Latish Sehgal's Blog

My Dot Net Developer's Tools List, and More

Update: I have an updated list of tools here.

I gave a brownbag presentation at my current client recently about the common tools (in addition to Visual Studio), that I use on a regular basis for working with .NET or web development in general. I also threw in some non- development tools that are a part of my day to day life and make things easier. Here’s the complete list:

Note: For a completely awesome and Ultimate Developer’s tool list, be sure to check out Scott’s blog post.


Name Description Comments


The CLR Profiler includes a number of very useful views of the allocation profile, including a histogram of allocated types, allocation and call graphs, a time line showing GCs of various generations and the resulting state of the managed heap after those collections, and a call tree showing per-method allocations and assembly loads.

Working with Cassini


The Debug Diagnostic Tool (DebugDiag) is designed to assist in troubleshooting issues such as hangs, slow performance, memory leaks or fragmentation, and crashes in any Win32 user-mode process. The tool includes additional debugging scripts focused on Internet Information Services (IIS) applications, web data access components, COM+ and related Microsoft technologies.

Troubleshooting .Net 2.0 memory leaks.


FxCop is a code analysis tool that checks .NET managed code assemblies for conformance to the Microsoft .NET Framework Design Guidelines.


This tool allows you to compare two versions of an assembly, and determine the differences. The tool reports the differences as a combination of ‘removed’ and ‘added’ APIs.


NDepend is a tool that simplifies managing a complex .NET code base. Architects and developers can analyze code structure, specify design rules, plan massive refactoring, do effective code reviews and master evolution by comparing different versions of the code.

Has Academic, commercial versions.


Right from the Visual Studio code editor, Pex finds interesting input- output values of your methods, which you can save as a small test suite with high code coverage. Pex performs a systematic analysis, hunting for boundary conditions, exceptions and assertion failures, which you can debug right away. Pex enables Parameterized Unit Testing, an extension of Unit Testing that reduces test maintenance costs.


.NET Reflector enables you to easily view, navigate, and search through, the class hierarchies of .NET assemblies, even if you don’t have the code for them. With it, you can decompile and analyze .NET assemblies in C#, Visual Basic, and IL.

Be sure to check out the Addins


The Regulator is an advanced Regular expressions testing tool, featuring syntax highlighting and web-service integration with’s database of online regular expressions.


ReSharper provides solution-wide error highlighting on the fly, instant solutions for found errors, over 30 advanced code refactorings, superior unit testing tools, handy navigation and search features, single-click code formatting and cleanup, automatic code generation and templates.

  • Free 30 day trial, Full Edition: $199, C# Edition: $149.
  • CodeRush Express is a similar free alternative, but I prefer Resharper.


Enables managed class library developers to easily create accurate, informative documentation with a common look and feel.

Simple how-to.

ViewState Helper

Lets you debug ViewState issues by displaying Page and viewstate details for an page.


Web Development Helper

Web Development Helper is a free browser extension for Internet Explorer that provides a set of tools and utilities for the Web developer, esp. Ajax and ASP.NET developers. The tool provides features such as a DOM inspector, an HTTP tracing tool, and script diagnostics and immediate window.


Microsoft Windows Debugger (WinDbg) is a powerful Windows-based debugging tool. It is capable of both user-mode and kernel-mode debugging.

Excellent blog to learn more.

Web Development

Name Description Comments


Detect unused css classes in your website (static analysis).

Written by yours truly :). Need to add more features to this and maybe change the UI to WPF.


Design is a suite of web-design and development assistive tools which can be utilised on any web-page. Encompassing utilities for grid layout, measurement and alignment, Design is a uniquely powerful JavaScript bookmarklet.


Fiddler logs all HTTP(S) traffic between your computer and the Internet and Fiddler allows you to inspect all HTTP(S) traffic, set breakpoints, and “fiddle” with incoming or outgoing data. Fiddler includes a powerful event- based scripting subsystem, and can be extended using any .NET language.


Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of web development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.


With JavaScript Lint, you can check all your JavaScript source code for common mistakes without actually running the script or opening the web page.


XRAY is a bookmarklet for Internet Explorer 6+, and Webkit and Mozilla based browsers (including Safari, Firefox, Camino or Mozilla). Use it to see the box model for any element on any web page.

Run any browser (IE 6-8, FF 2,3, Opera, Chrome, Safari) directly from the web.

  • This is the best and easiest way I have seen to run multiple versions of IE on your box, but their service seems to be down lately.
  • Other options are to use a virtual machine or a program like Multiple IE.

SQL Development

Name Description Comments

AnjLab SqlProfiler

SQL Server Express Edition Profiler provides the most of functionality standard profiler does, such as choosing events to profile, setting filters, etc.

This is good while working with Sql Server Express, which does not come with a profiler.


Adds Sql Intellisense to Sql Server Management Studio and Visual Studio.

  • Free 30 day trial, pricing here.
  • Sql Server 2008 has inbuilt intellisense.
  • SqlAssistant is a good alternative for working with multiple database environments.

Generic Useful Tools

Name Description Comments


Automate sending keystrokes and mouse clicks by creating/recording macros.

Bart’s Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable windows CD/DVD

Bart’s PE Builder helps you build a “BartPE” (Bart Preinstalled Environment) bootable Windows CD-Rom or DVD from the original Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 installation/setup CD, very suitable for PC maintenance tasks.

Daemon Tools

To use virtual drives.

Instapaper bookmarklet

Instapaper allows you to easily save urls for later, when you have time, so you don’t just forget about them or skim through them.


IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact graphic viewer.


Compare, Merge files and directories.


Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages.


Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows.

I use this instead of MS Paint for simple tasks.

Portable Apps

Carry your favorite computer programs along with all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more with you. Use them on any Windows computer. All without leaving any personal data behind.


Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

This has replaced my task manager for the last couple of years.


SlickRun is a free floating command line utility for Windows. SlickRun gives you almost instant access to any program or website.


Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

Videora Converter

Videora Converter is a free video converter that converts video files, YouTube videos, movies and DVD’s so you can play them on your video playing device.

VLC media player

Multimedia player.

Plays most video formats out of the box.

Winamp music player

Mp3 music player.

This supports global hotkey bindings, so I can use use my keyboard to change track, volume without bringing it in focus.

Windows Live Mesh

Keep files and folders in sync on multiple devices.

P.S If you are interested in tools that make you more productive, and work with Sql Server Management Studio, you should check out SqlSmash.