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Cloud9 IDE vs Terraform: What are the differences?

Developers describe Cloud9 IDE as "Your development environment, in the cloud". Cloud9 provides a development environment in the cloud. Cloud9 enables developers to get started with coding immediately with pre-setup environments called workspaces, collaborate with their peers with collaborative coding features, and build web apps with features like live preview and browser compatibility testing. It supports more than 40 languages, with class A support for PHP, Ruby, Python, JavaScript/Node.js, and Go. On the other hand, Terraform is detailed as "Describe your complete infrastructure as code and build resources across providers". With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.

Cloud9 IDE belongs to "Cloud IDE" category of the tech stack, while Terraform can be primarily classified under "Infrastructure Build Tools".

Some of the features offered by Cloud9 IDE are:

  • Real-time collaboration and chat
  • Connect via SSH and FTP
  • Code Completion (suggestions)

On the other hand, Terraform provides the following key features:

  • Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.
  • Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates an execution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.
  • Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.

"Easy to use" is the primary reason why developers consider Cloud9 IDE over the competitors, whereas "Infrastructure as code" was stated as the key factor in picking Terraform.

Terraform is an open source tool with 17.4K GitHub stars and 4.77K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Terraform's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Terraform has a broader approval, being mentioned in 490 company stacks & 298 developers stacks; compared to Cloud9 IDE, which is listed in 28 company stacks and 40 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Cloud9 IDE?

Cloud9 provides a development environment in the cloud. Cloud9 enables developers to get started with coding immediately with pre-setup environments called workspaces, collaborate with their peers with collaborative coding features, and build web apps with features like live preview and browser compatibility testing. It supports more than 40 languages, with class A support for PHP, Ruby, Python, JavaScript/Node.js, and Go.

What is Terraform?

With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
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    What are some alternatives to Cloud9 IDE and Terraform?
    Red Hat Codeready Workspaces
    Built on the open Eclipse Che project, Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces provides developer workspaces, which include all the tools and the dependencies that are needed to code, build, test, run, and debug applications.
    Codeanywhere
    A development platform that enables you to not only edit your files from underlying services like FTP, GitHub, Dropbox and the like, but on top of that gives you the ability to collaborate, embed and share through Codeanywhere on any device.
    Koding
    Koding is a feature rich cloud-based development environment complete with free VMs, an attractive IDE & sudo level terminal access!
    Nitrous.IO
    Get setup lightning fast in the cloud & code from anywhere, on any machine.
    Eclipse Che
    Eclipse Che makes Kubernetes development accessible for developer teams, providing one-click developer workspaces and eliminating local environment configuration for your entire team.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Cloud9 IDE and Terraform
    John Kodumal
    John Kodumal
    CTO at LaunchDarkly · | 3 upvotes · 35.6K views
    atLaunchDarklyLaunchDarkly
    Armory
    Armory
    Packer
    Packer
    Terraform
    Terraform
    Spinnaker
    Spinnaker
    Ansible
    Ansible

    LaunchDarkly is almost a five year old company, and our methodology for deploying was state of the art... for 2014. We recently undertook a project to modernize the way we #deploy our software, moving from Ansible-based deploy scripts that executed on our local machines, to using Spinnaker (along with Terraform and Packer) as the basis of our deployment system. We've been using Armory's enterprise Spinnaker offering to make this project a reality.

    See more
    Joseph Kunzler
    Joseph Kunzler
    DevOps Engineer at Tillable · | 9 upvotes · 30.2K views
    atTillableTillable
    AWS CloudFormation
    AWS CloudFormation
    AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
    AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
    Amazon EC2
    Amazon EC2
    Amazon S3
    Amazon S3
    Terraform
    Terraform

    We use Terraform because we needed a way to automate the process of building and deploying feature branches. We wanted to hide the complexity such that when a dev creates a PR, it triggers a build and deployment without the dev having to worry about any of the 'plumbing' going on behind the scenes. Terraform allows us to automate the process of provisioning DNS records, Amazon S3 buckets, Amazon EC2 instances and AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)'s. It also makes it easy to tear it all down when finished. We also like that it supports multiple clouds, which is why we chose to use it over AWS CloudFormation.

    See more
    AWS CloudFormation
    AWS CloudFormation
    Google Cloud Deployment Manager
    Google Cloud Deployment Manager
    Terraform
    Terraform

    I use Terraform because it hits the level of abstraction pocket of being high-level and flexible, and is agnostic to cloud platforms. Creating complex infrastructure components for a solution with a UI console is tedious to repeat. Using low-level APIs are usually specific to cloud platforms, and you still have to build your own tooling for deploying, state management, and destroying infrastructure.

    However, Terraform is usually slower to implement new services compared to cloud-specific APIs. It's worth the trade-off though, especially if you're multi-cloud. I heard someone say, "We want to preference a cloud, not lock in to one." Terraform builds on that claim.

    Terraform Google Cloud Deployment Manager AWS CloudFormation

    See more
    Pedro Arnal Puente
    Pedro Arnal Puente
    CTO at La Cupula Music SL · | 7 upvotes · 47.7K views
    atLa Cupula Music SLLa Cupula Music SL
    Ansible
    Ansible
    Packer
    Packer
    Terraform
    Terraform
    Amazon ElastiCache
    Amazon ElastiCache
    Redis
    Redis
    Amazon RDS for Aurora
    Amazon RDS for Aurora
    Amazon S3
    Amazon S3
    Amazon EC2
    Amazon EC2
    Debian
    Debian

    Our base infrastructure is composed of Debian based servers running in Amazon EC2 , asset storage with Amazon S3 , and Amazon RDS for Aurora and Redis under Amazon ElastiCache for data storage.

    We are starting to work in automated provisioning and management with Terraform , Packer , and Ansible .

    See more
    GitHub
    GitHub
    Google Compute Engine
    Google Compute Engine
    Google Cloud Storage
    Google Cloud Storage
    Google BigQuery
    Google BigQuery
    Google Cloud Bigtable
    Google Cloud Bigtable
    Google Cloud Run
    Google Cloud Run
    Google Cloud Build
    Google Cloud Build
    Google Cloud Deployment Manager
    Google Cloud Deployment Manager
    Python
    Python
    Terraform
    Terraform
    Google Cloud IoT Core
    Google Cloud IoT Core

    Context: I wanted to create an end to end IoT data pipeline simulation in Google Cloud IoT Core and other GCP services. I never touched Terraform meaningfully until working on this project, and it's one of the best explorations in my development career. The documentation and syntax is incredibly human-readable and friendly. I'm used to building infrastructure through the google apis via Python , but I'm so glad past Sung did not make that decision. I was tempted to use Google Cloud Deployment Manager, but the templates were a bit convoluted by first impression. I'm glad past Sung did not make this decision either.

    Solution: Leveraging Google Cloud Build Google Cloud Run Google Cloud Bigtable Google BigQuery Google Cloud Storage Google Compute Engine along with some other fun tools, I can deploy over 40 GCP resources using Terraform!

    Check Out My Architecture: CLICK ME

    Check out the GitHub repo attached

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Cloud9 IDE and Terraform
    Review ofCloud9 IDECloud9 IDE
    • I use a Cloud9 micro plan and connect SSH workspaces to Google Compute Engine instances.

    • For me, Cloud 9 has good documentation, and it's relatively quick to install on my Debian instances using the Cloud 9 install script.

    • I prefer a cloud-based IDE since I don't want to spend resources on my local or remote machines running or maintaining an IDE.

    • As of Dec 2015, Cloud9 doesn't support debugging in Python. However, this hasn't been a problem for me since I use pdb for debugging and pytest for testing. I use the IDE mostly for code navigation, autocomplete, and managing packages with many files.

    • Related blog post with example usage: Running an IPython Notebook on Google Compute Engine from Chrome

    Review ofCloud9 IDECloud9 IDE

    I've tried to use Cloud9, but I really don't like it. They say it has real-time collaboration, and it does — but only for 2 people, because the backend shuts everything down and lets nobody access anything if more than 2 people want to use it. The UI looks pretty bad, Cloud9 is completely inaccessible from mobile devices, and it freezes my computer because it uses so much memory. It's free and they will host your files for free, but I much prefer GitHub.

    Review ofCloud9 IDECloud9 IDE

    I don't like Cloud9 because when several people(even 4) are on the workspace, the entire thing lags out. Really frustrating

    How developers use Cloud9 IDE and Terraform
    Avatar of Samuel Harrold
    Samuel Harrold uses Cloud9 IDECloud9 IDE
    • I use a Cloud9 micro plan and connect SSH workspaces to Google Compute Engine instances.
    • For me, Cloud 9 has good documentation, and it's relatively quick to install on my Debian instances using the Cloud 9 install script.
    • I prefer a cloud-based IDE since I don't want to spend resources on my local or remote machines running or maintaining an IDE.
    • As of Dec 2015, Cloud9 doesn't support debugging in Python. However, this hasn't been a problem for me since I use pdb for debugging and pytest for testing. I use the IDE mostly for code navigation, autocomplete, and managing packages with many files.
    • Related blog post with example usage: Running an IPython Notebook on Google Compute Engine from Chrome
    Avatar of Royal Icing
    Royal Icing uses TerraformTerraform

    Terraform makes it so easy to deploy AWS and Google Cloud services, with the declarative approach avoiding so many headaches of manual work and possible mistakes.

    Avatar of Yaakov Belch
    Yaakov Belch uses Cloud9 IDECloud9 IDE

    I use the clound9 IDE mainly in my training courses: Students don't need to install anything on their Laptops to participate in the live exercises.

    Avatar of MyklClason
    MyklClason uses Cloud9 IDECloud9 IDE

    I use Cloud9 as my preferred Rails development environment. It saves me a lot time and trouble compared to developing locally (I run Windows).

    Avatar of Tim De Lange
    Tim De Lange uses Cloud9 IDECloud9 IDE

    Quick testing of frameworks without having to install on my own PC.

    Very useful when you cannot use your own computer.

    Avatar of Bùi Thanh
    Bùi Thanh uses TerraformTerraform
    • Infrastructure as Code.
    • Central tool to deploy all infratructure: AWS, CloudFlare, StatusCake
    Avatar of InApplet
    InApplet uses Cloud9 IDECloud9 IDE

    IDE online onde é desenvolvido nosso código-fonte, recomendamos Cloud9

    Avatar of Prime Technologies
    Prime Technologies uses TerraformTerraform

    The entire AWS environments is described and setup using Terraform.

    Avatar of Binded
    Binded uses TerraformTerraform

    All of our infrastructure is stored as code thanks to Terraform.

    Avatar of Razorpay
    Razorpay uses TerraformTerraform

    We orchestrate our AWS infrastructure using Terraform.

    How much does Cloud9 IDE cost?
    How much does Terraform cost?
    Pricing unavailable
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