Visual Studio Plugins I Love

Doubtless everyone has their favourite plugins for Visual Studio, and more great addins are being developed all the time. Here are a few that I can’t live without:

  • ReSharper – Jetbrains’ amazing add-in gives real-time code analysis, intellisense improvements, navigation shortcuts, code templates, a built in unit test runner, and countless other features. This tool will pay for itself a thousand times over in the time it will save you.
  • PowerCommands for Visual Studio 2010 – a free extension offering a set of useful additional commands such as “Open Containing Folder”. Basically adds a bunch of stuff that should have been there all a long. Despite the name, works in VS 2012 too.
  • T4 Toolbox – A set of subtle but incredibly useful additions to the built in T4 template functionality to assist with code reuse and better file generation.
  • Chirpy – Automatically regenerates T4 templates on build. Also does a bunch of other stuff which I’ve never explored fully.
  • Chutzpah – A Javascript Unit Test runner supporting both Jasmine and QUnit.
  • AnkhSVN – If you’re using Subversion for version control, I find this to be invaluable. It handles unloading/reloading project files when updating, and provides a nice addition to the GUI showing changed files in the solution explorer, and built in diff-ing, among other things.
  • Git Source Control Provider – If you’re using Git for version control, this is an excellent extension. While it’ll never entirely replace the command line, it gives a nice view of modified files and built in diffing, making for easy commits.
  • NCrunch – Continuous Testing for Visual Studio. A huge time saver, constant updates on test coverage/failures as you type!
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2 Responses to Visual Studio Plugins I Love

  1. A. Murray says:

    Hey henry, I totally agree on the NCrunch recommendation, if you/your employer has the money to throw at it. You may find this familiar :), but here’s my write up: http://andymurray.me.uk/276-ncrunch-in-practise

    • wilhen01 says:

      Yep, pretty much agree with all of this Andy! Thankfully my employer has been generous enough to buy me a license (we’re a small team so the overall expense is still only around £1000 to buy a license for everyone). Incidentally you can get a solution wide code coverage report, it’s in the NCrunch menu somewhere.

      When my trial evaluation expired I decided to give Continuous Tests (http://continuoustests.com/) a go…sadly it’s just nowhere near as good. Much slower to run tests, lacking the useful code coverage and pass/fail indicators, generally just not useful. You get what you pay for (CT is free).

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