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How Can Cloud IDEs Save Your Time?: Build and Deploy – Part 2

How Can Cloud IDEs Save Your Time?: Build and Deploy – Part 2

IDE in a cloud uses cloud’s resources on demand to make development process more productive. 

  • You can win a minute or so by decreasing IDE boot time. It might look insignificant, but just multiply those minutes to your team size. Add those seconds to the time you can save with faster builds and deploys, and you will get an extra coffee break every day. 
  • With an IDE installed on a local machine, your productivity pretty much depends on specs of your laptop or PC. Cloud IDE builds projects using powerful servers which in most cases can give you a few extra seconds. So, a few minutes a day just by building projects in the cloud. It looks promising, isn’t it? Besides, you can code, build and deploy projects even using your travel stained laptop with mediocre specs. 
  • What do you think of an IDE that anticipates your actions? Auto saving, pre-compiling and pre-deploying intermediate incremental files makes it possible to ensure almost instantaneous coding experience. Exo IDE, for instance, supports use of JRebel plugin that allows making changes to your code, saving the project and updating the app without redeploying it. In other words, cloud IDE is getting ready to compile and deploy changes even before you requested these actions. The build server, editor and a testing VM are hosted side by side and configured in such a way to automate as many functions as possible, which makes it a pretty powerful combo. It’s not perfect yet and there’s much to work on, but that is exactly where most industry experts see the biggest benefits of cloud IDEs versus conventional desktop environments that limit productivity of dev teams. Yes, the process of updating apps, i.e. implementing changes, does not differ much from the way it’s happening with conventional IDE. Yet, having committed changes, a project is built on a powerful cloud server which definitely saves you at least a few seconds. Some PaaS, for example Openshift, choose to build projects on their side, while cloud IDE just pushes changes.

Corporate benefits 

Quite often developers have fears of storing code on a third party server, but not on a local machine. Yet, as a collaborative tool, cloud IDE offers an easy control over sensitive code. Many companies want and even have to trace code copies as well as monitor performance of mid sized and big development teams, i.e. find out how much code has been written. Sure, having one tenant for one project is the easiest and the fastest way to set up one centralized system. Well, add more spare time normally spent for an administrative control.

Social integration 

Coding with colleagues is joyous, especially if you code in the cloud. There’s no need to push code to repositories to let someone have a look at it and fix that annoying bug that has been a real pain in the neck. Using a cloud IDE, it is possible to invite collaborators directly from your workplace, as mentioned above. Not only are cloud IDEs productive, but they’re social friendly! Here’s how social invitation feature is realized in Exo IDE:

Collaborate on your projects, brainstorm new ideas and edit your code in the cloud. Social integration and collaborative features are undoubtedly the core strengths of cloud IDEs. Isn’t it great to code together with a fellow programmer who’s located on the other part of the continent?

One hour of extra coding guaranteed

All in all, it is really possible to save 1+ hour during a normal 6-8 hr working day just by using cloud IDE in a development process. Typically, a coder may make about 30 iterations within just one hour. So, shaving off seconds with each edit-compile-debug-deploy cycle results in 1-2 hours of extra coding time daily. Multiply this figure by the number of dev team members, and you will get pretty amazing results.

Conclusion

 It would not be fair to claim that cloud IDEs totally oust conventional development environments like, Eclipse. Moreover, offline IDEs are still competitive offerings in the market. As for now, web based IDEs do not have a wide range of features modern developers may need, but hold an enormous potential for a skyrocketing development in 2013. Cloud9, Koding and Exo IDE are moving at an immense speed, adding new features each month. More productivity, more code editing features, better infrastructure and more PaaS deployment possibilities – this is what we should expect from major cloud IDE players this year.

 By Eugene Ivantsov

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