Basic tools for developers in Microsoft .NET

4 min reading
15 October 2015
Basic tools for developers in Microsoft  .NET
Basic tools for developers in Microsoft  .NET


IIn contrast with other articles in the basic tools for developers series, this piece is not about a programming language, but instead about the Microsoft .NET platform for running and developing applications. The platform provides developers with several programming languages, a framework and an integrated development environment.

1. Programming languages.

Visual Basic .NET: an object-orientated programming language. This language supports development of .NET applications, from web services to ASP.NET applications.

Key aspects: single inheritance, structured exception handling, compiling of unused elements, version compatibility and creation of Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) as input to native code compilers.

It offers a relatively short learning curve.

Visual C# .NET: developers who use C and C++ will have little difficulty adapting to C#, which evolved from the above two languages. This is an object-orientated programming language featuring type safety, version control, events, compilation of unused elements and support for single inheritance.   

Visual C++ .NET: provides several libraries for .NET application development, including ATL (Active Template Library). It includes version control capabilities, is interoperable with other languages, offers compatibility with web-based XML components and includes type safety and more.

Transact-SQL: a programming language that allows any task to be performed using data contained in a SQL database, including Microsoft SQL Server. This language allows the processing of said data, establishing data types, variables, flow control structures, managing exceptions, etc.

Transact-SQL also supports the creation of user interfaces and can be employed as an embedded language in applications developed with other programming languages, such as Visual Basic .NET, C or Java.

– Scripting languages: these languages provide developers with the ability to control administrative tasks and program events. The Windows Scripting Host script runtime environment can interpret JScript, JScript .NET and VBScript.  

Other programing languages: the Microsoft .NET platform also supports other languages, such as COBOL, Python, Perl and Pascal. 

2. Framework .NET

The .NET development framework includes all the components required for application development. The idea is for the framework to support the creation of stable and scalable applications. The development framework includes:

Compilation languages. The development framework supports programing in a range of languages: C#, C, C++, Visual Basic .NET, Perl, Python, Cobol and Pascal.   

.NET class library. It features three components:

– ASP.NET for developing applications and web services.

– Windows Forms is the application programing interface (API) that provides components of the graphic interface for the .NET development framework.

– ADO.NET to connect applications and databases. This can be used to create shared use distributed applications for relational data and XML.

Common Language Runtime environment: the .NET framework runs code and services that support project development. Compilers and framework tools allow programmers to write code easily, with a number of beneficial features:

– Improved performance.

– Compatibility with personalized attributes.

– Structured exceptions control.

– Creation of scalable multiple process applications.

– Collection of unused elements.

– Extensible types in the class library.

– Use of elements programed in other languages.

– Inheritance, interfaces and overloading for object-based programing.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

– Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for developing applications and services for Windows operating systems. A number of languages can be used for programing: C++, C#, Visual Basic .NET, Python, Ruby, PHP and Java. It can also be used in web development environments such as ASP. NET MVC (Model View Controller) or Django. The idea is that Visual Studio can be used to develop all kinds of mobile applications, web services and web pages for different platforms: Windows, Android and iOS. Examples:

– Applications and games for Windows, Android and iOS.

– Websites and services based on ASP.NET, JQuery or AngularJS.

– Applications for other kinds of platforms, such as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Office or Sharepoint, Hololens (augmented reality), Microsoft Kinect and platforms associated with the Internet of Things.

Games for the Microsoft Xbox console. 

Visual Studio offers plenty of options for developing applications:

Development of native and hybrid applications.

– Native applications in C# language: Visual Studio supports the creation of native applications with a simple drag and drop function for app elements and components.

Such applications are developed jointly with the native applications design tool Xamarin, which usually uses C# language but also supports projects in other languages such as Objective-C, Swift and Java. This tool allows developers to design user interfaces compliant with standards and access all kinds of native APIs.

Native applications in C++: this programing language is one of the best for developing mobile applications. Developers can choose from multiple platform templates to establish basic requirements, and from there build more complex projects.

Hybrid applications in JavaScript: an API in JavaScript provides developers with access to native device functions and allows them to reuse code between platforms.

Tools for coding, debugging and testing apps


This integrated development environment allows .NET application developers to create projects with Visual Studio both for Linux and Mac OS X, with a single standard code for all platforms

  Its key features include:

Multiple platform tool: design of desktop applications or web applications for Windows, Linux and Mac Os X.

Advanced code editing.

Configurable work panel.

Built in code debugger.

Coding in various languages: Visual Basic .NET, C#, C++…

Unit testing tool.

Possibility of developing GTK applications



An open-source integrated development environment that supports the development of applications for Windows. Some of its key features include:

The possibility of programing in several languages: C#, Visual Basic .NET, Boo (object-based programing language inspired by Python), IronPython (open-source implementation of Python), IronRuby (open-source implementation of Ruby language), F#…

Built in code debugger.

Static code analysis (FxCop).

Unit testing tool.

Code refactoring.

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