7 Visual Studio tools to improve your software development in 2021

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Speed ​​up coding with handy extensions and plugins

Integrated development environments (IDEs) are applications that programmers use to create software. Microsoft Visual Studio is one of the most popular IDEs used by developers.

A 2021 Stackoverflow survey of 82,000 professionals shows that 33% of them used Visual Studio in the previous year.

In a list of 20 IDEs, Visual Studio takes second place, just behind the editor of the same family, Visual Studio Code, with 71% of the responses.

One of the reasons for this developer preference is the available extensions and plugins.

According to the Visual Studio market, around 11,000 options just for extensions are available.

Extensions are add-ons that customize the coding experience. They make it possible to integrate new functions, thus accelerating productivity.

Here we identify seven options that can improve your software development in 2021.


Visual assistance

Visual Assist, from Whole Tomato, is a tool that improves the development of software written in C/C++ and C#. It is used to address Visual Studio’s shortcomings in these languages.

The main function of the tool is to improve IntelliSense. This Visual Studio feature automatically completes code based on programming contexts that speeds up writing and avoids common typing errors.

The extension also allows syntax highlighting for these languages.

This functionality is available in many text editors that facilitate writing in structured languages, indicating possible errors.

Visual Assist benefits include code generation, refactoring, easy navigation, code inspection, and debugging assistance.

A free 30-day trial version is available.


Interbase

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InterBase, a product developed by Embarcadero, is an embeddable SQL database management system.

Structured Query Language is a programming language with specific application for designing relational database management systems.

With InterBase, database integration is simplified.

Among the features is the small footprint, requiring few hardware and software resources for installation.

Administration requirements are almost non-existent, as various functions are automated.

Another strong point is that it is cross-platform, running on operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

With over 20 years of release, the tool uses multi-generational logging when working with rollbacks and transition logs.


PRC check

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Embarcadero’s CPP Check is a C/C++ code analysis tool. It is an open-source product with free access. Its analysis detects bugs, risky builds and undefined results.

The idea is to allow the developer to build clean code.

Some of the available checks include automatic variables, array overflow thresholds, classes, and exception security.

The tool also detects resource and memory leaks, unused code, and performance and styling errors. It also includes checking for deprecated and superseded functions, security, and memory allocation.

In addition to Visual Studio, it works in other IDEs such as C++Builder and Dev-C++.


Code Maid

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CodeMaid is an open-source extension that seeks to clean up and simplify code for multiple languages, like C#, C++, PHP, and JavaScript.

It is distinguished by the random cleaning of white spaces, placing them in a simple ordering scheme.

The tool streamlines writing functions like putting code into comment format. It can also join lines of code and rearrange the coding.

Additionally, it performs reorganization, swapping, and configuration of project files, as well as searching and sorting of sections of code.


GithubComment extension

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The GitHub Extension for Visual Studio makes it easy to work with repositories on Github using Visual Studio.

This tool allows the programmer to maintain code versioning without leaving the IDE.

Functions such as cloning repositories, creating projects, pull requests, and publishing software are performed quickly.

With the widespread use of GitHub among developers, this extension is one of the most popular for Visual Studio, with over 2 million downloads.


Add a new file

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Add New File is a Visual Studio extension that allows users to quickly add new files to any project.

The tool draws attention to creating files of any extension. Features include creating files whose names begin with a dot. Example: .gitignore. Also, it allows to design deeper folder structures.

When installed in Visual Code, the extension creates a “New Blank File” button in the Solution Explorer menu. It is also accessible by the shortcut Shift + F2. Create folders when the entered name ends with a /.


Code alignment

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Aligning code helps to format code vertically improving readability.

The tool claims to include mathematical principles and other disciplines to help code make sense by aligning columns.

This way it accomplishes something that comes naturally when the professional works with spreadsheets but is hard to code. Clean, aligned formatting makes reading more convenient by reducing code writing time.


Conclusion

Thousands of extensions are available for Visual Studio. They are handy tools for writing more productively and faster.

In this article, we present some examples to better understand how they work. Exploring the available resources will not be a waste of time.

Knowing the available extensions is fundamental for developers to offer better products.

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