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December 4, 2013

The 17 Best Cloud-Based IDEs for Web Development

Given the growing volume of workloads being done over the cloud, starting from CRM to content sharing to social networking, there is no denying that software or Web development is moving there, too. Moreover, the rise of mobile technologies has also geared up the cloud IDE phenomenon. These days, many IDEs are moving to the cloud. However, there are still many people and developers who are hesitant to put their full faith in a remote cloud IDE for Web development purposes.

The main benefit, of course, is it is less expensive, easy to update, use and manage. Moreover and more developers are finding cloud-based IDEs more convenient and useful due to their accessiblity from anywhere through compatible devices. They also require minimal-to-non-existent download and& installation and offer ease of collaboration.

In this article, we will cover the top 17 cloud-based IDEs Web developers can leverage from for their Web development ventures. Here they are:

Cloud 9 IDE

1. Cloud 9 IDE — This is one of the best known cloud-based IDEs that provides developers with an environment for developing code in Node js, HTML5, PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, C/C++, and custom. It claims to enable developers to create applications in 23 different programming languages, but the official site doesn’t clarify whether it allows developers to create applications for Java or J2EE.

Moreover, it supports all the popular version control systems like Git, Mercurial and SVN. With the help of CSSLint and JSBeautify, it is one of the finest online cloud-based environments to date.

Code Anywhere

2. Codeanywhere — This is another tool that has hit the chart of best cloud-based IDEs. It supports HTML, PHP, JavaScript, CSS and XML while no support for any kind of Java development. One of the most interesting features of this IDE is that it allows you code from any device starting from a conventional computer to a mobile device.

Moreover, it provides support for DropBox and SFTP support, which empowers developers to take backup of their project files anytime and simplifies the collaboration.

Code Envy

3. Code Envy — If you want to leverage from Java or J2EE development, this IDE is all you want. It supports Java/J2EE development, deployment to the cloud-based servers and Git Hub integration without requiring any unnecessary or excessive setup. All you have to do is to go to the website, create your account, select the technology and that’s it. It will even create the folders like web.xml and index.php on the go. What more do you want?


4. Compilr — Complir is a cloud-based IDE that will help you to learn and write code on-the-go. It comprises a wide range of Web-based editors like C Compilers, C# Compilers, C++ Compilers, Java Compilers, HTML Editor, Ruby Editor, PHP Editor, Python and VB Complier. Moreover, it also lets the developers sharpen their development skills by allowing them to learn various languages.

JS Fiddle

5. JSFiddle — It is one of the most advanced and latest IDEs in the line of emerging Web tools. JSFiddle is meant for tweaking the code rather than developing a conventional piece of code. It creates ‘Fiddles,’ which are nothing but a smaller piece of code that might work best as embedded frames. It supports HTML, CSS and JavaScript (CoffeeScript, JavaScript 1.7).


6. Icenium — Icenium enables developers to use HTML5, CSS and JavaScript to develop, test, and publish applications that run natively on the Apple iOS and Google Android mobile platform. It combines the convenience of a local coding environment with cloud-based services powered by the Apache Cordova framework. Icenium also provides the seamless creation of a backend for your apps with data storage, user management and e-mail and push notifications.

Source Kit

7. Source Kit — This is a Chrome-based editor that will help you save your files to the DropBox. SourceKit is a Textmate-like IDE that provides a responsive environment for the Web developers. It is a lightweight, browser-based to bloated desktop development suites, which supports almost all the major programming languages, including Java. It is a cloud-based text editor, however. This means you won’t have any options to execute and deploy the code you’ve developed.


8. Koding — It is one of the first cloud-based editors to help developers in their Web development ventures. It has achieved immense popularity in the past few years by allowing developers to write an application in PHP, Python, Perl and JavaScript while dealing with all the popular frameworks like Django, Ruby on Rails and Node.js.

It is totally free to use and experiment with. Moreover, it has a huge community of users, which makes collaboration and sharing in the cloud very smooth.

CodeRun Studio

9. Coderun Studio — If you have tried almost every kind of browser-based IDEs, but have not achieved your desired result, it is time to consider Coderun Studio. It offers a cross-platform tool for writing code for ASP.NET, JavaScript, C#, HTML and CSS and its default compatibility with Visual Studio adds a lot of usability for developers. Also, the core compilation and debugging features are out-of-the-box.


10.ShiftEdit — Next in our list is ShiftEdit, a worth considering option if you really wish leverage from the power of cloud-based IDE. No matter which programming language you’re found of, whether you’re a Python developer, a PHP expert or a Perl programmer, ShiftEdit will bring all what you need. Moreover, it lets the users to save their files to the DropBox through SFTP and keep track of changes with the help of a wide range of version control systems. Its SSH authentication, code compilation and code snippet features help developers to become more productive.


11. Akshell  — With more and more cloud-based IDEs are popping up, it has become quite difficult to get ahead of the competition. Akshell is a lightweight tool and a server-side development environment, which is used to gear up JavaScript Web applications. It relies on PostgreSQL database to store the back-end of the application. Moreover, it simplifies the deployment process with the help of the Git console.


12. Erbix — If you think JavaScript is not so popular among the developers, you might be unaware about the current scenario. Today, JavaScript has gained immense popularity and respect from developers across the globe. Erbix is all about JavaScript — it provides tools to create JavaScript applications for online business productivity.

You may have to pay a fee, but the plans are quite affordable if you are planning to use it on a regular basis. It provides support for RingoJS and CommonJS modules while providing dedicated MySQL database console to the developers.


13. Neutron Drive — Creating a cloud-based IDE from scratch is not easy. Therefore, many people prefer to start their projects with pre-existing open source code. Neutron IDE provides a starting point for such people with the help of a powerful Ace Code editor. It smoothly combines the best features of SFTP clients and browser editors through unified platform. It is one of the most customizable IDEs you will ever find.


14. Collide — Collide was actually a Google Code project that promised a lot of things to the developers. As of now it is defunct, but you can still find source code without any cost. In a nutshell, it’s a cloud-based IDE that is running on the Java 7 JRE that relies on a host of solid software tools like EasyMock, JKit, JUnit and Guava in order to provide effective collaboration functionality to the developers.


15. Orion — Orion brings Eclipse’s considerable experience to the Cloud IDE. It is extensively used these days for front-end development, which restricts it to the HTML and JavaScript. However, its team is trying hard to improve it and you can expect a lot more features in the near future.


16. Python Fiddle — There are many reasons why Python is gaining popularity in the world of Web development. Python Fiddle is a cloud-based IDE that is intended to help developers write code in a hassle-free way. It is a code editor and code execution environment, which allows programmers to run snippets and debug scripts speedily. Moreover, it supports a wide range of other third-party packages and more.


17. Ideone — It is an online compiler and debugging tool, that allows you to compile source code and execute it online in more than 60 different programming languages. Choose a programming language of your choice, enter the source code, optional data and you’re all set to go.

Have you tried any of these? Share your views in the comments.


Boni Satani is a Java technology consultant associated with Cygnet Infotech, an offshore IT Solution provider. He is a geek who developes java applications for Cygnet Infotech and a social media addict, who loves blogging and tweeting. Connect with him on Twitter at @bonirulzz for any Java-related queries or Java consultation.