When comparing Groovy/Grails Tool Suite vs IntelliJ IDEA, the Slant community recommends IntelliJ IDEA for most people. In the question“What are the best IDEs for Grails/Groovy?” IntelliJ IDEA is ranked 1st while Groovy/Grails Tool Suite is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose IntelliJ IDEA is:
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a [variety of features](https://www.jetbrains.com/idea/features/refactoring.html) to make this possible for a variety of languages. These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Freely available
GGTS is freely available for use in development and/or internal business operations without any limitations whatsoever.
Pro Supports development in the cloud through Cloud Foundry
Being able to develop in the cloud means that developers can be distributed and data can be stored in the cloud. With a variety of databases available for use in the cloud, programmers will surely find a suitable solution.
Pro Smart refactorings
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a variety of features to make this possible for a variety of languages.
These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Pro Fast and smart contextual assistance
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions).
On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
Pro Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Lots of plugins
Many plugins are available for almost any task a developer may need to cover. Plugins are developed by Jetbrains themselves or by 3rd parties through the SDK available for writing them.
Pro Stable and robust
IntelliJ IDEA hardly ever crashes or has any issues that plague other Java IDEs like file corruption or slowness.
Pro Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc...
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Pro Free version available
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here.
The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Pro Many convenient features
These simplify the daily work, e.g. copy/cut a whole line without the need to select it.
Pro Very powerful debugger
With ability to step into a certain part of a large method invocation (Shift+F7), drop frame, executing code snippets, showing method return values, etc.
Con Can be extremely resource intensive
High usage of resources lead to screen freezes and program crashes. The worst case is losing hours of work due to the program failure.
Con Dismissed by Pivotal
Pivotal announced that it will fund the next two major releases of the Groovy and Grails through March 31st, 2015, after which it will no longer directly fund development on these open source projects.
Con Bugs are not solved as often as they should
They are more interested in adding new features or issuing new versions than solving bugs.
Con Slow startup
Startup can be slow deepending on system configuration
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con Cannot open multiple projects in the same window
Con Uses too much RAM
Con Standard hotkeys behave differently
Seems like hotkeys assignment in Idea has no logical consistency.
Like «F3» is usually next match, «Ctrl+W» - close tab, etc — they map to some different action by default.
There is a good effort in making the IDE friendly for immigrants from other products: there are options to use hotkeys from Eclipse, and even emacs. But these mappings are very incomplete. And help pages do not take this remapping into account, rather mentioning the standard hotkeys.
So, people coming from other IDEs/editors are doomed to using mouse and context menus (which are rather big and complex).
Con Lack of plugins
IntelliJ supports a very small amount of plugins. Althrough thesse are 'quality approved', many features are missing and can't be implemented because of that.