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Useful Tools for .NET Developers

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18 Aug 2016CPOL8 min read 27K   35   3
Here are some useful tools for .NET developers


Productivity of the application has an utmost importance in developers' life and it's been difficult to write quality and standard code all alone without any help so to ease in this process, tools have been the importance of time to quickly improve our coding standards and it provides us relief by making work easy.

Today, we will discuss about the useful .NET Tools that ease in the development process.

There are many advantages, some of them are enlisted below:

  • Increase performance and productivity
  • Make our life easier by helping inside the IDE in a very unique way
  • Establish an easy workflow to transfer your rough code to productive one
  • Help in writing best and standard code
  • Generate analysis report of static code

So let’s move to discuss the Tools.

Resharper is a Visual Studio extension which can analyze code for quality for all the major flavors ASP.NET, XAML, C#, VB, Typescript, ASP.NET MVC and XML. It can remove errors and smell the code quality by giving hotfixes at runtime to fix from available options. Refactor on the fly. Extended search for any type of files to methods. Extended intellisense with documentation and hotfixes. Code Standard and Style with formatting options and lot of more and very exciting features.

dotTrace can detect performance overheads in a different variety fashion. It analyzes the issue and gives a timeline of performance bottlenecks in the form of events like UI Freezes, excessive garbage collection, uneven workload distribution and much more. It also checks the SQL queries for performance and slowness in your application. The best thing is that without leaving your IDE, you can get reports, view performance timelines, analyze call stacks and do many more profiling options.

Elmah (Error Logging Modules and Handlers) as the name suggests it is an error logging module for unhandled exceptions, it has one time web configuration in web.config file and then you start receiving errors as it happens in real time to analyze them in a better fashion.

You can get the following facilities first properly configured:

  • Log of nearly all unhandled exceptions
  • A web page to remotely view all logged exceptions with details link and full stack trace
  • Email of the logged exceptions as it happens also contain the original yellow screen of death error
  • An RSS feed of the items
  • Export to CSV Facility
  • Paging of the error with latest on the top and you can check the previous one also
  • Logged exceptions data stored in SQL Table

.Net Reflector can give you control over third party assemblies by decompiling the assemblies and debug to find the code issues quickly. You can get the decompile assembly objects in tree form in object explorer to navigate through into it. Search quickly by in navigating items by typing to find certain objects or items you required for your work.

LINQPad is a .NET Programmers Playground as per company statement and it’s true as it is not for only Linq queries. You can also test any C#/F# or VB code snippets instantly. You can query into the linq or SQL. It has a built in debugger for best user experience.

Postman is the fantastic app for chrome to send and receive HTTP Requests using postman request builder. You can write your own test cases to validate data. You can test the request either it meet the certain criteria it can show you the graphically good points if certain criteria of test failed or meet.

SQL Server Profiler is very useful tool to analyze the issues either the slow SQL queries or stored procedures or enable the traces to find out the certain issues by analyzing the trace results in a file. The trace saved in the form as a result of events fired.


  • Step to the problems to find out the issue scenario
  • Find and fix slow running queries
  • Capture the events to diagnose the problem

Fiddler is a free tool to view and debug the HTTP Requests in your machine. The best thing about fiddler is that it can support all browsers to debug and trace the traffic. It also support all the systems either on Mac, Windows or Linux also it supports any platform from .NET, Java, PHP, Python and Ruby on rails. It has many companion tools which can work with Fiddler to extend the functionality by geo locating the requests. Fiddler Core which can be integrated in to the .NET Application to provide vast functionality.

Web Essentials is a Visual Studio extension and it extends the VS functionality by adding new features which is required from many years. The features like extended VS shortcuts for tasks made life easier with extended intellisense and HTML/Css/Js minification for best productivity.

Productivity Power Tools is a VS extension that offers extended features for best productivity and it is provided with best built in tools to make life easier.

Features of Productivity Power Tools

  • Peek helps let you open peek context definition inline the editor to show the definition from Microsoft library you can navigate to the peek as well.
  • Solution Error Visualizer can help to get the detailed view of the error in your solution explorer tree by highlighting the file and hover over the file show the detail of the warning and error.
  • Filtering is a nice feature now you can filter those files which contain either errors or warnings by clicking on the drop down in the solution explorer toolbar.
  • Built in options to on and off the features you require.
  • Structure Visualizer lets you check the scope of the class or method in which you are working... just hover to the working line to know about the parent.
  • Time stamp on the output window with debug information.
  • GO to definition is a hefty task to do by pointing the mouse and then click on F12 and then you can view the definition in new window instead but by using the productivity tools, you can do this with ease all to do the power suite make definitions as a link so that by Click + Hover show the peek definition of the method in the same page in which you are working.
  • Line compression lets compress the empty space line so that it can be vertically show adorable in the editor.
  • Quick Tasks option let you to do task like on or off line numbers, increase font size, on & off word wrap.

Newton Soft is a popular json framework for .NET. It is free and open source and runs anywhere to all .NET supported family devices.


  • Serialize and deserialize Json with the power of Json.Net
  • Query Json like Xpath syntax
  • Very high performance as compared to JavascriptSerializer and dataContractJavascriptSerializer
  • XML Support is available

CodeRush is an excellent Productivity Tool from DevExpress. It helps you to code with fast pace, refactor fastly, run test cases and fix the bugs and errors faster than never before.


  • Built in decompiler
  • Fast development with automatic declarations (class, method, property and lot of more)
  • Powerful clipboard tools
  • Built in deep static code analysis features to analyze code for bugs and errors
  • Best code formatting and cleanup features
  • Best code visualization tools

Nuget is the package manager. The client allows to produce and consume packages. The nuget gallery is the collection where all the authors share their packagers in a repository. When you add certain libraries using nuget package manager, it adds the required files to the solution and adds references, config settings and changes the other files as needed and when removed, it removes all the references.

NCrunch is automated and concurrent testing tool for Visual Studio. It is the best tool as it runs test without saving and runs tests while you write your line of code. Besides automated testing, it gives you other useful information like performance metrics and code coverage.


  • Supports automatic and concurrent testing while you Type inside your IDE.
  • Code Coverage gives you suggestions about your line of code by adding markers and other signs to show for exception as well and it also let your know either test fail or pass with color markers of green and red.
  • Performance Metrics lets you know about every line of test under test with execution time so that you have a better idea over what going on.
  • Inline Exception Details can inform you about the exception originate during running tests so that you can get a better idea.
  • Small Memory Footprint uses your small amount of memory and do big and supported for solutions having thousands of line of code.
  • You can change the automated test run to manual as per your easiness.

NDepend is a VS Extension and productivity tool. It has powerful engine for static code analysis. It has wide range of features to analyze the code base.


  • You can use it to analyze the code quality by using code rules.
  • Trend Monitoring lets you know the deep insight all about your code with trend like line of code, line of code violating the rules and even you can write custom trends.
  • You can compare builds and code files.
  • Provide best insight and analytics about your application.
  • It provides valuable information about your build health like assembly versioning issue, assembly conflicts and PDB file issues.
  • It is easy to install and it does not code base quality.
  • It’s fast and light weight and integrates with all versions of Visual Studio.

Points of Interest

The best point about these tools is that they all had made life of a developer easy by their excellent features.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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