Top 23 Tools for .NET Development: Expert Choice

IDEs and code editors for .NET

Visual Studio IDE: best-in-class IDE for Microsoft development

Visual Studio Code: a lightweight version for code editing

JetBrains’ Rider: a new fully-fledged IDE

Visual Studio extensions

ReSharper by JetBrains: a must-have add-on for VS

NDepend: the right tool for a thorough code analysis

Visual Studio Cloud Explorer: a solution for interacting with Azure Cloud

Package Managers

NuGet: a common tool for creating, sharing, and consuming .NET libraries

NuGet Package Explorer: a new way to interact, explore, and publish NuGet packages

npm: now available for .NET libraries

Debugging and decompiling tools

WinDbg: standalone debugger for Windows

dotPeek by JetBrains: a great free tool for decompilation

ILSpy: a decent replacement for .NET Reflector

Formatting tools

SonarQube: an easy tool for maintaining your code quality

StyleCop: a configurable tool for .NET code styling

  1. The StyleCop Visual Studio extension: runs on any file, project, or solution in Visual Studio without any source code modifications
  2. The StyleCop.MSBuild: runs on .NET 4.0+ projects
  3. StyleCop.ReSharper: a plugin that configures ReSharper to use default settings matching StyleCop rules.

Performance analysis and management

PerfCollect and PerfView: a standard in the .NET performance tuning toolbox

dotTrace and dotMemory by JetBrains: performance and memory profiling

dotMemory multiple views on data

BenchmarkDotNet: a powerful .NET library for benchmarking

Testing Tools

Visual Studio MSTest: a popular framework for unit testing

NUnit: an excellent test-runner

xUnit.NET: an innovative .NET unit testing tool

JetBrains dotCover: code coverage tool for continuous testing

dotCover report, Source: O’Reilly

Other useful tools to consider

LINQPad: a multifunctional tool that connects to databases

Executing database queries in LINQPad, Source: Łukasz Kurzyniec

dotnet-script: simple scripting for your experiments

Script debugging using dotnet-script, Source: GitHub

How to choose your .NET toolset: key factors

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