Free application creation software for Windows personal computers
Windows 2003 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
As with earlier releases, Microsoft made an express version of its flagship integrated development environment "Visual Studio 2008" available to both novice and professional C# developers. Since most real-world professional applications access relational databases, C# 2008 Express Edition comes fully compatible with Microsoft SQL Server Express.
Microsoft Visual Studio functions natively with .NET version 3.5, but it permits the building, development and maintenance of applications for .NET 2.0 and .NET 3.0. To accomplish this, developers may use C# 2008 Express Edition or any of the .NET languages included with Visual Studio Express 2008. With C# 2008 Express, users can create Windows Development Foundation (WPF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow (WF) or Language Integrated Query (LINQ) applications.
The development support for Microsoft C# 2008 Express Edition exceeds that available for more recent releases of C#, making it ideal for novices. A variety of books, tutorials, tricks and tips quickly prepare beginners to perform advanced professional tasks that are in high demand among modern employers.
In particular, C# 2008 Express Edition permits developers to write database queries, manipulate data, use datasets and data adapters, use XML and build ASP.NET applications. In many cases, C# 2008 handles these and other procedures through its built-in functionality.
Out of the box, C# 2008 Express Edition presents a modern interface that uses a tabbed document system for code and layout screens. In addition, C# 2008 Express employs dockable toolbars and information windows to keep the workspace clean and uncluttered. Unlike the Visual Studio tools of the 1990s, the powerful functions in this IDE give developers the power to create WYSIWYG user interfaces that save design time.
Veteran coders will also appreciate the automatic code completion, IntelliSense, syntax error flagging and dynamic contextual help available in C# 2008 Express Edition. Code completion, automatic tips for every method and helpful documentation increase productivity in multiple ways. Likewise, access to the complete SDK library from within the IDE lets even novice developers answer their own questions on the fly. All of the .NET languages now use the same code editor. Philosophically, the specialized aspects of each language should not undercut shared features like code outlining, line numbering, color coding and incremental search. Merging them into a single code editor means shorter learning curves and quick transitions to new platforms.
To further enhance productivity, the IDE includes a Start Page that improves access to both new and existing projects. Likewise, C# 2008's Solution Explorer and integrated debugger let the developer see all files in outline form, step through draft code and interactively observe the runtime across multiple languages and processes.