Check out this set of Microsoft Visual Studio research tools and services.


These versatile tools range from games to help you get started in a new programming language to analysis engines that enhance the power and usability of Visual Studio. These are tools made by researchers for researchers, designed specifically to meet the needs by people who share their needs.

Microsoft Research has a range of Microsoft Visual Studio tools that aid in programming safe and secure code. These tools bring programs alive for every skill level, from games to help young developers get started in a new language, to analysis engines operating at the highest level that enhance the power and usability of Microsoft's premier development environment.


The Fakes framework runs in Visual Studio Ultimate and helps developers create, maintain, and inject dummy implementations in their unit tests. Fakes makes development more robust and scalable when individual components are tested in isolation.

Code Contracts
Code Contracts provide a language-agnostic way to express coding assumptions in Microsoft .NET programs in all versions of Visual Studio. The Code Contracts tools include a runtime checker, a static checker based on abstract interpretation, and a documentation generator.

Social for Team Foundation Server
Social for Team Foundation Server (Social for TFS) is a community add-on for Visual Studio to aggregate teammates’ content from various social sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, into the developer’s workspace. Social for TFS is developed in C# and available under MPL license.

Microsoft Automatic Graph Layout

Microsoft Automatic Graph Layout (MSAGL) is a tool in Visual Studio Ultimate for graph layout and viewing. MSAGL can be used to represent complex directed graphs, such as those found in business management, manufacturing, network analysis, and bioinformatics research.

Debugger Canvas
Debugger Canvas is used for debugging programs in Visual Studio Ultimate. It visually brings together the code being explored into a single pan-and-zoom code bubbles display. Debugger Canvas helps to see variables through the code bubbles, make notes and see the bigger picture in one place.

Pex4fun brings programming in C#, Microsoft Visual Basic, and F# to any web browser. Pex4Fun is an interactive coding game environment where the player discovers a secret program. Pex4fun is based on Code Contracts and the unit testing tool Pex, which runs in Visual Studio and also as a dedicated app on Windows Phone.

Try F#
Try F# is a web browser–based interactive cross-platform learning environment. It features tutorials and resources for learning F#, which is a functional language ideal for data-rich, concurrent, and algorithmic development. The full power of F# is available in Visual Studio.

Learn more or read the blog.

Comments (0)

Skip to main content