Integrated Development Environment – .NET

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What Does Integrated Development Environment – .NET Mean?

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is software that facilitates application development. In the context of .NET-based applications, Visual Studio is the most commonly used IDE. Some of the key features included are:

  • Single IDE for all .NET applications. Therefore no switching required to other IDEs for developing .NET applications
  • Single .NET solution for an application which has been built on code written in multiple languages
  • Code editor supporting Intellisense and code refactoring
  • Compilation from within the environment based on defined configuration options
  • Integrated debugger that works at source and machine level
  • Plug-in architecture that helps to add tools for domain specific languages
  • Customizable environment to help the user to configure the IDE based on the required settings
  • Browser that is built-in within the IDE helps to view content from internet such as help, source-code, etc. in online mode.

Techopedia Explains Integrated Development Environment – .NET

Visual Studio is integrated with .NET and includes the features of language specific environments, from one of its earlier versions (VS 6.0). It provides a single workspace consisting of a mutliple-document interface in which activities related to code development such as editing, compiling, debugging, etc. is easily possible.The main facility that this IDE provides is form creation during design-time. By placing the controls in the layout the display of the application can be rendered at runtime. Hence, IDE provides simpler way of building applications in lesser time.

The latest version of Visual Studio 2010 IDE released with .NET 4.0 is designed to develop applications targeting Windows 7. It has additional features such as navigate to, incremental search, pascal case searching, view call hierarchy, multi-monitor support, code intellisense support (for classes and methods), HTML and Javascript snippet support in editor, tools to aid parallel programming and debugging improvements (Intellitrace, Pinned data tips, Breakpoint labels, etc.). The IDE can also be extended to customize the appearance and its behavior using macros and add-ins. Some features such as text size option and color customization in editor allow easy accessibility to people with disabilities.

Development of applications needs to consider the time necessary for lengthy learning process to work with the IDE due to the complicated integration of all the facilities included in IDE.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.