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A development environment is a collection of procedures and tools for developing, testing and debugging an application or program.
The development environment normally has three server tiers, called development, staging and production. All three tiers together are usually referred to as the DSP.
In software development, the development environment is a set of processes and tools that are used to develop a source code or program.
This term is sometimes used synonymously with integrated development environment (IDE), which is the software development tool used to write, build, test and debug a program. They also provide developers with a common user interface (UI) to develop and debug in different modes. Generally speaking, the term development environment would refer to the entire environment, including development, staging, and production servers, whereas the IDE just refers to the local application used to code. Of course, there is much overlap as you use an IDE for debugging just as you use a development server to test.