Whether you’re new to programming or an expert developer, you need tools that make it easier to write and edit code. That’s why most developers these days use IDEs and code editors to simplify the process of coding and save time. An IDE software essentially consists of common development tools, such as a code editor, debugger, compiler, etc.
In this article, we’ll discuss what exactly are IDEs and code editors and what you should look for in IDE software. We’ll also show you the best IDEs and code editors that you can use for your next project.
Table of Contents
What is IDE software?
When we talk about IDE software (Integrated Development Environment) we mean a specialized software application that provides a set of tools required to write and test code. IDEs are becoming more and more popular as they make the process of coding/programming smooth and efficient. Additionally, IDEs help with faster coding and minimize bugs and coding mistakes.
Most IDEs consist of a text editor or code editor, a compiler, and a debugger. Developers use the code editor to write and edit source code. The compiler then translates that source code into another programming language that a computer can understand. The debugger is used to test the software. Without IDEs, developers would have to use, configure, integrate and manage all of these tools separately. Some IDEs also come with other useful features, such as auto code completion, allowing developers to comment on lines of code, find references to other resources, and many more.
What is a code editor?
What should you look for in IDE Software?
Here are some of the key questions you should ask before choosing an IDE:
Does your IDE offer features for faster and smarter coding?
When you’re choosing an IDE, you should consider which features it offers for faster and smarter coding. Efficient IDEs like Embarcadero RAD studio offers features like auto code completion, auto code formatting, smart code navigation, auto code error detection, and more to save time and effort.
Does the IDE software have an integrated toolchain?
A powerful IDE like RAD Studio or Delphi is an integrated toolchain. This means the IDE provides you with all the tools (editors, compilers, and debuggers) you need for efficient software development, so you don’t have to search and buy any other additional tools or applications. Simply put, an IDE’s toolchain should include everything you need to create fully functional software.
Does the IDE have efficient debugging capabilities?
Good IDEs like RAD Studio or Delphi have powerful debuggers to help developers detect and fix bugs and errors in their code efficiently. RAD Studio and Delphi’s debuggers allow you to add breakpoints so that you can pause the program conditionally or at a specific location, trace the execution route of the code, inspect the current value of variables, and more.
Good IDE software help you improve code quality
A good IDE like RAD Studio is capable of finding and solving coding errors automatically to help improve code quality. RAD Studio also offers a built-in refactoring feature that helps streamline and improve your application’s code performance and readability. Additionally, developers can use the integrated DUnit and DUnitX frameworks to build unit tests for their code.
Good IDE software should be extendable
Efficient IDEs like RAD Studio, Delphi, and C++ builder are extendable. This means these IDEs allow you to add your own components, depending on your needs and requirements. Additionally, these IDEs also allow you to add a wide range of third-party plugins and add-ons so that you can customize the IDE the way you want.
What are the best IDEs and code editors?
Here’s a list of the best IDE software and code editors.
RAD Studio is the ultimate IDE software for cross-platform apps and native Windows development
Embarcadero’s RAD studio is one the most powerful and popular IDEs for building efficient native applications for Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, and Linux. The IDE is a complete cross-platform development suite that offers code editors, a powerful compiler, an efficient debugger, a C++ code formatter, code completion, a VCL framework, and more.
Some of the key features of RAD Studio include:
- High DPI support for windows and desktop
- Full support for 4k+ monitors
- Comes with C++ builder and code formatter
- VCL framework for developing beautiful and responsive UIs of windows apps
- Auto code completion
- Smart code navigation
- Allow developers to connect to more than 20 databases, including MySQL, SQL Server, and Oracle
- Customizable for Delphi and advanced C++
- Allows developers to debug on any device
- Offers highly-optimized cross-platform libraries to improve code quality
- Allows you to add components, plugins, and add-ons
Embarcadero Delphi is extremely easy to use and can create any app you can think of
Embarcadero’s Delphi is another advanced IDE that allows you to create high-performance applications for Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and macOS by utilizing the powerful and versatile Object Pascal language.
Some of the key features of Delphi include:
- Powerful VCL framework for responsive UIs
- Can be extended by adding your own components and IDE plugins
- High-DPI and 4k+ monitors support
- Can be customized as per your coding style
- Displays hints and tips as you code
- Find code errors automatically
- Built-in refactoring for improving the performance and readability of your application code
- Highly optimized cross-platform libraries to help developers write better code
- Allows you to deploy files directly to Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and Linux
C++ Builder is fully featured IDE software for modern C++ app development
RAD Studio’s C++ builder is a powerful integrated IDE for creating modern Windows C++ and iOS apps as well as native Windows development. The efficient IDE helps create apps ten times faster with less code and effort.
Some of the key features of the C++ builder include:
- Efficient VCL framework for creating responsive cross-platform UI
- C++ Code Formatter
- Clang-enhanced compiler
- High-DPI support
- Support for 4k+ monitors
- Integrated cross-platform debugging
- Integrated toolchain (designer, compiler, and debugger)
- Well-tested and highly optimized Windows and iOS libraries
- Option to add conditional breakpoints to pause program execution quickly
If you want to know more about how you can use a C++ IDE, check out our article on how to make your C++ IDE do the hard work for you.
We’ve also compiled a number of reasons why we think Dev-C++ is a good choice as an open-source text editor and IDE for Windows 11.
UltraEdit is a super-fast, edit anything code editor
UltraEdit is an advanced and modern windows code editor that offers modern tools and features to help programmers write and modify code quickly and easily.
Some of the key features of UltraEdit include:
- Code auto-complete
- Syntax highlight
- HTML tag highlight
- Customizable menu
- Auto-hide child windows
- Incremental search to find matched text based on what you’re typing
- Allows users to write and edit macros for quick and efficient file editing
- Supports almost all programming/coding languages