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An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger. Most modern IDEs have intelligent code completion. Some IDEs, such as NetBeans and Eclipse, contain a compiler, interpreter, or both; others, such as SharpDevelop and Lazarus, do not. The boundary between an integrated development environment and other parts of the broader software development environment is not well-defined. Sometimes a version control system, or various tools to simplify the construction of a Graphical User Interface (GUI), are integrated. Many modern IDEs also have a class browser, an object browser, and a class hierarchy diagram, for use in object-oriented software development.

Source: Wikipedia (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

See also: Why not IDE for a motivation by the authors why we don't use an IDE for introductory programming courses.