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Saturday, 31 October 2009

My Ultimate .NET Development Tools 2010 Edition

Here is my 2010 updated list of development tools that I prefer to use when doing .NET development.  I specifically decided to not include any third party control/report libraries.  I focus instead on the tools that assist me in crafting high-quality code quickly and effectively.


  • IDE = Develop/generate/refactor code within the VS IDE or separate IDE
  • SCM = Software Configuration Management (Source Control etc.)
  • TDD = Test Driven Development
  • DBMS = Database Management Systems
  • CI = Continuous Integration
  • FR = Frameworks (Persistence, AOP, Inversion of Control, Logging etc.)
  • UT = Utility Tools
  • CA = Code Analysis (Static + Dynamic)
  • TC = Team Collaboration (Bug tracking, Project management etc.)
  • MD = Modelling
  • QA = Testing Tools
  • DP = Deployment (Installations etc.)



* = free/open source
  1. [IDE] Visual Studio 2010 Premium Edition
  2. [IDE] ReSharper for refactoring, unit test runner and so much more
  3. [IDE] CodeSmith for generating code.  Also consider T4 with Clarius’s Visual T4 Editor.  
  4. [IDE]* GhostDoc for inserting xml code comments
  5. [IDE] Altova Xml Suite for any xml related work.  XmlPad is the best, free alternative I know of.
  6. [DBMS] SqlServer 2008 for DBMS
  7. [SCM]* Subversion for source control
  8. [SCM]* TortoiseSVN as windows shell extension for Subversion
  9. [SCM] VisualSVN for integration of TortoiseSVN into VS.  AnkhSVN is the best, free alternative I know of.
  10. [SCM]* KDiff3 for merging
  11. [TDD]* NUnit as preferred xUnit testing framework
  12. [TDD]* moq as mock framework.
  13. [TDD] NCover for code coverage stats
  14. [CI]* TeamCity as build server
  15. [CI]* MSBuild Extension Pack for additional MSBuild tasks.
  16. [FR]* log4net as logging framework.  Also see Log4View for an excellent UI for the log files.
  17. [FR]* ANTLR and ANTLRWorks for creating custom DSL’s.
  18. [FR] PostSharp as Aspect Oriented Programming framework
  19. [FR]* Ninject as IoC container
  20. [FR]* RunSharp for generating IL at run-time
  21. [FR] MindScape LightSpeed as my Object-Relational-Mapper.  NHibernate is the best free alternative I’m aware of. 
  22. [UT]* Reflector to drill down to the guts of any code library (also check-out the nice plug-ins)
  23. [UT] Silverlight Spy to dissect any Silverlight application.
  24. [UT] RegexBuddy for managing those difficult regular expressions.  Regulator is the best, free alternative I know of. 
  25. [UT]* LINQPad as a easy way to query SQL databases using LINQ and as a general scratchpad application to test C#/VB.NET code snippets.
  26. [UT]* Fiddler to debug all your HTTP traffic in IE.   Also see the neXpert plugin for monitoring performance problems.
  27. [UT]* Firebug to assist with testing web applications running in Firefox. Also see YSlow add-on for performance testing and Web Developer add-on for additional Firefox web development tools.
  28. [CA]* FxCop to enforce .NET coding guidelines
  29. [CA] NDepend to get all the static code metrics I'd ever want
  30. [CA] ANTS Profiler for performance and memory profiling
  31. [MD] Enterprise Architect to do UML Modelling and Model Driven Design if required. Alternatively use Visio with these simple templates
  32. [MD]* FreeMind as mind mapping tool
  33. [TC]* ScrewTurn Wiki for team collaboration
  34. [QA]* Eviware soapUI for functional and load testing of SOA web services
  35. [QA]* Telerik WebAii Testing Framework for automated regression testing of Web 2.0 apps
  36. [DP]* Windows Installer XML (WiX) for creating Windows Installers

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