4 Tools you should have in Visual Studio

MH900398793There are a lot of tools you could install in Visual Studio to get your job done, but from the developers point of view there are 4 that I found very useful and they increase the quality of your work, reducing costs and time, the preferred managers sentence!

These tools they aren’t expensive if you think about the ROI of using them. I have licenses for all of them, they improve the quality of my work, a lot!

 

 

Resharper

In one sentence: After you start to use it you don’t want to rollback.

This tools knows a lot about your code, sometimes more than you! A lot of times it suggests improvements to your code that makes you think “Why I have not thought about it before”, it teaches you better ways of developing. It covers a lot about developing, the C# code, Visual Basic .NET, ASP.NET, XAML, JavaScript, CSS, Refactoring (lots of them and suggestions to your existing code), inspections, etc.

The main features are:

  • Project Dependency Viewer
  • Code Templates (yes, you don’t have to write always the same structure for your code, you can create a template for common code patterns, or use templates out of the box, like loops, classes, etc) PS: It seems the version 8 supports Multi file templates
  • A command line Resharper to use in CI Servers or other automated develop tools you have.
  • Lots of refactors
  • XAML support (he knows about XAML more than any of us)
  • You can create plugins to Resharper (develop plugins to a plugin Smile )
  • CSS understanding
  • Unit Testing
  • Configuration of inspection rules, etc

 

PostSharp

In one sentence: You want clean code, you want this tool.

Everybody knows and talks about Dependency Injection, Aspect Oriented Programming, Clean Code. But have you tried to learn and use this tool?

What if I tell you you can move most of:

  • Logging
  • Try Catchs
  • Transactions
  • Cache
  • Parameters Validations

to their own classes and be reused between all of you application code?

What if I tell you, you can concentrate the creation of most of your objects in one place and just ask for them, and this tool will create the object with all the dependencies in a configurable way?

What if I tell you, this tools can help you to really decouple your tiers in your application?

This is clean code, this is real architecture!

 

NDepend

In one sentence: You want to understand and visualize you code, you want this tool.

I have already talked about this tools in a previous post here. But, if you want to know about your application, like complexity, code metrics (configurable by you, if you want), diagrams, dependency cycles, etc., this tools will help you a lot. If the quality and maintenance of your code its important in your development you really should take a look at this tool.

 

NuGet

In one sentence: One tool to rule them all!

NuGet, it’s a package manager, which saves you a lot of time and trouble when installing all kinds of stuff in your Visual Studio. For instance, one of these days I was playing around with developing Windows 8 applications, and after some research it seems SQLite it’s the best database you can use if you need a local database for your app. How to install it and have the DLL references available to use? Install the NuGet Extension in Visual Studio, then use it to install SQLite, and everything its available to use in your project.

 

Final thoughts

There are others great tools around that you should use too in Visual Studio, but these 4 covers the main dimensions of your developing environment:

  • Resharper, its about code
  • PostSharpt, its about architecture and structure
  • NDepend, its about really visualizing your code
  • NuGet, its about helping you with external stuff to your application

 

Happy work!

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