Essential Tools for .NET Developers & Architects

If you’re looking to maximize the effectiveness of developing applications on the .NET platform, you should take a look at the various tools available to enhance your development experience. From code editors, compilers, debuggers, and profiles to Git tools, terminals, and organizers, there’s a wide range of options that can make .NET development simpler, more efficient, and more productive. 

Let’s have a look at some of the best tools for .NET development. 

IDE’s & Code Editors

Visual Studio 2022

Visual Studio is a Microsoft integrated development environment (IDE) used to create Windows applications, web services, mobile applications, and cloud-based applications. It offers a range of features and tools including a code editor, debugger, compiler, and collaboration tools. It supports multiple programming languages and is used to develop applications for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and the cloud.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a free, open-source code editor developed by Microsoft. It features syntax highlighting, debugging, and integrated source control to help developers quickly build applications from the web and cloud. Visual Studio Code also supports extensions, which are add-ons that customize the environment and add functionality to the editor.

JetBrains Rider

JetBrains Rider is an integrated development environment (IDE) for developing .NET and web applications. It is the alternative to the widely used Visual Studio IDE, using the IntelliJ platform. It provides features such as advanced code completion, refactoring, debugging, profiling, and support for multiple languages and frameworks.


LINQPad is a Windows program that is designed to help developers query databases using LINQ (Language Integrated Query). It enables developers to write and execute LINQ queries using an intuitive user interface. It also has a code editor and debugger, allowing developers to quickly write and test their code. LINQPad supports a variety of databases and includes features like auto-completion, query refactoring, and code export.


Notepad++ is a free and open-source text and code editor for Windows. It is designed to be a lightweight and fast application, with features such as syntax highlighting and support for multiple languages. Notepad++ supports a wide range of programming languages, including C#, C++, Java, PHP, HTML, and many others. It is a popular choice among developers due to its simplicity and ease of use.

Code Quality


ReSharper is a Visual Studio extension developed by JetBrains. It helps developers by providing features like on-the-fly code analysis, refactoring, powerful navigation, code generation, and more. It provides quick fixes and offers quick actions to improve code with ease. ReSharper helps improve code quality and detect errors in a much faster and accurate manner.


CodeRush is a refactoring and debugging tool for C# and Visual Basic.NET, developed by DevExpress. It is an add-on for Visual Studio, that provides a range of features to help developers write, navigate, and maintain their code more efficiently. Some of the key features of CodeRush include code navigation, refactoring, code generation, and error analysis. CodeRush also includes a debugging tool called DXCore, which provides breakpoint management, call stack visualization, and exception analysis.


NDepend is a static analysis tool for .NET code. It allows developers to analyze and measure the quality of their code, identify potential issues, and improve its maintainability. NDepend provides a set of features such as code metrics, dependency analysis, and code visualization that help developers write high-quality, maintainable code. It also includes a suite of static code analysis tools that can be used to detect code smells, complex code, and other potential issues with your codebase.


SonarQube is an open-source platform for continuous inspection of code quality. It provides an overview of the overall health of a codebase, and it can identify issues such as bugs, code smells, and security vulnerabilities. SonarQube can be used for any programming language, and it integrates with popular CI/CD tools such as TeamCity, Jenkins, Azure DevOps, and GitLab.



dotTrace is a performance profiler tool developed by JetBrains. It is used to optimize the performance of .NET applications by identifying and resolving performance bottlenecks. dotTrace allows developers to profile their code and see detailed information about the performance of their application, including information about memory usage, method execution times, and other metrics. This information can be used to identify and fix performance issues, resulting in faster and more efficient software.


dotMemory is a memory profiler tool developed by JetBrains. It is used to optimize the memory usage of .NET applications by identifying and resolving memory leaks and other memory-related issues. dotMemory allows developers to analyze the memory usage of their application, see detailed information about the objects in memory, and take snapshots to compare memory usage over time. This information can be used to identify and fix memory issues, resulting in more efficient and stable software.


PerfView is a performance-analysis tool that is used to collect and analyze data about the performance of an application. It is a powerful tool that can help identify performance bottlenecks and other issues that can affect the performance of an application. It is typically used by developers and performance experts to analyze the behavior of applications and identify potential problems that can impact their performance.

Package Management


Chocolatey is a package manager for Windows. It provides a quick and easy way to install, update, and uninstall software packages from various sources, such as the Windows software repository, NuGet, Chocolatey, and an ever-growing number of hosted package repositories. It supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows and is actively developed and maintained by a large community of contributors.

Chocolatey GUI

Chocolatey GUI is a graphical user interface (GUI) for Chocolatey, a popular package manager for Windows. It allows you to view and manage the packages that you have installed with Chocolatey, and it provides features such as search, filtering, and automatic updates.

NuGet Package Explorer

NuGet Package Explorer is a free and open-source tool for browsing and editing NuGet packages. NuGet Package Explorer is a standalone application that allows you to view the contents of NuGet packages, as well as create and edit them. It provides a user-friendly interface for browsing the contents of a package, viewing the dependencies, and editing the metadata.



Fiddler is a free web debugging proxy tool that logs all HTTP(S) traffic between a computer and the internet. It is used by web developers to debug and test web applications, as well as by network administrators to troubleshoot network issues. Fiddler allows you to inspect traffic, set breakpoints, and view the request and response data of web requests.


Postman is an app for managing and testing APIs. It allows developers to test both their own APIs as well as publicly available APIs from other service providers. It supports multiple HTTP requests such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE, allowing users to assess the performance of the API and improve its functionality. Postman also has features to support the debugging and automation of web services and offers integration with popular development stacks.



dotPeek is a free .NET decompiler and assembly browser from JetBrains. It is used to reverse engineer compiled .NET code and view the source code, as well as to navigate and search through assemblies. dotPeek can be used to inspect code in compiled assemblies, such as third-party libraries or assemblies without access to original source code. It is a useful tool for developers who need to understand the inner workings of a .NET application.


ILSpy is a free and open-source .NET assembly browser and decompiler. ILSpy allows you to view and explore the contents of compiled .NET assemblies, and to see the underlying C# or Visual Basic code for the assemblies.



dotCover is a code coverage tool developed by JetBrains. It is used to measure how much of your code is covered by tests. This information can be used to identify areas of your code that are not being adequately tested and to improve the overall quality and robustness of your tests. dotCover integrates with a number of .NET development tools, including Visual Studio and JetBrains Rider, and it supports a wide range of testing frameworks, including NUnit and xUnit.


NCrunch is an automated parallel continuous testing tool that works with Visual Studio. It helps developers automatically test their code as they write it, without manually running tests. It performs real-time unit, integration, and end-to-end tests and allows developers to quickly identify and detect anomalies as they develop their code.

Database Explorer


DataGrip is a database management tool developed by JetBrains. It is designed to assist developers and database administrators in working with a variety of databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and more. DataGrip provides features such as code completion, syntax highlighting, and SQL refactoring, which can help users write and manage their SQL queries more efficiently. It also offers tools for managing and querying databases, such as a visual query builder and a database editor.

MongoDB Compass

MongoDB Compass is a graphical user interface (GUI) for MongoDB, a popular open-source document-oriented database. It allows users to view, query, and manage their MongoDB databases in an intuitive visual interface. With MongoDB Compass, users can explore their data, run ad-hoc queries, add and delete data, and perform other database operations without having to write complex MongoDB queries.


Git Extensions

Git Extensions is a toolkit that provides a graphical interface for working with Git repositories. It is designed to make it easy to manage your Git repositories and work with other members of your team on code projects. With Git Extensions, you can easily clone repositories, create branches, view diffs, and more. It is a popular tool among developers who use the Git version control system.


SourceTree is a free Git and Mercurial client for Windows and Mac. It is designed to help developers manage their source code repositories, especially those hosted on remote servers. With SourceTree, you can easily clone a repository, view and manage files, and perform common Git operations such as committing, pushing and pulling. It also provides tools for merging and resolving conflicts, and for working with branches. In short, SourceTree is a useful tool for anyone who uses Git or Mercurial for version control and collaboration.

GitHub Desktop

GitHub Desktop is a free Git client for Windows and Mac. It is designed to help developers collaborate on code and manage their source code repositories, especially those hosted on the popular online service GitHub. With GitHub Desktop, you can easily clone a repository, view and manage files, and perform common Git operations such as committing, pushing and pulling. It also provides tools for managing branches and resolving merge conflicts, making it a useful tool for anyone who uses Git for version control and collaboration.


act is an emulator which provides a way to run GitHub Actions locally using Docker. act provides a quick way to validate your changes on the CI locally, without committing/pushing these changes to the workflows to trigger and validate the same.

Containerization & Orchestration

Docker Desktop

Docker Desktop is a tool for developing and running containerized applications. It is a graphical user interface (GUI) that provides an easy-to-use environment for building, running, and managing Docker containers. Docker Desktop includes Docker Engine, the core technology that runs the containers, as well as a set of tools for building and deploying applications. It also includes Docker Compose, a tool for defining and running multi-container applications, and Docker Swarm, a tool for orchestrating and managing a cluster of Docker containers. Docker Desktop is available for Windows and Mac, and it is a popular choice among developers who want to use Docker to build and deploy their applications.


Lens is a graphical user interface (GUI) for Kubernetes, an open-source system for automating the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Lens is a tool that aims to make Kubernetes more accessible to developers, by providing an intuitive and user-friendly interface for managing Kubernetes clusters. With Lens, you can easily view and manage the resources in your cluster, such as pods, deployments, and services. You can also use it to deploy and update applications, and monitor their performance.

Diagrams & Mind Mapping


Lucidchart is a visual collaboration tool that allows users to create and share diagrams, such as flowcharts, network diagrams, mind maps, and more. It is a web-based application that can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. With Lucidchart, users can easily create professional-looking diagrams and collaborate with others in real-time


GitMind is a mind map maker tool for desktop, web, or mobile devices, designed for brainstorming, project planning, development, or other creative activities.


Windows Terminal

Windows Terminal is a modern terminal application for Windows that provides users with access to multiple command-line tools and shells in one place. It supports various shells, including Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Linux shells like Bash and WSL. Windows Terminal offers a customizable user interface and allows users to easily access and use their preferred shells in a single, convenient location. It also includes features like split-pane support, tab support, and the ability to customize the appearance and behavior of the terminal.



Pocket is a free online service that allows users to save articles, videos, and other web content for later viewing. It is commonly used as a way to save interesting or useful content that the user wants to view later, either on the same device or on a different device. Pocket can be accessed from a variety of devices, including computers, smartphones, and tablets.


Evernote is a digital note-taking and organization application that allows users to capture, organize, and share notes and other information across multiple devices. It is available as a web-based application and as native apps for various platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows. With Evernote, users can create text notes, add images, audio, and other media, and organize their notes into notebooks and tags for easy retrieval. It also has collaboration features that allow users to share notes and notebooks with others and work together on projects in real-time.


In summary, there are a lot of great tools available to .NET developers. While it’s impossible to know everything, having a good understanding of the most popular tools will go a long way toward helping you build better applications faster. With the right knowledge and skills, you can become a better developer and expand your career opportunities.

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