Have you ever needed immediate access to Windows Server for a quick web project or proof of concept demo? Did you cringe at having to find a server, the installation media, applying all the patches, rebooting, etc? What if was as easy as opening your favorite browser?

Let's take a look at IDE for the cloud and, yes, you'll only need your browser.

Code, Save, Run, Share

From the CodeRun site the founders have a very specific goal:

CodeRun was designed to deliver a familiar development experience in the cloud, using a simple web browser. This way, developers can focus on actual programming, rather than dealing with complex configuration during development and deployment. Automation also enables rapid and intuitive scalability, as adding more hosting power can be as simple as a single mouse click.

To get started you simply click the button for "Start the IDE".

You're browser will now load the IDE and present you with the default view where you'll need to select a New project to begin.

For this example we simply created a PHP project and remove the "Hello World" in favor of phpinfo() and then print_r(get_loaded_extensions()) so that we can understand a bit more about the environment we have access to. After saving, selecting Run from the IDE spawns another browser window that runs your code.

We Code in Public

RWH wasn't able to use the share functionality but YMMV.

One other area you might find interesting is the public code search available on CodeRun. While you probably won't find the source code to Facebook there, it's worth clicking around to see what others are sharing.

What do you think of the online IDE as a concept? Do you see limitations to this approach? What would make for a better IDE for the cloud?

Let us know in the comments below!