CLion offers a great IDE with professional-quality support at a price any budget can afford.
August 26, 2019

CLion offers a great IDE with professional-quality support at a price any budget can afford.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with CLion

CLion provides an alternative to Visual Studio that is independent of the Windows ecosystem, something that is attractive to many people who want to develop in the same IDE across multiple platforms. With Unreal Engine 4 now supporting CLion, game and enterprise developers have an alternative that matches UE4's platform-agnostic approach.
  • Low cost.
  • Part of the JetBrains system of developer tools, a toolset that is widely respected in software development.
  • Supports multiple languages--not just C and C++.
  • Easy to learn and adapt to when coming for other IDE's.
  • JetBrains, the company that created and maintains CLion, is located primarily in Russia. While that doesn't concern me it does create worries for some people.
  • No real cons. The product is great and the support is equally excellent.
  • CLion is so inexpensive compared with our "standard" IDE that it's hard not to see a better return on investment outside in our exploratory efforts.
  • The learning curve is very shallow. A veteran developer can be working in CLion in minutes. A student or fresh hire with little development experience can adapt and become productive quickly as well.
  • When combined with other JetBrains offerings, it's a great tool that is worth using, especially when budgets are tight and expectations high.
CLion does everything I ask it to do. For me, Unreal Engine 4 compatibility was essential and Epic Game and JetBrains delivered a solid alternative to spending a huge amount of money on the "standard" IDE for game development on Windows. The user interface is sharp and modern without all of the silly frills many software suites now employ. It integrates well with source control systems we use and also works well, as expected, with other JetBrains development tools and assistants.
I will give them a 10 for customer support because they are quick to respond to inquiries and never have given me the boilerplate answers or links to a wiki page like some gigantic companies do. JetBrains is relatively small and very competitive. They want your business and want to keep it. I find that very attractive especially when I run into trouble and need my IDE vendor to lend a hand.
Visual Studio is the "standard" IDE most people use. It's expensive but generally worth the cost. Where CLion comes into play, people are less concerned with using the Microsoft solution and are open to another party providing them the key IDE resource they need. It's taking a risk going with a smaller company's solution versus Microsoft who, in spite of some things written mostly anonymously, is actually quite good at supporting its paying customers. CLion's competitor on the other end of the spectrum also comes from Microsoft in the form of Visual Studio Community Edition (free) and Visual Studio Code (free, cross-platform). It's an odd situation to be in but CLion is, in my opinion, the only really good and low-cost choice for those who want to have paid-product level customer support but don't have a large budget. CLion doesn't cost much...give it a try and see what you think.
CLion is suitable for any software development purpose I can think of, and probably many more than I have no envisioned. It joins offerings from Intel, Microsoft and the like providing a quality IDE that produces quality code. It checks all of the boxes a developer wants it to check. The only place it's probably not your best tool is if you are heavily invested in another IDE. In that case, I'd always recommend sticking to organizational standards for production work and explore competitive alternatives in the lab.