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Definition: integrated development environment

A set of programming tools for writing applications, which include a source code editor, compiler and debugger. In an integrated development environment (IDE), all functions are activated from a common user interface and set of menus. The use of IDEs is standard procedure for most program development, whether for desktop or mobile applications. See Eclipse, Xcode, Visual Studio, compiler and debugger.

IDEs Are Dramatically Different
After removing the common File, Edit, Windows and Help menus in this example, the remaining menus in these popular IDEs hardly resemble each other. When switching to a new platform, developers not only have to learn a raft of new programming interfaces (see API), they very often have to learn an entirely different IDE.