“.NET simply has no other choice; it has to go cross-platform,” he said. “Otherwise it’s simply not a good alternative front-end development environment to HTML5, and will suffer the doom of being only a server-side programming language.”

What developers need to know about Visual Studio development tools
Given the impending release of Visual Studio 2015, Milanov had some advice for developers. When choosing Visual Studio tools, regardless of platform, he said Visual Studio developers should keep an eye on cross-platform ability and mobile development in both .NET and C#.

“I would advise developers to learn .NET because this is the primary development tool you can utilize in Visual Studio; Visual Studio is indeed a great tool for .NET development,” Milanov said. “Learn .NET, but have an eye open for what .NET is really about, which is being able to run your code on any device. It’s a virtual machine and it’s bare bones, so developers should pay attention to what dependencies they use by using different Microsoft or third-party components.”

A guide to tools for Visual Studio
Aspose: Aspose.Total for .NET
includes every .NET component Aspose offers. Using Aspose.Total for .NET, developers can build applications that take advantage of popular business formats such as Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, Visio diagrams, Project files, and Adobe PDF documents. It also includes OCR, barcode and image manipulation tools.

Borland: Borland AccuRev is a software configuration-management tool that addresses complex parallel and distributed development environments to accelerate the development process and improve asset reuse. At its core, AccuRev provides all the functionality of an enterprise version with advanced capabilities enabling workflow and process modeling, and change-based traceability. Borland Silk4NET, a Silk Test plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio, is a solution for regression, cross-browser, cross-platform and localization testing, including complex test cases and short testing cycles. It works across AJAX and Web 2.0, Java and .NET, and client/server, terminal host, or SAP systems.

ComponentOne, a division of GrapeCity: ComponentOne Studio Enterprise is a suite of data and UI controls for Microsoft Visual Studio. The most recent release focuses on optimizing performance, enriching data analysis and delivering the latest Web technology to software developers and architects. With controls ranging from UI to complex data visualization and platforms including Windows Forms, ASP.NET, WPF, HTML5, and WinRT, Studio Enterprise provides developers everything needed to build modern touch-enabled apps as well as maintain and update legacy applications.

DevExpress: DevExpress Universal 14.2 is a comprehensive suite of UI controls, libraries and application frameworks for Visual Studio. With DevExpress technologies, developers can create exceptional user experiences and deliver high-impact, high-performance solutions for Windows Forms, WPF, ASP.NET, HTML5 and Windows 8 using existing skill sets and technology investments. The latest release includes enterprise-ready capabilities designed to help build next-generation experiences ranging from Office-inspired desktop and Web applications to touch-enabled mobile solutions.

Dundas: Dundas Dashboard is a Web-based platform for rapidly developing custom, interactive dashboards. It acts as a central BI portal allowing users to visualize and analyze data from across the organization. Dundas Dashboard 5.0 supports Big Data sources and includes several enhancements, such as advanced usage tracking, an interactive HTML5 mobile interface, and support for Map/Reduce technologies.

IncrediBuild: IncrediBuild accelerates build, compilation and development tools, shortening development time and speeding up product delivery. IncrediBuild utilizes already existing cloud or network cores, harnessing idle CPUs to parallelize tasks. IncrediBuild 6.0 supports Visual Studio 2015 Preview, accelerating Android, C# and C++ builds. IncrediBuild’s FreeDev version accelerates up to eight cores on local machines at no cost.