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Integrated development environments (IDEs) are applications programmers use to build software. Microsoft Visual Studio is among the most popular IDEs used by developers.
A survey conducted by Stackoverflow in 2021 with 82,000 professionals shows that 33% of them used Visual Studio in the previous year.
In a list of 20 IDEs, Visual Studio gets second place—only behind the editor of the same family, Visual Studio Code—with 71% of the answers.
One of the reasons for this developer preference is the available extensions and plugins.
According to the marketplace of Visual Studio, about 11,000 options just for extensions are available.
Extensions are add-ons that customize the coding experience. They allow new functions to be integrated, accelerating productivity.
Here, we identify seven options that can improve your software development in 2021.
Visual Assist, from Whole Tomato, is a tool that improves the development of software written in C/C++ and C#. It is used to solve Visual Studio's shortcomings in these languages.
The tool's primary function is to improve IntelliSense. This Visual Studio function auto-completes code based on programming contexts that speed up writing and avoids common mistakes in typing.
The extension also enables syntax highlighting for these languages.
This feature 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, a product developed by Embarcadero, is an embeddable SQL database management system.
Structured Query Language is a programming language with a specific application for designing relational database management systems.
With InterBase, database integration is streamlined.
Among the features is the small footprint, requiring low hardware and software resources for installation.
Administration requirements are almost nonexistent, as various functions are automated.
Another highlight 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 multigenerational logging when using rollbacks and transition logs.
Embarcadero's CPP Check is an analysis tool for C/C++ code. 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.
Among the available checks are automatic variables, array saturation thresholds, classes, and exception safety.
The tool also detects resource and memory leaks, unused code, and performance and stylistic errors. It also includes checking for obsolete and replaced functions, security, and memory allocation.
In addition to Visual Studio, it works in other IDEs such as C++Builder and Dev-C++.
It stands out for randomly cleaning the white spaces, placing them in a simple order pattern.
The tool streamlines writing functions like putting code in comment format. It also can join lines of code and rearrange the coding.
In addition, It performs the reorganization, exchange, and configuration of project files, as well as searching and sorting sections of code.
The GitHub Extension for Visual Studio makes it possible to easily 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 the 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 New File is a Visual Studio extension that lets users quickly add new files to any project.
The tool draws attention for creating files of any extension. Features include creating files whose names begin with a period. Example: .gitignore. Also, it allows the possibility to design deeper folder structures.
When installed in Visual Code, the extension creates a "New Empty File" button in the Solution Explorer menu. It can also be accessed by the shortcut Shift + F2. Create folders when the entered name ends with a /.
Code alignment helps improve code formatting vertically by improving readability.
The tool claims to include math and other disciplines’ principles to help code make sense by aligning the columns.
In this way, it accomplishes something done naturally when the professional works with spreadsheets but that is difficult to code. Clean, aligned formatting makes reading more convenient by reducing code writing time.
Thousands of extensions are available for Visual Studio. They are handy tools for writing more productively and faster.
In this article, we present just a few examples to understand better how they work. Exploring the available resources will not be a waste of time.
Knowing the available extensions is fundamental for developers to deliver better products.