C# is recommended to use with a powerful IDE. IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment. It is used for managing the program that is being developed, supported and enhanced. It integrates essential programming tools such as code editor, build automation facilities, debugger etc. IDEs also come with a version control interface, class browser, and class hierarchy diagram.
This post consists of two parts, the first part introduces some of the best C# IDEs out there that you should start using to learn and build applications in C#. And the second part introduces you to some good plugins and extensions that will help you speed up your development in C#. Please read till the end of the article to make sure you have all that is necessary for C# development. Constantly monitoring our code and suggesting code improvements and enabling developers to write better code.
With the help of an IDE learning C# and developing useful applications becomes easy. here is a list of some of the best IDEs you can use in 2019.
1. Visual Studio:
Visual Studio is the best IDE forC#. C# and Visual Studio are products of Microsoft. It is designed to work perfectly with C#. It has many tools that work very well for C#. That being said, Visual Studio comes in free and paid versions. The free version is called the community edition and the paid version is called the Enterprise and Professional edition. The Community edition is full of features and everything an independent developer needs. And in case you need a powerful IDE for your company, just get the Enterprise edition.
Experienced programmer and beginners are advised to look no further than just this. This is the best software that is out there to develop in any platform let alone C#. And since this is the best IDE for C# this is what everyone wants. The purpose of the article is met right here but if you are curious what others have to offer or if you are looking to try something different please continue with the article.
2. Eclipse aCute.
aCute is a plugin for the Eclipse IDE that helps with C# development. Installing aCute, the users get C# editor equipped with Eclipse IDE with language support from Omni sharp language server. As soon as the users enter the IDE equipped with the aCute plugin, we see the syntax coloration. Code completion is offered from the language server. Acute has the ability to jump to the declaration of the variables, classes, and methods. This plugin helps the developer to develop a full version of the .net core project without having to leave the IDE. Projects built using MS test and xUnit are able to run directly within the IDE. Filters can also be applied to projects to run only required to run the unit test.
- Plugin for Eclipse IDE to enable C# development.
- Support form Omni Sharp.
- Develop in .Net Core.
- It uses an MS test and xUnit test.
3. Project Rider.
Rider is a Cross-platform .NET IDE. We can develop .NET, .NET framework. .NET Core based projects using this IDE. It can be used in Windows, Linux, Mac OS X. It currently supports C#, VB, XAML, HTML, JS, TS and so on. It supports development for many types of applications like .NET desktop applications, services and libraries, ASP.NET and Xamarian. It is based on Resharper and IntelliJ IDEA.
Essential Features of Rider:
- The users can enable and disable the necessary features depending on the projects.
- It uses the same solution files that visual studio uses, therefore the users can start using visual studio projects directly in Rider.
- It has full Unity integration and support.
Some of the latest features of Rider is below: It is an all in one C# IDE. Full support for C# 7.3. Debug in a docker container. It is for enterprise developers. It also has mac touch bar support. Spell checker integrated. It is a broadly improved C# development environment. It is aimed at Unity Game Developers.
Re Sharper is one of the best refactoring tools for visual studio. Rider is a cross between the ReSharper and IntelliJ IDE and makes a whole new product. C# support is added as a plugin. It also has a power saver mode. Integrated help for compiled code.
If you are someone who is looking for writing only C# scripts and not worry about compiling, it is useful to use some lightweight code editor than the Visual Studio. And the best candidate for lightweight code editor is Scriptcs. Let us know more about Scriptcs.
Scriptcs is heavily influenced by the Node world. It does implement some of the lightweight programming language features such as the ability to write non-strongly typed variables etc.
The output of the script cs is of the type .CSX. Also the inside of the file, the scripts itself looks very small. A small amount of code will make lots of things get done. For example, just one line is enough for starting a web server.
Scriptcs has very good support for NuGet packages and therefore it is able to load the necessary packages based on the presence of the code. It does not need using statements.
The Scriptcs wraps the necessary libraries and NuGet packages together in such a way that it is more digestible in the scripting world.
It is cross-platform. There is syntax highlighting in visual studio code, sublime and atom. There is a plugin for Omni sharp that will give immediate syntax highlighting. In Scriptcs there is no project files, only a bunch of CS files.
One of the coolest features of Script CS is the ability to create the solution file on the fly for Visual Studio. That means that, if you have a complex program with many Models, Views, and Controllers written using the Scriptcs, you can still use Visual Studio for debugging it. You do it by creating a solution file on the fly for visual studio to consume it, and you can get visual studio debugger features just like that.
This might as well be one of the best alternatives for F# but that would depend on individual preference.
5. Visual Studio Code (Suprise Candidate)
Visual Studio code brings the core C# development experience by including code completion, refactoring, code completion, etc. Visual Studio code is running on Node JS. The Omni sharp server sits in the machine and loads the solution’s projects etc. There are plugins for VIM and emacs. The code completion works such that, the whole code completion is available in the Omni sharp server and the values in the drop-down are managed with different API calls.
When a new project is created, Visual Studio code creating all the necessary .vscode files that it needs to debug the specific project. It decides which .vscode files that need to be created for this purpose on the fly. Visual studio code is able to generate the necessary files for further development from MS Build if it is Microsoft Windows and Mono MDK if it is a Linux platform. This lets Visual Studio Code be a lightweight editor and also become capable of offering powerful project completion support at the same time.
Visual Studio Code is open source. This code editor is capable of running in your Mac, Linux, and Windows etc. Visual Studio code comes with a great many features such as solution explorer, source control, debugger, extension area that you can install add-ons to the code editor.
Visual studio code supports terminal inside the window. Visual studio code can be a bit tricky to get as it is minimalistic due to the fact that it is a free and open source. Visual studio is an expensive program and therefore visual studio code is a very interesting choice. It is also a very lightweight and great solution for developing in the .NET core which is a lightweight framework. Install the .NET core framework, .NET core runtime bundle and also the Visual studio to start developing in .NET core right away.
Very importantly we are going to introduce some of the best extensions that are needed to use Visual Studio Code as an alternative for Visual Studio.
VS code is an excellent platform to bring different tools of different platforms together.
Important Plugins or Extensions for Visual Studio Code:
Visual studio code is a very powerful text editor. But it is a text editor only and it is no match for the power of an IDE, therefore, it is necessary to install some of the best extensions and plugins to give it some fancy features to enable IDE-like experience. Let us look at some developer favorite plugins and extensions for Visual Studio Code.
This extension helps you locate your projects better than before. Save the project to favorites in dedicated side-bar. Open projects in the same or different window. This extension is a good addon for developers who work in many projects simultaneously.
This helps the developer to add the bookmark to the side of the file. This helps if the developer has scroll up and down many lines many times. This helps to jump to different locations in the file with the help of simple keyboard shortcuts.
Guides make Visual Studio code to add vertical lines connecting the opening and closing parenthesis of C#. This helps in quick visual reference of the code and understand different blocks of code.
Path Intellisense is a very powerful extension for Visual Studio Code. It helps to pull and add NuGet packages by simply scanning the written code. It will prompt the user to install the missing reference at the bottom of the screen. It simplifies managing all the dependencies for the project.
This extension is a helps beautify a rather eye sour code. This helps the users to quickly understand blocks of code and code elements. This is a good extension as it gives the Visual Studio Code a look and feels like Visual Studio.
Bracket Pair Colorizer
This is a very useful extension. It highlights brackets that match the same color. This is a feature that will be welcomed in the full version of Visual Studio as well. But when it comes to Visual Studio Code, this is very useful as it keeps the users from counting the total number of the bracket to make sure that all the brackets are closed and completed.
The smart semicolon is an extension that will help put the semicolon at the logical end of the code. This will keep the user from tapping tab after entering the code as entering semicolon will directly enter the semicolon at the end of the line only.
Visual Studio Icons is a good addition to the extensive collection as it gives fancy icons to the files in the Workbench. This helps to identify the file type without having to look for the file extension at the end of all the lengthy file names.
The best IDE for C# is Visual Studio hands down. That is the reason for putting Visual studio on the top right away. Visual studio is built for developing in C# and also it offers features that make a new programmer quickly learn to program in C#. Visual Studio is so intuitive that there is no match for Visual Studio for .NET development let alone C#. It doesn’t stop there but also excels for being the best development solution for developing advanced enterprise-level applications as well.
The only problem is that it doesn’t come cheap. But there is a solution for that as well as Microsoft offers Visual Studio Community for free. Visual Studio Community is also very powerful and if you are an independent developer, Visual Studio Community is more than enough for all your development.
The only catch is that Visual Studio is resource-intensive. It will require the users to be on an above-average computer to use Visual Studio smoothly.
If you do not currently own a powerful computer, you are well off to use Visual Studio Code as it is great for C# development as we have explained above. Also, be sure to install all the necessary plugins to speed up your learning and development.
If you have any questions, please leave us a comment. Stay tuned for more awesome posts on the latest technology.
- Visual Studio
- Eclipse aCute
- Project Rider
- Script CS
- Visual Studio Code