The Bonus Site for C# 2008 For Dummies

Recommended Utility Programs

Although Visual Studio 2008 is a highly versatile programming environment, it won't necessarily do everything you might need. On this page I'll recommend popular, useful utility programs you can add to your repertoire (free, unless otherwise stated).

  • SharpDevelop - a free, open-source Visual Studio work-alike program. It's always a bit behind the latest release of Visual Studio, but it's free and it can do pretty much anything Visual Studio can -- something that the also free Visual C# 2008 Express edition can't. Available here.
  • NUnit - a free, open-source unit testing program. Not all editions of Visual Studio provide unit testing facilities. But you can still use NUnit to test your classes and methods. (You can find introductory information on unit testing on this site.) SharpDevelop beats out Visual C# 2008 Express in this important area by providing unit testing -- using NUnit. Available here.
  • TestDriven.NET - a program that puts unit testing right inside Visual Studio. This helps with Visual Studio 2008 Standard edition, though not with Visual C# 2008 Express edition. An excellent program that lets you run your unit tests inside Visual Studio rather than outside as with NUnit. Available here. (Comes in free and professional editions.)
  • Lutz Roeder's .NET Reflector - a program that lets you examine the Common Intermediate Language (IL) code that the C# compiler generates from your C# source code. A bit advanced for some For Dummies readers, perhaps, but fascinating and valuable. Available here.

I'll add more items to this list later.

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