Swagger UI, Selenoid, JCEF, Async Profiler, Java Flight Recorder, and others
IntelliJ IDEA is an IDE for JVM languages such as Java, Kotlin, Groovy and Scala, and it also provides intelligent coding assistance for various other languages like JavaScript, TypeScript, and many others. Developed by JetBrains, every aspect of IntelliJ IDEA is designed to maximize developer productivity. Once IntelliJ IDEA indexes a user’s source code, it provides relevant suggestions, on-the-fly code analysis, instant code completion, and refactoring tools. Other key features include:

  • Mission-critical tools, including integrated version control systems and various supported frameworks without plug-in requirements
  • Productivity boosters, including automating repetitive development tasks and predicting the user’s needs
  • Developer ergonomics that follow the user’s context to automatically bring up corresponding tools
  • Extensive database editor and UML designer
  • Test runner user interface
  • Supports Google App Engine, Hibernate, Java EE, Grails, OSGi, Play, GWT, Struts, and Spring, among others
  • AIR Mobile supports Android and iOS devices

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a free trial
  • Includes all key development features

Cons

  • Paid versions are cost-prohibitive compared to other IDEs in the space 

Summary

IntelliJ-IDEA
IntelliJ IDEA
  • Starting Price
    • starts at $14.90/user/month
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows install, Mac install
  • Support: Phone, fax, support ticket, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub, Swagger UI, Selenoid, JCEF, Async Profiler, Java Flight Recorder, and others
JDeveloper
JDeveloper
  • Deployment: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Support: Phone, email, live chat, 24/7 premium support, self-help resources, community support, customer support portal, remote assistance
  • Integrations: Java, Oracle Mobile Application Framework, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle WebCenter Suite, Oracle BI
JDeveloper is a free IDE software offered by Oracle that simplifies the development of Java-based applications. It provides end-to-end development for Oracle’s platform and applications and integrates development features for web page design, database development, mobile, and web services in a single tool. Developers can design, generate, and visualize their code with JAVA, UML, and database diagrams within an advanced coding environment. Key features include:

  • Visual editors, structure panes, editing dialogs, and property inspectors to reduce tedious coding
  • Integrated profiling, testing, and code auditing features ensure application quality
  • Integrations with versioning, build, and deployment tools enable application packaging and deployment through the IDE or automated processes
  • Enhanced team development through integrations with various version management solutions
  • Oracle Developer Cloud Service integrations provide full life cycle tracking and team collaboration
  • Oracle Mobile Application Framework integration lets developers build on-device iOS and Android applications and web mobile applications directly from the IDE

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free software
  • Includes key development features
  • Offers 24/7 premium support

Cons

  • No web app development

Summary

JDeveloper
JDeveloper
  • Starting Price
    • Free
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Support: Phone, email, live chat, 24/7 premium support, self-help resources, community support, customer support portal, remote assistance
  • Integrations: Java, Oracle Mobile Application Framework, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle WebCenter Suite, Oracle BI
Komodo
Komodo
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Support: Support ticket, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Git, Mercurial, Subversion, CVS, Perforce, Bazaar, and others
Komodo IDE is free as part of the ActiveState Platform and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It allows coding with multiple languages, including PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, Node.js, JavaScript, and Golang, among others. Komodo includes a code editor with autocomplete, syntax highlighting, and smart code refactoring capabilities. It also has tons of add-ons for extending and customizing features. Other key features include:

  • Version control with support for Git, Subversion, Mercurial, CVS, Bazaar, and Perforce
  • Dev team tools for pair programming and code collaboration
  • Shared toolbox to store common snippets, user scripts, macros, shell commands, etc.
  • Easy file and project navigations for workflow management
  • Graphical debugger and local, remote, Chrome, multi-process, and multi-threaded debugging
  • Integrated unit testing that supports major frameworks
  • File sorting and grouping for open files pane by file extension, language, location, and directory
  • Database explorer for SQLite content and extensions for Oracle and MySQL

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free, open-source software
  • Runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Includes key development features

Cons

  • No data modeling

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Free & Open-Source
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    No
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Support: Support ticket, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Git, Mercurial, Subversion, CVS, Perforce, Bazaar, and others
NetBeans
NetBeans
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Unix, JavaOS, BSD
  • Support: Phone, 24/7 premium support, remote assistance, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub, NodeJS, Python, Ruby, Doxygen, and others
NetBeans is a free, open-source IDA software governed by the Apache Software Foundation. It lets users quickly develop desktop, web, and mobile applications, It includes code editors, templates, and wizards that allow users to create applications with popular programming languages, including Java, JavaScript, PHP, Fortran, C/C++, and HTML5, among others. NetBeans works across platforms and can be installed on all operating systems that support Java, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, and BSD. Key features include:

  • Simple drag-and-drop interface
  • Code templates with predefined pieces of code
  • Smart editing that highlights source code semantically and syntactically
  • Refactoring tool for running inspections and transformations on selected files or define a custom inspection
  • Built-in support for several compilers, including Clang, GNU, Cygwin, MinGW, and Oracle Solaris Studio
  • Multi-session GNU debugger integration with code assistance
  • Code formatting to customize the source code to a preferred layout
  • Downable bundles that support other programming languages

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free, open-source software
  • Offers phone and 24/7 premium support

Cons

  • Ongoing updates have disabled some plug-ins

Summary

NetBeans
NetBeans
  • Starting Price
    • Free & Open-Source
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Unix, JavaOS, BSD
  • Support: Phone, 24/7 premium support, remote assistance, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: GitHub, NodeJS, Python, Ruby, Doxygen, and others
RStudio
RStudio
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Support: Phone, email, support ticket, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Subversion, Microsoft SQL Server, Apache Spark, Python, Salesforce, and others
RStudio is an integrated development environment for the R programming language that has a free, open-source version and a commercial edition. It runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops or in a browser connected to the RStudio Server. RStudio supports authoring Word documents, PDF, HTML, and slideshows, and interactive graphics with ggvis and Shiny.

RStudio’s open-source edition requires users to access RStudio locally, and support is only provided through community forums. It includes syntax highlighting, smart indentation, code completions, and an interactive debugger. Users can execute R code directly from the source editor and manage multiple working directories.

RStudio Desktop Pro includes all the features in the open-source edition, plus users can connect directly to RStudio remotely and have access to professional drivers. It also includes a commercial license for organizations that can’t use AGPL software and priority email support with an eight-hour response time during business hours.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Has a free, open-source version
  • Free trial with paid version
  • Includes key development features

Cons

  • No mobile development
  • Pricing relatively high

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Has Open-Source version
    • RStudio Desktop Pro is $995/year
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Support: Phone, email, support ticket, self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Subversion, Microsoft SQL Server, Apache Spark, Python, Salesforce, and others
Sublime-Text-3
Sublime Text 3
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Python, Git
Sublime Text is an application development and text editor for code, markup, and prose that allows cross-platform usage, syntax changing, and complete customization. It’s lighter weight than an IDE but supports many IDE features and has a powerful API that augments built-in functionality with plug-ins. Key features include:

  • Cross-platform functionality takes advantage of native functionality while using a custom UI toolkit for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms
  • Multiple selections feature allows users to make 10 changes simultaneously, instead of one at a time, to rename variables and manipulate files faster
  • Split editing support lets users edit two files side by side or edit two locations within the same file on one screen
  • Command palette saves infrequently used functionality to save time searching through menus or remembering key bindings
  • JSON files let users customize everything by file types or on a per-project basis, including snippets, key bindings, macros, menus, completions, etc.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a free trial
  • Includes key development features

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a free version
  • Doesn’t include data modeling

Summary

Sublime-Text-3
Sublime Text 3
  • Starting Price
    • Personal Licenses: $80

    • Business licenses
    • $65/seat/year for the first 10 seats
    • $60/seat/year for seats 11-25
    • $55/seat/year for seats 26-50
    • $50/seat/year for 50+ seats
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    No
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Support: Self-help resources, community support
  • Integrations: Python, Git
Xcode
Xcode
  • Deployment: Mac
  • Support: Phone, email, support ticket, self-help resources, community support, customer support portal
  • Integrations: SwiftUI, Safari
Xcode is a free IDE that contains a suite of tools developers use to build apps specifically for Apple platforms. It can manage the entire development workflow from app creation to testing to submitting apps to the App Store. Xcode streamlines code completion and builds Universal apps by default to support Mac with Apple Silicon. Key features include:

  • Simulator tool provides rapid prototyping and app testing in a simulated environment
  • Instruments tool profiles and analyzes apps to improve performance and find memory problems
  • Create ML tool creates custom machine learning models for apps
  • Reality Composer constructs 3D compositions and augments reality experiences
  • SwiftUI maintains a staple API to improve performance and share code across Apple platforms
  • Widget platform to build Mac, iPad, and iPhone widgets
  • StoreKit testing to create test scenarios and describe subscription and in-app purchase products
  • Multi-platform app templates to share code among macOS, iOS, and iPadOS

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free software
  • Includes all key development features

Cons

  • Only for Mac and iOS devices

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Free
  • Debugging
    Yes
  • Code Refactoring
    Yes
  • Data Modeling
    Yes
  • Collaboration Tools
    Yes
  • Reporting
    Yes
Features
  • Deployment: Mac
  • Support: Phone, email, support ticket, self-help resources, community support, customer support portal
  • Integrations: SwiftUI, Safari

How We Chose the Best Integrated Development Environments Software

Integrated development environment software consolidates the basic tools a developer needs to write and test new software and apps. IDE platforms centralize the three tools used most, which are source code editors, compilers, and debuggers, and include various other integrated features that enhance the software’s value. There are tons of IDE software companies touting multiple features, so we evaluated companies on important development features, collaboration tools, and reporting tools.

Development Features

We recommend software that comes with a variety of development features, such as debugging, code refactoring, and data modeling. Debugging tools help users identify and fix errors or bugs within the source code. Code refactoring lets users restructure and improve existing computer code without changing its functionality. Data modeling enables developers to create logical and physical data model diagrams.

Collaboration Tools

Ideally, IDE software will have built-in tools for collaboration. Real-time code collaboration allows multiple developers to work together on the same project. We looked for IDE software that either had built-in file sharing features, allowed real-time collaboration through an extension, had an open-source plug-in for remote pair programming, or offered some other type of collaboration tools that let developers edit and debug together in real time.

Reports

Detailed reports help the user understand and improve their development process. Quality metrics, error diagnostics, test status reporting, and automated error reporting can all help developers make valuable improvements. We recommend software with robust reporting tools.

What Is Integrated Development Environments Software?

Integrated development environments software, also known as IDEs, are platforms that combine a comprehensive set of programming tools for software development into a single product. IDEs can be used to build new software, web and mobile apps, web pages, and web services. Most IDE software includes built-in or integrated tools for editing source code, compiling new code, automatic code completion, and debugging. Simply put, developers use the IDE’s single graphical user interface to write and edit source code using a code editor, the compiler translates this code into a readable computer language, and the debugger tests the software to solve any hidden issues.

IDEs are built to work on one or more specific application platforms. They typically allow users to write code in multiple programming languages with Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Node.js, and C/C++ some of the commonly supported languages. Many IDEs have simple drag-and-drop interfaces and code templates with predefined pieces of code to make code creation easier and faster. A lot of them are open-source programs, meaning anyone can add features and plug-ins to help improve the software.

Benefits of Integrated Development Environments Software

The primary benefit of an IDE is improved developer productivity by bringing the various tools a developer needs together in a single platform. This reduces setup time because the developer doesn’t have to spend time gathering, deploying, integrating, and configuring multiple development tools. Other benefits include:

  • Save development time and effort: IDEs are supposed to make developing easier and faster by providing tools and features that organize resources, provide coding shortcuts, and prevent coding errors. With integrated tools, developers also don’t need to switch between applications to complete development tasks, saving more time.
  • Enforce standardization: Working in the same development environment standardizes the development process and forces development teams to adhere to a standard way of doing things. IDEs with predefined templates and shareable code libraries further enhance this standardization.
  • Automatic error checks: IDEs use a compiler to parse information and highlight errors it finds in a user’s code to ensure top-quality code creation and an easier, quicker way to discover errors before testing and launch.

Must-Have Features for Integrated Development Environments Software

To qualify as an IDE, the platform must have a code editor, compiler, and debugger that are accessed through a single graphical user interface. Good IDEs also contain essential features that make creating error-free code easier and faster. Therefore, must-have IDE software features include:

  • Code editor: A more enhanced text editor designed to write and edit source code, which may have a simple interface with language-specific syntax highlighting or drag-and-drop components
  • Compiler: A tool that translates programming language into a language executable by a computer and analyzes, parses, and optimizes code to ensure accuracy and improve performance
  • Debugger: A tool used to identify and fix errors within source code and test its functionality and performance before the application is released
  • Build automation tools: Code completion tools that automatically identify and insert common code components to save time writing code and help prevent errors
  • Code refactoring: A feature that allows developers to restructure existing code without changing the way it works to improve the design or implementation of a software or an app
  • Integrations and plug-ins: Ensure the IDE provides all the development tools a user needs in one platform for improved workflow and productivity

The Cost of Integrated Development Environments Software

The majority of the IDE software companies on our list offer their platforms free of charge, and most are open-source products. Open-source software allows anyone to inspect, modify, and enhance its source code. Of the free options, some are stand-alone applications, while others are part of a larger platform. Research free IDEs housed within larger platforms to determine whether you must purchase other parts of the platform or storage to fully utilize the IDE. While some of the free IDEs may be considered lightweight compared to paid platforms, many are touted as being just as robust.

IDE software companies also may offer a free version and a paid version. Typically, the free version will be missing some features, often premium support, certain plug-ins or integrations, or other premium features. However, the free version usually includes all the basic development features and may work fine for some users’ needs.

Pricing for paid versions varies greatly. Of the IDE software with paid versions on our list, one has per-user/per-month pricing starting at $14.90, one has per-seat/per-year pricing starting at $65, and the rest require annual licenses ranging from $80 for a personal license to $995 for a professional version.