When you work as a software engineer, you often find yourself wishing you had tools to help aid development and take care of the more mundane tasks. Integrated developer environments (IDE) such as IntelliJ and Eclipse aim to make dealing with those tasks an easy and quick experience. Both IDEs are free for individual use and have lots of proponents in the developer world, but which one wins in a head-to-head, IntelliJ vs Eclipse? Having a notion of both IDEs’ strong and weak points allows you to determine which is best for your shop.
This guide is here to help app developers and web designers get a handle on these two favored IDEs. In this article, you get information on the resources each app requires, how efficient they are, the languages and frameworks they support, and the apps’ licensing requirements. With our help, your search for a time-saving and low-cost IDE gets a kick in the pants and makes it across the finish line.
Veteran developers and coding bootcamp hopefuls might not share much in the way of common programming knowledge, but it doesn’t take a seasoned programmer to know that computer resources are often scarce and require careful rationing. IDEs often eat up those spare resources and leave developers scrambling to complete their tasks with low memory or processing power. That’s why it’s essential to know what sorts of resources your new IDEs will consume.
Eclipse comes up on top when it comes to having a light touch on your system resources. IntelliJ requires 2 GB minimum of RAM and at least 2.5 GB of disk space for install and cache space. Meanwhile, Eclipse requires a minimum of .5 GB RAM and 300 MB disk and cache space, although it does better with a little more resources. If resources are a priority at your shop, consider going with Eclipse.
Writing the code is only part of a developer’s tasks. After you complete your work, you still get to wait for the code to compile or a build to finish. The less time you have to sit around and wait for your code to finish processing, the better; efficiency is a key factor when you shop around for a killer IDE. Short builds and compiles means more free time to focus on the next task.
Eclipse comes out on top in this category as well. Eclipse is more efficient when it comes to handling memory and creates far fewer objects in order to complete a task. More object creation results in higher processing and memory requirements. IntelliJ has lower throughput than Eclipse and potentially higher pause time, too. Efficiency isn’t everything, but every bit helps, and Eclipse has more potential for quicker and less resource-heavy processing.
Supported Frameworks and Languages
Frameworks and language support are crucial when you shop for an IDE to help streamline your programming. The most wonderful IDE the world has ever seen doesn’t do you a lick of good if you use a language or framework the app doesn’t support, after all. Both Eclipse and IntelliJ have robust support for frameworks and programming languages, but they differ in the ones with which they can work.
IntelliJ supports Java, Groovy, XML/XSL, and Kotlin out of the box and has thousands of plugins available to add support for Dart, CLojure, Perl, Python, Scala, and more. However, some plugins require you to have the paid edition of the IDE in order to work. Eclipse is a Java-based app and has no issue working with that language, and it also offers plugins for more than a hundred frameworks and hundreds of languages. However, Eclipse’s plugins don’t get the same level of scrutiny as IntelliJ plugins and may cause interoperability issues.
Money is one of the main concerns of every business around, and that extends to development shops. Licensing and subscriptions eat into a software team’s budget in a hurry and result in unforeseen shortages and crunch situations. That’s why it’s important to select an IDE that doesn’t keep your team from spending on other vital resources. So, which IDE of our two has the least bite on your wallet?
While both of the IDEs are free to use, IntelliJ is open core instead of being open source. That means that the base product is free to use, but versions with more features and plugin support will cost you. Eclipse, however, is entirely open-source, which means developers have more freedom to create plugins that work for others without costing a thing. If you want to save as much cash as possible, Eclipse might be your go-to app.
Both IDEs get the job done and offer plenty of assistance to get your development tasks completed. Eclipse comes out on top in most of our categories, but its open-source nature means that its add-ons might not be as solid as those for IntelliJ. Either IDE is an outstanding choice for your team and will help you kick your development into high gear.