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Beginning C# development: Which IDE to use? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello all, I am trying to get into C# development. After referring to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_integrated_development_environments#C.23 , i came to know only three IDE are available: MonoDevelop, Sharpdevelop & Visual Studio. Although MonoDevelop & SharpDevelop are free tools; My instructor has advised to use Visual Studio express edition & also SQl server express edition. But i do not know if it is right to use, as they are propriety. Can i use it for building applications using C# without need to buy anything or purchase a license for distributing the applications i make? Thanks.
    Saturday, September 10, 2011 4:41 PM

Answers

  • Visual Studio Express forum -  http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/vsexpress


    1.  Can I use Express Editions for commercial use?

      Yes, there are no licensing restrictions for applications built using Visual Studio Express Editions.

    2.  How are Express Editions different from the rest of the Visual Studio and SQL Server Editions?

      Express Edition products are designed for hobbyists, students, and novice developers. As such, they lack the full breadth of features found in higher-end Visual Studio and SQL Server Editions. They are designed specifically for scenarios common to the hobbyist, student, and novice developer. Each Express Edition includes targeted documentation that will help the beginning programmer quickly learn the concepts required to build more advanced applications. The user interfaces are significantly streamlined to ensure that extraneous features do not interfere with the learning process. If you later decide that you do need additional features available in the higher-end editions of Visual Studio and SQL Server, you can seamlessly upgrade your code and skills.

       

    VS 2010 Express vs Professional -- reasons to buy Professional? -  http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/vssetup/thread/2263f2d9-ade3-4157-a024-957aa7397b0a 
    • Edited by AlexanderShelopukho Sunday, September 11, 2011 8:52 AM
    • Marked as answer by Komehmu Thursday, September 15, 2011 6:08 AM
    Sunday, September 11, 2011 8:43 AM

All replies

  • Yes, there are no licensing restrictions for applications built using Visual Studio Express Editions and Sql Express.  
    Saturday, September 10, 2011 5:09 PM
  • The Express tools are freely available but for hobbyists and beginners.  SQL Express comes with VSX so you do not need to download it separately. 

    If you are writing WinForms/WPF applications in C# then use C# Express.  if you are writing web apps then use Web Developer.  If you are targeting WinForms/WPF in Visual Basic then download Visual Basic Express.

    Michael Taylor - 9/10/2011
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/p3net

    • Marked as answer by Lie YouModerator Thursday, September 15, 2011 5:51 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Komehmu Thursday, September 15, 2011 6:25 AM
    Saturday, September 10, 2011 8:36 PM
    Moderator
  • The Express tools are freely available but for hobbyists and beginners.

    When my course completes and i am actually able to make proper applications/website using C#.(i.e, i wont be a beginner anymore)
    If i want to make an application like for my relative's shop item mgmt, or a website for the shop, friend;.... then i cannot use Visual Studio express?

    So, i will have to either buy premium or professional edition of Visual Studio; or go in for the free tools, i.e, SharpDevelop , MonoDevelop ?

    • Edited by Komehmu Sunday, September 11, 2011 7:37 AM
    Sunday, September 11, 2011 7:34 AM
  • Visual Studio Express forum -  http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/vsexpress


    1.  Can I use Express Editions for commercial use?

      Yes, there are no licensing restrictions for applications built using Visual Studio Express Editions.

    2.  How are Express Editions different from the rest of the Visual Studio and SQL Server Editions?

      Express Edition products are designed for hobbyists, students, and novice developers. As such, they lack the full breadth of features found in higher-end Visual Studio and SQL Server Editions. They are designed specifically for scenarios common to the hobbyist, student, and novice developer. Each Express Edition includes targeted documentation that will help the beginning programmer quickly learn the concepts required to build more advanced applications. The user interfaces are significantly streamlined to ensure that extraneous features do not interfere with the learning process. If you later decide that you do need additional features available in the higher-end editions of Visual Studio and SQL Server, you can seamlessly upgrade your code and skills.

       

    VS 2010 Express vs Professional -- reasons to buy Professional? -  http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/vssetup/thread/2263f2d9-ade3-4157-a024-957aa7397b0a 
    • Edited by AlexanderShelopukho Sunday, September 11, 2011 8:52 AM
    • Marked as answer by Komehmu Thursday, September 15, 2011 6:08 AM
    Sunday, September 11, 2011 8:43 AM
    1.  Can I use Express Editions for commercial use?

      Yes, there are no licensing restrictions for applications built using Visual Studio Express Editions.

    Thanks BioGeneZ for a definitive answer. I had got confused about that issue after reading Michael's post.

    Also, from the rest of your reply & the links, i get that the differences between the editions lie in the features they offer.
    I tried to search out similar diference charts for Monodevelop, SharpDevelop, Visual Studio Express & Visual Studio Professional together, but could not find anything that differentiate the latest version of each one together.

    For now i will use Visual Studio Express for my course.
    However, I checked the prices for professional; its 799$ for a new one! and 549$ for an upgrade. So, It will be helpful to know 'feature' based differences between express, professional, SharpDevelop & MonoDevelop together. If SharpDevelop & MonoDevelop have almost same feature as Visual Studio Professional, I would have to start working on that IDE too(side-by-side). But, if SharpDevelop & MonoDevelop have features equivalent to Express, then i need not bother about them.


    Can anyone please provide such differentiation or any link to it?

    • Edited by Komehmu Sunday, September 11, 2011 4:36 PM
    Sunday, September 11, 2011 4:35 PM
  • Comparison of integrated development environments - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_integrated_development_environments
    SharpDevelop 3.0 vs Visual Studio Express edition - http://blog.softwarefun.nl/?p=10
    Sunday, September 11, 2011 6:58 PM
  • Comparison of integrated development environments - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_integrated_development_environments
    This is the same link i originally used in my first post, and it does not have feature based differentiation between SharpDevelop, MonoDevelop, Visual Studio Express & Visual Studio Professional.
    SharpDevelop 3.0 vs Visual Studio Express edition - http://blog.softwarefun.nl/?p=10
    I had got that link when i searched on google, but it is too old(more than 2 yrs) Along with this one, i found many other links too on google, but none seem to discuss the latest scenario. Since, i could not find it anywhere, i thought someone here might know about it?
    Sunday, September 11, 2011 7:18 PM
  • I don't think that in new versions there are many differences.
    If you are a student then Microsoft has programs for students - https://www.dreamspark.com/
    And Bizspark program for SturtUps- http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/default.aspx.
    Sunday, September 11, 2011 7:41 PM
  • VSX can be used for any development whether you are in school or not.  If you are currently in college and your school participates in MSDNAA (most do) then you can generally get VS Ultimate for free.  Alternatively most schools have an academic discount on software.  VSX is strict a stripped down version of VS Ultimate suited for new developers.

    If you are intending to do .NET development on Windows then VS is the IDE of choice for just about everybody.  There is not another IDE that is better.  If you are going to be doing cross-platform development or intend to use languages not supported by VS (like Java) then another IDE is appropriate.

    Michael Taylor - 9/11/2011
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/p3net

    Sunday, September 11, 2011 8:34 PM
    Moderator
  • ..most schools have an academic discount on software. ...
    I'm doing the course as C# or .NET was not in my studies when i was in college. So, i guess none of the discount scheme would apply to me being just a C# pogramming beginner.

    After few sessions of my course, i think that VS express is the best choice for beginning C# development on .NET. However, the price 799$ is too high, if i make that much spare money, i would first buy a good Laptop.

    The comparision i asked, was only to judge whether i would have an alternative when i need features above VS express. I hope that time does not come soon. btw, can anyone share when 'actually' they encountered an issue which made them move to higher editions than VS express?
    • Edited by Komehmu Tuesday, September 13, 2011 9:36 AM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 9:07 AM
  • The Visual Studio professional comes with database development tools which lets you connect and use any RDBMS, it also comes with SQL Server 2008 Developer edition so you can develop BI (business intelligence) solution which includes Reports, Integration Services and Analysis Services in dimension modeling and Prediction Modeling.  The professional also comes with VB/C# Windows Services templates and Crystal Reports Templates, all editions before professional all of the above is not included.  

    Express does not support "Solution Folders" though I have no idea why.

    Express also only comes in discrete products. Rather than having one VS2010 to rule all your projects, you are stuck with installing multiple applications. It can be frustrating when going between solutions, or when opening solutions with mixed projects.

    They may have changed this, though I highly doubt it, but Express doesn't allow plugins. So anything like ReSharper won't work with Express

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 9:24 AM
  • MSDNAA is generally available to any student in any computer course so if you're taking a computer class (C++, data structures, whatever) then you will likely have access to MSDNAA.  If you do have access then you'll likely be able to get VS Ultimate which has everything.

    VSX is fine for home projects but as soon as you start doing professional development where you're on a team or need to do more unit testing, performance analysis or heavy debugging then you'll want to upgrade.  The link given earlier provides a comparison of the features.  When you need one of the listed features then it is time to upgrade.

    You can currently get VS Pro for about $670 from Amazon.  It'll be cheaper to get it through school if possible.

    Michael Taylor - 9/13/2011
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/p3net

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 1:19 PM
    Moderator
  • Is it advisable to buy from Amazon? I thought software should be bought directly from the company that makes it, so that if in future any support is required, it is provided without any issue.

    btw, i got hold of part of the comparision i was looking for.
    Comparision between Sharp Develop 4.0, 3.0, & VS express 2010.
    http://community.sharpdevelop.net/blogs/mattward/archive/2006/07/12/VisualStudioExpressComparison.aspx

    It seems SharpDevelop has got the plugin feature that VS express lacks.
    • Edited by Komehmu Tuesday, September 13, 2011 7:12 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 7:12 PM
  • You generally don't buy software from MS but rather through a reseller.  MS charges for support unless you have a support plan such as MSDN.  But these forums are free and it is where you'll get most of your support.

    VSX does not support extensions because it is a free tool.  The full version of VS does.

    Michael Taylor - 9/13/2011
    http://msmvps.com/blogs/p3net

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 7:16 PM
    Moderator
  • For now I will continue using VS express.
    Getting Visual Studio professional/premium/ultimate will be a difficult(actually, expensive) in my case, currently.
    So, also going to start using SharpDevelop, since it has some features more than Visual Studio express.


    Thanks all for your helpful answers. :)
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 6:19 AM