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Software Development Environment (SDE)

Definition - What does Software Development Environment (SDE) mean?

A software development environment (SDE) is an environment that automates or augments the routines involved in a software development cycle. This includes programming-in-the-many tasks like team and project management as well as programming-in-the-large tasks like configuration management. An SDE supports the large-scale and long-term maintenance of software as well.

Techopedia explains Software Development Environment (SDE)

With the advancement in technology and increased user expectations, the functionality of an environment most likely changes. The collection of software tools for developers has been enhanced significantly since the 1990s.

The following are four categories represents trends that have a considerable influence over environments, i.e., on their user interfaces, tools and architectures:

  • Language-oriented environments: These environment types are developed around one language, thereby offering a tool set suitable for that particular language. They are very interactive and provide restricted support for programming-in-the-large. Cedar for Mesa/Cedar, Rational Environment for Ada, Interlisp for Lisp and Smalltalk for Smalltalk are some common examples of language-centered environments.
  • Structure-oriented environments: These environment types include techniques that let users directly manipulate the structures. These techniques are language independent, which triggered the concept of generators for environments.
  • Toolkit environments: These environment types offer a set of tools that incorporate language-independent support for programming-in-the-large tasks, which include version control and configuration management.
  • Method-based environments: These environment types include support for a wide variety of routines involved in the software development process. This includes tasks like team and project management. They also feature tools for certain specification and design techniques.
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