Software dev, tech, mind hacks and the occasional personal bit

Windows / .NET Dev Tools

Recently I visited a .NET dev team to take a look at design, code and processes with a view to making recommendations to improve delivery speed. One of the more minor, but easily generalisable areas is around tooling. I often find that the little extra tools you pick up can make your work significantly more efficient. Here are a few free ones I use:

A brilliant merge tool that plugs nicely into TFS or SVN. SVN integration is automatic from the Kdiff3 installer. TFS integration is manual, but quite easy.

A tabbed console which works well with classic windows shell and powershell. Good support for resizing, copy paste, etc.

.NET Reflector
.NET decompiler for those dlls that don’t have source. There is also a great plugin that lets you decompile entire assemblies to files on disk.

When you’re debugging SOAP or RESTful web services, Fiddler is great. It lets you see the messages sent / received and even change and impersonate them.

If you’ve got SQLExpress or just no tools installed, QueryExpress is a tiny (~100K) and quick query analyser style application for all breeds of MS SQLServer. Download in a few seconds, and be running queries before a minute is up.

Don’t you hate it when Windows gets its locks in a mess and you can’t delete/rename files? Unlocker will automatically pop up, show you which applications are holding file locks and let you release the locks.

Process Explorer
A more powerful and accurate Task Manager application which allows you to see file locks and many other types of information.


Talk: Securing your MVC site against Code Injection and X-Site Scripting


Slides & Code: Securing your MVC site against Code Injection and X-Site Scripting


  1. that console tool could be my saviour — completely feel like stabbing myself each time i’m forced to use the regular command shell in windows

  2. I love Console2. It’s great when you need to use multiple shells as well. I have VS2005, VS2008, VS2010, CygWin, GitBash, and a separate Ruby shell all in Console2

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