MPLAB X IDE is a software program that runs on a PC (Windows, Mac OS, Linux) to develop applications for Microchip microcontrollers and digital signal controllers. It is called an Integrated Development Environment, or IDE, because it provides a single integrated “environment” to develop code for embedded microcontrollers.
MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment brings many changes to the PIC microcontroller development tool chain. Unlike previous versions of MPLAB which were developed completely in-house, MPLAB X is based on the open source NetBeans IDE from Oracle. Taking this path has allowed us to add many frequently requested features very quickly and easily while also providing us with a much more extensible architecture to bring you even more new features in the future. It also provides many new features that will be especially beneficial to users of our 16-bit and 32-bit families. The downside is that those of you who are veteran users of MPLAB will have a new IDE to familiarize yourselves with and may need some assistance to get back to your previous level of expertise.