Cloud IDE or Cloud Dev Environments are complete development environment that runs on a cloud server instead of your developer workstation. In this article, I’ll go through the basic benefits and drawbacks of Cloud IDEs, rank the top 5 IDEs I found, and make recommendations for selecting the one that best meets your needs. Previously, developers used conventional text editors to build websites from the ground up.

Terminal-based text editors like Emacs and VIM are still the go-to options for different developers, from the local workstation to the server. As cloud services become more generally available, cloud IDEs, on the other hand, are gaining appeal. To determine the best cloud IDE in 2021, we examine the most popular and functional cloud IDE solutions currently available.

One of the questions is initiated “What is the difference between an integrated development environment (IDE) and a text editor?” The most significant difference is that an IDE allows you to compile and run the code you’re writing, as well as provide advanced text editor capabilities like syntax highlighting. Additional features, including debugging, are available in various IDEs. The best-integrated development environments (IDEs) provide a one-stop-shop for all of your development needs, as well as extra capabilities like version management and continuous integration. The following are some cloud-based development tools:

  1. Microsoft Azure Notebooks
  2. CodePen
  3. Observable
  4. JSFiddle
  5. it

CodePen

CodePen is a real-time CSS, HTML, and JavaScript editor that you can use to share and create snippets. The primary purpose of CodePen is a tool that will utilize to show the work of front-end development.

On your CodePen sample, you can utilize stylesheets and scripts that are hosted elsewhere. If you’re creating an element on CodePen, you’ll also have access to a JavaScript console, which you can use to debug your code.

Demos from CodePen can also be embedded on your website. Embedded pens provide code previews, making them perfect for technical writers writing lessons for front-end technologies.

You can fork the work of other developers and build on it with CodePen. Various code views are accessible, but some are only available with the pro edition, which costs $8 per month and is invoiced annually.

While the basis of CodePen is generating and sharing pens, in 2017, it added Projects, which allows you to construct whole front-end projects on the site, thereby turning it into an IDE.

JSFiddle

JSFiddle is an early IDE that started as a code playground and has influenced many different IDEs today. It enables you to construct front-end elements and have them rendered in real-time in the browser.

In addition to integrating your work in external sites, you can fork other people’s work and build on it. JSFiddle is a stripped-down version of CodePen for individuals who prefer a more straightforward code editor with compilation capabilities.

Microsoft Azure Notebooks

Microsoft Azure Notebooks is a full-featured end-to-end solution for managing Jupyter notebook projects. To get started, log in to your Microsoft account and choose a plan. A no-cost tier plan is available. You can utilize R, F#, Python 2, or Python 3 in your apps.

You can also set up a terminal at the project’s location using Azure. The airport may be used to run Unix commands as well as debug Python code.

You can also share your project with others using Azure. Microsoft has published tutorials for Azure Notebooks that are also projected on the platform. Here’s an example of a project using data access from these Notebooks.

Observable

While Jupyter is credited for boosting Python’s popularity in the cloud, it also motivated the founders of Observable to create a JavaScript-specific alternative.

Observable notebooks are cloud notebooks written in JavaScript that can incorporate both scripts and Markdown. The main goal of Observable is to share JavaScript-based graphs over the internet.

The sample notebook allows you to try out the capabilities of Observable without having to create an account.

You’ll preserve any modifications you make to a notebook once you’ve created an account, and you’ll be able to share the findings with others.

To determine the other best cloud IDE platforms, we’ll look at slightly more comprehensive end-to-end options.

Repl.it

Repl.it is based on a concept developed by Repl.it allows you to concentrate on coding by allowing the platform to handle the environment setup.

After you’ve completed the registration process, you’ll be able to build an environment with a single click. There are a large number of languages from which to choose. Let’s get started with Python in this demonstration.

The window that appears when you select an environment is separated into three columns: the file system, the text editor, and a terminal interpreter. You can resize them to focus on the particular aspect of the project that you’re working on.

On the left menu bar, you can choose the packages you want to use in your current project. Repl.it even has a multiplayer mode that makes it ideal for group projects! When you turn it on, you can share a URL with a potential collaborator so they may either contribute to the project or observe its status in real-time.