10 Essential .NET Tools That Every Developer Should Have in Their Arsenal

Jul 11 · 4 min read

The popularity of the .NET framework has led to a sharp rise in the number of third-party tools. There is a treasure trove of free tools in the .NET world with most developers already using some well-known tools like Notepad++ editor and open source code sharing sites like SourceForge.net. These tools enable Dotnet developers to create intuitive applications and boost productivity. But selecting the right tool is easier said than done. More often than not, developers need to research a lot to find out what will work best for them, which is least to say, a very time consuming and tedious process.

To help save your time, we have compiled a list of our top 10 .NET development toolset that every developer should have in their arsenal. This blog will help the readers cut through the noise and choose tools that are widely favored by fellow developers around the world.

1) Visual Studio

Topping the charts of this list is the Microsoft Visual Studio, which is by far the most popular tool used by developers for designing different kinds of applications including mobile apps, as well as websites. According to a recent study, more than 41 million live websites have reportedly used .NET! Its visual studio extension strengthens the core VS functionality with features like task shortcuts and Intellisense for CSS/HTML/JavaScript, etc. A productivity booster, this extension edges out other Dotnet development toolset and is a must-have to write and debug code with ease.

2) ReSharper

This is a no-brainer. This tool not only helps developers perform on-the-go code analysis, but it also offers numerous quick-fixes and comes with automated code refactoring. Developed by JetBrains, ReSharper has more than 60 refactoring and 450+ context actions. It’s a handy tool for dot net developers who intend to quickly complete their projects and is also a hit amongst programmers who have only just discovered .NET.

3) LINQPad

LINQPad is a lightweight extension and is free to use. Any dot net developer can vouch for its efficiency. It is the number one platform to test LINQ queries or any C#/F#/Visual Basic program. LINQPad is popular due to its rich output formatting, optional auto-completion, and integrated debugging.

4) NuGet

A package manager for .NET, NuGet is a great addition to .NET development toolset. It allows developers to access third-party libraries and build or share their own tools. NuGet has more than 98,000 packages available, making it the largest database of third-party components for .NET. With this extension, developers can easily browse an unknown feed and create packages manually.


If you have a website in the works, then you need to have ELMAH to debug and log an error for ASP.NET. Provided by Google, this error logging module helps .NET developers identify gaps in their codes. The tool can be easily added to a running ASP.NET web app without the need for re-compilation or re-deployment.

6) NDepend

Another highly recommended tool for all dot net developers is NDepend. It helps programmers enhance the quality of their codes by using several metrics. This static analysis tool is a must-have for it also allows the visualization of the code’s design and helps estimate the technical depth of the IDE. NDepend offers a custom querying language that helps .NET developers to examine their application’s coupling and analyze how well they adhere to standards.

7) .NET Reflector

.NET Reflector is an absolute necessity for programmers who want a decompiler and static analyzer for its .NET framework. This essential tool for developers helps debug the .NET code, such as third-party components even if there are no documentation or comments. It also provides an insight into what the code does when decompiled and what an assembly contains.

8) Fiddler

When talking about dot net development tools, it is impossible to miss Fiddler. It allows developers to easily expose dynamic data grids and comes with customization features that can show data in a preferred view. Provided by Telerik, this invaluable .NET tool is used in between services and intercepts all communication.

9) JSON Formatter

Even though nearly all IDEs can format JSON files, the JSON formatter makes tasks a lot easier. JSON files can be difficult to read, and that is why the tool formats JavaScript Object Notation in a readable format, eventually making it easy to debug. This tool validates, formats, and gives an intelligible JSON output to the .NET programmers. The most popular free tool is the JSON Formatter & Validator provided by Curious Concept.

10) GitHub Desktop

GitHub can be used with any Git repository, thereby providing a uniform cross-platform experience to its users. It makes us to our top 10 essential .NET development toolset for its visualization properties and the range of features it provides, including image diff support, strong community support, and extensive editor. And, the icing on the cake is that this extension doesn’t need any personal API tokens.

Summing Up

This was our list of 10 essential .NET development toolset. Ultimately, your choice will depend mostly on a specific project you are trying to complete. More than seven million dot net developers use these tools to automate several manual processes to save time and reduce human errors. The bottom line: no matter which are the tools that you choose, make sure that they allow you to complete a project without any errors and on time.


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