Difference Between Eclipse and IntelliJ

Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a primary software application used by software programmers. It is the application that provides the necessary comprehensive facilities for software development.


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IDEs provide the technology world with a single program within which all the software development can be done. It provides many features that make the life of a programmer effortless.

IDE has the source code editor and automation tools in it, along with the debugger. Two of the Main IDEs used extensively are Eclipse and IntelliJ.

Key Takeaways

  1. Eclipse is an open-source integrated development environment (IDE) primarily used for Java development, offering support for other programming languages through various plugins.
  2. IntelliJ IDEA is a commercial Java IDE developed by JetBrains, providing advanced features and support for various programming languages, including Java, Scala, Kotlin, and Groovy.
  3. The key distinction between Eclipse and IntelliJ lies in their target audience and features, with Eclipse being an open-source solution primarily for Java developers. At the same time, IntelliJ is a commercial IDE with more advanced features and broader programming language support.

Eclipse vs IntelliJ

The difference between Eclipse and IntelliJ is that by the usage of the plugin, eclipse is faster and easier to extend, whereas IntelliJ offers few plugins when compared to eclipse, and it is also hard to extend the IDE using the plugin’s support.

Eclipse vs IntelliJ

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Eclipse is extensively used in creating applications using JAVA and also C.C++, Python, PERL, and Ruby. IntelliJ is primarily used for any advancement in the projects and is widely used in JAVA environments.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonEclipseIntelliJ
Context TreeThe context of the programmer is not identified in Eclipse. It does not create a context tree.IntelliJ creates the decision context tree and also index all the projects and their available library in the classpath
Minimum System Requirements to Install the IDE0.5 to1GB RAM is recommended, 300MB to 1GB Hard Disk, Processor speed of 800MHz to 1.5GHz2 to 4GB RAM is required,1.5GB Hard disk Space plus 1GB separately for caches, 1024X768 Minimum Screen resolution
CostEclipse is offered for freeIntelliJ is offered for free; however, additional functionalities are required for a programmer, which the free version does not offer. The IntelliJ Ultimate version is paid
Performance in Memory ManagementEclipse is excellent in memory management. It is faster.IntelliJ is comparatively not a good performer in memory management. It is indeed prolonged.
Auto Code GenerationEclipse provides the mechanism for an auto-code generation. It is, however, not effective and more accessible for the programmer to be working with it.Auto code generation in IntelliJ is customizable and very easy


What is Eclipse IDE?

Eclipse is a powerful Integrated Development Environment (IDE) widely used in Information Technology.

It has a workspace, and not only that, the eclipse can be extended with a wide range of plug-in systems to customize the environment.

Eclipse was developed using JAVA and also was initially developed to create JAVA applications. The best part is that Eclipse can also be used to develop applications in other programming languages using plug-ins.

Eclipse Software Development Kit, widely known as SDK, is free and also open-source software. The programmers have to download the plug-ins to the eclipse platform to create applications in other programming languages.

Eclipse extensively uses plug-ins that offer almost all the functionality in the run-time system. Eclipse’s run-time system is entirely based on Equinox.

The Software development kit of Eclipse consists of Java development tools (JDT) with an inbuilt incremental compiler. It also has a full model of the JAVA source files. Eclipse p

rovides flexibility in the form of views and editors. These two are grouped into perspectives.

A view functionality in Eclipse is used to work on a set of data. This data can also be a hierarchical structure. An Editor functionality is used to modify only a single data element.

The change that is offered is applied only once as the user saves.

As such Eclipse provides many different perspectives for as many different tasks. The perspectives available depends on what is installed.

eclipse ide

What is IntelliJ IDE?

IntelliJ is indeed an integrated development environment widely meant for JAVA for developing software programs. IntelliJ is available in the IT market as a community edition as well as commercial edition.

IntelliJ is a versatile environment named for its solid design. It is the IDE that is well known for its ease of use. IntelliJ is acclaimed for its advanced assistance features in creating software programs.

This is one of the reasons why it is very easy to use.

The rate at which the errors are checked is also very fast and makes the programmer go for IntelliJ over its counterparts.

IntelliJ can index the source code, it automatically customizes the code options by giving relevant suggestions for the context.

IntelliJ is named for its clever code completion. Not only that, but the major advantage is also, the code is analyzed on the fly with its reliable refactoring tools. IntelliJ does not have as many plug-ins as Eclipse.

The integrated version control system in the IDE and the ability to support a variety of languages and frameworks do not require the need for plug-ins.

IntelliJ is considered intelligent for its quick code assistance in developing a program. This makes the task easy and faster to complete.

intellij ide

Main Differences Between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDE

  1. Both IDEs have their benefits for programmers. The main difference between Eclipse and IntelliJ is the plug-in factor. Eclipse can be easily extended and also faster by the use of Plug-ins. The user has to download the required plug-in to the eclipse platform and use it. At the same time, IntelliJ cannot be extended as easily as Eclipse and does not have many plug-ins to support this functionality too.
  2. The minimum system requirements for Eclipse are pretty minimal. This goes to say that a very less expensive computer which was bought years ago can also support the installation of the eclipse. In contrast, IntelliJ requires high-end RAM and ample Hard disk space for better performance.
  3. The performance factor gives a significant difference, too, the eclipse has faster memory management which makes the performance to be faster than IntelliJ.
  4. Eclipse is open-source software that is offered for free. At the same time, IntelliJ’s additional functionalities are charged.
  5. The smart code-generating capacity in IntelliJ is far better than Eclipse. The auto code generation functionality is an out-of-the-box gift to programmers.
Difference Between Eclipse and IntelliJ
  1. https://www.eclipse.org/ide/
  2. https://www.codejava.net/ides/intellij/introduction-to-intellij-idea-for-beginner
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15 thoughts on “Difference Between Eclipse and IntelliJ”

  1. The people at IntelliJ have made it look completely different than Eclipse. Eclipse has expanded its plugin collection but still, I like IntelliJ because it just feels more polished than out of the box Eclipse.

    1. Avatar of Piyush Yadav
      Piyush Yadav

      Of course that has to be the case, IntelliJ earns lot more by providing services to corporations than Eclipse which means they can invest more man power in improving IntelliJ

    1. Hi Agatha,
      You will have to go with Android Studio. Eclipse and IntelliJ are not supported for Android development anymore.
      Good news is that Android Studio is built on top of IntelliJ so AS should be familar to you if you have been using IntelliJ

    1. This is happening most probably because IntelliJ comes with a cost. Many employers who want to save money for their company would want to use open source and free Softwares. This would the reason in your employer’s case.

      This means you have no other option but to use Eclipse IDE.

    1. Yes right. Both are different organizations and hence they have different version numbers and systems.

  2. Having worked 10 years a software programmer now, I tend to go back to Eclipse because of its vanilla flavour and i can then install plugins as and when required by the project.

    For android development, I had to learn a bit about how IntelliJ IDE works.

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