The No Software logo should be familiar to all of us by now. The cloud is about changing the way in which we work. For a developer, the ability to code directly in the browser was an amazing shift to how traditional development was done. This shift to browser-based IDEs has been picking up momentum recently with front runners like Ace, CloudNine, Orion, SourceKit, BrainEngine and CodeMirror making some impressive advancements. If you haven't been following this space, check out a recent poll on ReadWriteWeb to identify the most popular browser-based IDE.

There has been some criticism that browser-based IDEs are nothing more than cloud-based text editors with syntax highlighting, and I guess to some except that may be true, but it is a very short sighted view. Like many things in cloud computing, you need to change your thinking to truly take advantage of everything the cloud has to offer. Take CloudNine for example, they have embraced developer collaboration by allowing you to edit directly from a github repository, and chat and collaborate with other developers all without leaving the IDE. This organic collaboration for developers is huge, it is the way we work these days! 

Last note, one big thing I noticed which is missing in many of these editors is the ability to write Apex or Visualforce, but like any good cloud project, the code is open and just waiting for someone to extend it. Why not give it a go?

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/orningvar OrnIngvar

    BrainEngine is creating a browser based IDE for Apex and Visualforce. Believe they have started a beta and are sending out invites. http://brainengine.net/ and their blog is here : http://blog.brainengine.net/

  • Paul

    I personally cannot wait until someone releases a better, enterprise ready editor for apex and visualforce

  • http://profile.typepad.com/force201wordpresscom Force201.wordpress.com

    Perhaps someone can explain how browser-based IDEs will ever yield the responsiveness that we take for granted in Java development in Eclipse. A syntax error being reported by a browser-based IDE 10 seconds after you change a line of code makes for a miserable development experience.

  • Chirag Mehta

    online editing + collaboration + version mgmt …is what we all are looking for, that will change the way of working with team of developers across the globe ….

    Quinton, Simon, Dave …. I’m expecting someone from this elite team to build force.com online IDE .. I would be happy to help …

  • http://stefancosma.eu/ Stefan Cosma

    Koding (https://koding.com) : Free virtual machine (VM) with Ubuntu, root access, apt-get, and many commonly used tools + Built-in Terminal with 256-color support + All languages, databases, and command-line tools are supported + Various file upload options such as Drag & Drop, Dropbox, Clone from Github, FTP and the ability to access them using SSH + Real-time code and terminal collaboration with integrated chat abilities. Enough said! :)