As Windows XP SP2 has released a have taken the chance to update my machines not just with the service pack but also install some other tools I have found while searching the internet as well as reading an article of one of the last MSDN mags. Some of my favourite tools and controls are listed here (some of them I have found by myself, others are from the MSDN article) ...
My favourite tools
Nice tool, very useful for troubleshooting or finding problem spots in your applications.
A really cool tool for building and testing regular expressions. Always when I see this entry-name in my start menu I get some ravenous appetite for some espresso :-).
If you want to debug http as well as https traffic this is the tool to look for.
Of course most of you already know this tool - Lutz Roeder's .NET Reflector. I think on his web page you might find many other userful things.
If you don't like Expresso just try regulator which provides you with a similar set of functionality.
The name of this tool always makes me thinking about Agent Smith from the Matrix :-). This is a nice tool for code generation.
NUnit (nunit, VS.NET add-in), NAnt, NDoc
Currently unit testing, build management and documentation is not very well built into the development environment as well as the SDK. Those tools make it far easier but I think most of you already know them...
This is definitely the primary free tool for verifying your code qualitiy - in my opinion a must have for any professional .NET developer.
ASP.NET version switcher
As the next version of ASP.NET is arriving and we already have two versions (1.0 and 1.1) a version switching tool which makes preparing ISAPI extensions on virtual directories in IIS 6.0 would be much more favourable than always using aspnet_regiis. Well here you have one:-)
I don't know why we are always changing the project- and solution file formats. And even though we are using XML as the foundation for the solution files they are incompatible between VS.NET 2002 and VS.NET 2003 (and I'd not be surprised if they are with VS.NET 2005, too:-)). With this tool conversion of solution files is a peace of cake.
Capture for .NET
Awesome screen capturing tool built completly on .NET. I mean this is one of the best free screen capturing tools I have ever used.
You have to travel a lot? Well, then this tool might help you to do your schedule the right way by converting times from one time zone to another...
Some awesome control collections
While installing the tools on one machine I had time to collect all the controls I have found in the past two weeks and install them on the other machine. Many of them are VB.NET based but they are as interesting to C# developers as to any other .NET developer, too ... really cool stuff:
ASP.NET Resource Kit
Includes full versions of ComponentOne for ASP.NET, Infragistics controls ... haven't tried them all yet but nevertheless some of the demo code included simply rocks...
VB.NET Resource Kit
This is definitely not only interesting to VB.NET programers. Because the full version of ComponentOne Enterprise Studio as well as Infragistics and a control that can be used for communication through the serial port is definitely useful to any .NET developer.
VB Power Pack
The same applies to the VB power pack. A blend panel, the nice toolbar and some gimics like image buttons are very very useful 🙂 ... oh and yes ... before I forget about it ... the power pack contains also a control for the so famous toasters (remember, the thing that always pops up in the lower right corner when messenger is turned on)
SandBar - Office 2003 like Toolbars
Create .NET applications with Office 2003 look and feel today ...
A set of components for creating funny toolbars and professional, XP like menus.
XCeed SmartUI and XCeed Grid
Of course as I have mentioned ComponentOne as well as Infragistics I may not forget XCeed. Cool commercial set of controls I have installed on my machine for building applications with WinXP like UIs.
I think many of those things are very useful ... I hope they are useful for some of you, too ... and of course if you know some other tools please let me know 🙂