Illuminated Cloud is developed by Scott Wells, a 20+ year veteran software developer and architect and unabashed development tool snob.  In 2010 I began working with the Force.com Platform-as-a-Service as a key component in a composite Software-as-a-Service architecture.  While impressed with how Force.com effectively commoditizes a vast number of otherwise complex technical components, like many others I was disappointed with the lack of modern development tools for the platform, in particular for Apex and Visualforce development.  Illuminated Cloud was born out of this productivity paradox.

As a long-time user of JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA for Java development, I started toying with the idea of a custom language plugin that would ultimately bring the same modern feature set and near-telepathic capabilities of IDEA's Java IDE to Apex and Visualforce developers.  As Illuminated Cloud was being developed, I cataloged what I perceived to be the most critical features of the Java editor: Completion, NavigationFormattingDocumentation, and Validation.  These along with Force.com's metadata Deployment and Retrieval requirements became the initial feature set for Illuminated Cloud.

What's Next?

My ultimate goal for Illuminated Cloud is to bring as much as possible of the modern Java IDE feature set to Apex and Visualforce developers.  I'm happy to share what's in my head for future releases but must clearly state that these are just thoughts until they're in the released product!  I welcome and encourage feedback on these and any other enhancements you think would improve the product.

Apex

  • Apex Unit Test Execution including results review, navigation to failures, and code coverage overlay Delivered
  • Anonymous Apex and SOQL/SOSL Query Execution using Illuminated Cloud's editor for completion, formatting, navigation, etc. Delivered
  • Debugging using debug logs and checkpoints; eventually the interactive debugger API Delivered
  • Smart Completion that only offers completions of the expected data type in addition to standard completion
  • Refactoring for Apex symbols, particularly rename, extract variable/field/parameter/method, and smart delete
  • Annotations and Inspections for real-time feedback on common types of code issues such as unresolved references, duplicate and unused declarations, and data type mismatches without consulting the Tooling or Metadata APIs
  • Quick Fixes for common types of code issues such as casting for data type mismatches, removal of unused declarations, and namespace qualification where necessary
  • Code Generation for constructors, accessors, overridden and implemented methods from base classes and implemented interfaces
  • Code Templates for common code patterns such as collection and array iteration, debug logging, and SOQL/SOSL queries Delivered
  • ApexDoc integration

Visualforce 

  • Completion for Visualforce expressions and component attribute values that reference Apex controller classes, fields, and methods, formula syntax, and global variables Delivered
  • Navigation between Visualforce usages and Apex controller classes, fields, and methods Delivered

Other Metadata

  • Completion for formula syntax in metadata XML files, e.g., validation rules
  • Navigation between metadata XML file usages and Apex controller classes, fields, and methods
  • Delete metadata in response to a delete operation in IDEA Delivered
  • Bulk undeploy all or a selected subset of metadata from the organization Delivered