C# is a widely used programming languagein enterprises, especially for those that are heavily Microsoft-dependent. This language comprises a lot of tools with individual strengths. Here, we list C# tools for IDEs, profilers, automation tools, and more.
If you build apps using C#, you most likely use Visual Studio and have explored some of its extensions to supercharge your development. However, this list of C# tools might just change the way you write C# code for good.
Best tools for C# programming in the following categories:
Visual Studio is the flagship IDE for C# developers—even though, of course, it also supports other languages in the .NET ecosystem. It’s incredibly powerful, offering a myriad of features while, at the same time, being very approachable for newcomers and veterans alike. Also, Visual Studio is also extensible—through the use of extensions, you can augment its capabilities, tailoring it to your specific needs.
Visual Studio is currently in its 2022 edition, and it comes in three versions:
Visual Studio Community: free for open-source development and commercial use for up to 5 developers (in organizations with less than 250 people and which don’t make 1 million dollars of revenue per year.)
Visual Studio Professional: paid version for developers
Visual Studio Enterprise: paid version with powerful features aimed at architectural concerns
Publication of your app to several destinations
Easy integration with other developer tools by Microsoft (e.g., MS SQL Server.)
Powerful debug capabilities
Creation and management of containerized applications
Seamless integration with unit test frameworks
As we’ve said, Visual Studio is an excellent choice if you want a powerful IDE for C#. However, it does require a decent machine to run it, and it can feel sluggish at times. What if you prefer a more lightweight alternative?
Visual Studio Code isn’t technically a C# IDE—or even an IDE, for that matter. Rather, Visual Studio Code (or simply VS Code) is an incredibly popular code editor you can use with pretty much any of the major programming languages. VS Code supports plenty of languages through the usage of plugins and extensions. You can use Visual Studio Code with the C# extension for powerful editing, plus full support for C# IntelliSense and debugging.
Excellent auto-complete with context-aware suggestions
Built-in Git integration for better version control
Huge list of extensions to further enhance the platform
Supports Mac, Linux, Windows, etc
Easily works with Software Configuration Management providers
Developed by Xamarin, MonoDevelop has many similar features as VS Code and also supports cross-platform development. With MonoDevelop, you can quickly write desktop and web applications on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Standard features like code completion and debugging
Also ships with Unity, a game engine, which enables advanced C# programming for apps like video games
SonarLint is an extension that brings the power of the SonarQube analyzer to your IDE. With SonarLint, you can validate your code against many different rules regarding code formatting, bugs, security vulnerabilities, code smells, and more.
Contextual assistance to solve issues
Support for many programming languages
Comprehensive ruleset (more than 5000 rules) covering many different aspects of code
SlickEdit is a code editing tool that can boost productivity and improve the quality of your code. It’s a cross-platform code editor that supports more than 60 languages (including C#) on nine platforms.
Compiles and debugs your code showing all errors for quick access
Handles very large files of code, as big as 2 TB
Syntax expansion and indenting
Multiple cursors and selections
Standard and Pro editions available to accommodate your needs
Another lightweight code compiler, Jdoodle supports 63 languages (including C#) and allows you to save your programs and share them with others through a URL. You can embed code created in Jdoodle to your website, use it for collaboration, online interviews, and more.
Quickly tests small pieces of code online without having to open the IDE
Json.NET is a popular JSON framework for .NET that runs on Windows, Windows Store, Windows Phone, Mono, and Xamarin and enables developers to create, parse, query, and modify JSON, convert between XML and JSON, and more.
Serialize and deserialize .NET objects
Query JSON databases
Create, parse, query, and modify JSON with JObject, JArray and JValue objects
Cake (C# Make) is a C# version of the open source Make build automation tool. A cross-platform build automation system, Cake uses a C# DSL for tasks such as compiling code, running unit tests, copying files and folders, compressing files, and building NuGet packages.
Available on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
Built to behave in the same way as other CI systems
Supports build tools including MSBuild, MSTest, xUnit, NUnit, NuGet, ILMerge, WiX, and SignTool
Microsoft launched MSBuild in 2008. It’s not part of the Visual Studio platform, but it’s a good resource for your C# development toolkit for certain use cases, such as building code projects apart from a solution.
Coming from Microsoft, it was widely used by many MS shops
Microsoft has baked it into Visual Studio ensuring it doesn’t get orphaned
Build multiple projects and multiple configurations for multiple platforms
Retrace is the only developer tool that combines APM, logs, errors, metrics, and monitoring in a single platform to help you build better applications. Designed for production and pre-production servers, Retrace starts at just $10 per month.
Collects performance data at the code level
Performs application and server logging
Provides application metrics from a variety of sources
Docker.DotNet is a C# client library for the Docker API. With it, you can interact with the Docker Remote API programmatically.
Can be installed via the NuGet library manager for Visual Studio
Enables fully asynchronous, non-blocking, object oriented code in .NET
Choose the Best C# Tool for Your Application
All the C# tools above are tried and tested by a lot of developers.
What’s important is that you choose a tool that you can trust and rely on for developing a robust application. To ensure that your app is running smoothly, you need a reliable Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool that can help you write better code and deploy applications with fewer backfires. Try out Stackify by Netreo’s FREE code profiler, Prefix, and be amazed at how it can help strengthen the code you develop and applications you create!
Improve Your Code with Retrace APM
Stackify's APM tools are used by thousands of .NET, Java, PHP, Node.js, Python, & Ruby developers all over the world. Explore Retrace's product features to learn more.