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Feb 7, 2023

10 tools for .NET developers that you probably didn’t know about

10 tools for .NET developers that you probably didn’t know about
Alex Maher


NCrunch is a powerful tool that automates the testing and debugging of .NET and C# code. It integrates seamlessly into Visual Studio, allowing development teams to quickly identify and fix errors, ensuring that their projects are always of the highest quality.

NCrunch is designed to increase the productivity of development teams by automatically running tests in the background while developers work on their code. This ensures that all tests are run in a timely manner, allowing developers to make the necessary corrections before they ship their product.

NCrunch also offers a wide range of features that make debugging easier, including features that allow developers to track their progress and review their code more quickly. NCrunch also has an artificial intelligence-assisted debugging feature that uses machine learning algorithms to detect and fix errors.


StyleCop is a powerful development tool for .NET and C# developers. It helps ensure that a project’s code adheres to a predefined set of coding standards and conventions. This ensures that code is written in a consistent and maintainable manner, making it easier for developers to understand each other’s code and making large projects easier to debug.

StyleCop checks code for conformance to both Microsoft’s and the developer’s own coding standards. It can be used to enforce strict coding conventions, or to provide warnings when code is not up to the standards that have been set. This helps developers quickly identify and fix issues with their code, ensuring that projects are always of the highest quality.

StyleCop is compatible with a wide range of different development environments, so it can easily be integrated into existing development processes. It also has support for a wide range of different programming languages, including C#, F#, and Visual Basic.


Hangfire is a powerful tool for background job processing in .NET applications. It is an open-source library that allows developers to easily schedule, execute, and monitor background jobs in a simple and reliable way.

One of the key features of Hangfire is its ability to handle both short-term and long-term background jobs. This means that it can be used to perform tasks such as sending emails, generating reports, or running data analytics, as well as running long-term processes such as data migrations or backups.

Another important feature of Hangfire is its ability to handle job failures. It has a built-in retry mechanism that can automatically retry failed jobs, as well as a mechanism for handling and logging exceptions. This allows developers to ensure that their background jobs are executed reliably, even in the event of unexpected errors.

Hangfire also provides an easy-to-use dashboard that allows developers to monitor the status of their background jobs. The dashboard provides real-time information such as the number of jobs in the queue, the number of jobs being processed, and the number of failed jobs. Additionally, it provides detailed information about each job, such as its progress, start time, and end time.

In terms of installation and setup, Hangfire is easy to integrate into existing .NET applications. It can be installed via NuGet package manager and configured using a simple API. Once it is set up, developers can use a simple API to schedule and execute background jobs, and can also use the dashboard for monitoring and management.


Nuke is a powerful build automation system for .NET Core applications. It enables developers to quickly and easily create complex build pipelines that can be used to compile, test, and deploy their applications. It is a highly flexible tool that can be used with a variety of different development frameworks, including .NET Core, ASP.NET Core, and Xamarin.

Nuke makes it easy to create highly automated build pipelines. It supports a wide range of tasks, such as compilation, testing, packaging, and deployment. It also provides integrations with other tools, such as Git and AppVeyor, to ensure that builds are automatically triggered when code is committed or pushed to the repository.

Nuke has a number of other powerful features, such as support for custom build tasks, support for parallel execution of tasks, and support for distributed builds. It also provides a web-based UI, which makes it easy to view, debug, and analyze build results.

Visual Studio Code Map

Visual Studio Code Map is an intuitive and powerful tool for visualizing code. It enables developers to quickly and easily explore a codebase, understand the relationships between different elements, and easily identify and eliminate issues.

Visual Studio Code Map allows developers to visualize a project’s code structure in an easy to understand manner. It displays the project’s files and folders as a hierarchical tree, making it easy to understand the relationships between different elements of the code. It also allows developers to drill down into the code, view individual code elements, and quickly identify issues.

Visual Studio Code Map also provides useful metrics, such as the number of lines of code, complexity, and warnings, which help developers identify areas of the codebase that could benefit from refactoring or optimization. It also integrates with popular unit testing frameworks, such as NUnit, making it easy to view unit test results and quickly identify any issues.


Autofac is an open-source dependency injection library for .NET. It is a lightweight library that enables developers to quickly and easily create loosely coupled applications. It also makes it easy to manage and maintain dependencies across applications.

Autofac supports the use of constructors, properties, and methods for dependency injection. It also supports the use of generics, extension methods, and lambda expressions. This makes it easy to inject dependencies into classes without having to write a lot of boilerplate code.

Autofac also supports the use of lifetime scopes and object scopes. This makes it easy to manage object lifetimes and ensure that objects are only created when they are needed. It also supports the use of metadata, which makes it easy to inject different implementations of an interface based on the metadata associated with the object.


MediatR is an open-source library for .NET that enables developers to create event-driven, loosely coupled applications. It acts as a lightweight message bus that enables developers to create applications that communicate with each other using events.

MediatR supports the use of asynchronous and synchronous messaging. It makes it easy to send and receive messages between different components of an application. It also makes it easy to create handlers for events and include custom logic in the handling of events.

MediatR also supports the use of pipelines. This makes it easy to create a series of steps that are executed before and after a message is handled. This makes it easy to add custom logic to the sending and receiving of messages.


NSpec is an open-source behavior-driven development (BDD) framework for .NET. It is designed to make writing tests easier, faster, and more enjoyable. It encourages developers to focus on the behavior of their code instead of the implementation.

The main feature of NSpec is its ability to create scenarios with multiple steps. This makes it easy to write tests for complex behaviors. NSpec also simplifies the process of creating multiple tests for a single scenario.

NSpec also makes it easy to create personalised assertions. This makes it easy to customise tests to the specific needs of the developer. NSpec also includes a rich set of matchers to make writing tests easier.


Bogus is a popular library for generating fake data in C#. It is a simple and easy-to-use tool that can be used for generating test data, populating databases for development and testing, and more.

One of the key features of Bogus is its ability to generate data that is both realistic and random. For example, it can generate random names, addresses, and phone numbers that follow the correct format for each country. It also provides a wide range of options for customizing the data that is generated, such as specifying the format of dates and times, or the length of strings.

Bogus also supports generating data for specific scenarios, such as generating a list of fake users with names, addresses, and email addresses. It also allows you to use your own custom logic to generate data, giving you complete control over the data that is generated.

In addition to generating data, Bogus also provides a way to seed the random number generator, so that the data generated will be deterministic. This allows you to ensure that the data generated is always the same for a given seed value.

One of the most common use cases for Bogus is in unit tests, where it can be used to generate data to test the behavior of a method or class. By using Bogus to generate test data, you can ensure that your tests are running against realistic data, rather than hard-coded test data that may not reflect real-world scenarios.


FluentValidation is a popular library for creating validation rules in C#. It is a fluent, easy-to-use library that provides a simple and elegant way to validate objects. The library is built on top of the built-in validation framework in .NET, and it provides a way to create validation rules in a fluent, readable way.

One of the key features of FluentValidation is its ability to create complex validation rules using a fluent interface. For example, you can create a rule that validates a property based on the value of another property, or create a rule that checks the length of a string and ensures it is within a specific range. The library also provides a wide range of built-in validation rules, such as checking if a string is an email address, or if a number is within a specific range.

Another advantage of FluentValidation is that it is easy to create custom validation rules. You can create your own custom validator by extending the built-in AbstractValidator class and override the RuleFor method. This allows you to create validation rules that are specific to your application, and can be reused across multiple classes.

FluentValidation also provides a way to handle error messages in a centralized manner. It allows you to define error messages for each rule, and also provides localization support, allowing you to display error messages in multiple languages.

• • •

These tools are powerful and flexible, and they can be used in a wide range of scenarios, whether you’re building a small application or a large enterprise system. They can help you improve your development workflow, and make it easier to build applications that are more robust and reliable.

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