In computer programming, a development environment is a set of tools that increases the productivity of programmers who develop software. It includes a text editor for programming, functions that allow you to start the compiler or linker at the touch of a button, and an online debugger, which allows you to execute the program under construction line by line. Some environments are dedicated to a particular programming language.
In an integrated development environment (IDE), tools are intended to be used together (the product of one tool can serve as raw material for another tool). Tools can be integrated from the start, i.e. they are built to be used together. The goal of a development environment is to increase programmer productivity by automating some of the activities and simplifying operations. Development environments also aim to improve the quality of documentation related to software under construction5. Some development environments also offer the ability to create prototypes, schedule jobs, and manage projects.
Since 1980, software development and maintenance have been partially automated using a set of tools — the development environment. Tools in development environments are a subject of study in software engineering — know-how in software engineering.
A development environment typically includes the tools needed to analyze, write, and debug a program. In the built-in templates, the different tools have an identical look and feel and can be interconnected. For example, it may be possible to open the text editor or compiler from the debugger or even modify the source code being debugged directly from the debugger.
A development environment always has an embedded text editor, often with the option to replace it with another editor. The editor typically includes highlighting functions aligned with the programming language: automatic indentation of code blocks, marking of delimiters (parentheses or braces), and highlighting of language keywords with colour or bold characters.
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Visual Studio, marketed by Microsoft, allows you to create programs, compile them, and debug them. Visual Studio, Eclipse, and IntelliJ IDEA are popular development environments.