Development tools - CodeRush and Refactor Pro

Oh dear, what a long time since my last blog - a hectic pre Christmas projects, a three week Christmas and another major software development in January have really had an effect.  Fortunately I'm getting back on track with new development and once I'm back from a holiday in the Caribbean I'm hoping to get some serious research into new technologies including the MVC framework from Microsoft and getting my CI Factory installations up to date.

As part of this new push, I looked into finally taking the plunge and buying either Resharper (from JetBrains) or CodeRush (from Developer Express) to enhance my Visual Studio development experience.  The decision wasn't easy, and wasn't affected by the fact that Oliver Sturm (who works for Developer Express) is a member of the London .NET user group in which I'm involved.

I'd heard pros and cons from fellow developers for both sets of tools, read the blogs and studied the respective product web sites.  Visual Studio 2008 support was definitely going to be an issue, as well as legacy support for Visual Studio 2003 (God help me, I still have to use it regularly).  I also wanted something that will run OK on my ageing 1.5Gb 1.6Mhz Centrino HP laptop.

In the end I went for CodeRush and Refactor Pro from Developer Express.  I know that had I already been a Resharper user, I would have missed the ability to quickly find usages of classes - but I've never had it so won't miss it; and this feature only works due to the code analysis which according to rumour, would most likely cripple my 1.6 Centrino laptop.

However, here are my top two show stoppers for Resharper;
  1. Resharper (as of January 2008) does not support Visual Studio 2008 fully (it has a free upgrade when the new version is completed which is a superb offer from Jetbrains)
  2. If I wanted Visual Studio 2003 and Visual Studio 2005 support I would have had to buy TWO licences.  CodeRush comes with a single licence for a developer for ALL versions of Visual Studio.
It was support for ALL versions of Visual Studio that mattered to me, and the single developer licence; it can cover my multi o/s laptop and desktop, as well as a Virtual PC image for Visual Studio 2003 / Windows XP to allow VS2003 development on a Vista base o/s.

My first experiences are fairly positive; creating some new data classes in Visual Studio 2003 was made much easier with the CodeRush templates handling converting private variables into Property get/set blocks.  Also, the ability to break arguments over multiple lines has greatly helped tidy up legacy code which I didn't write.  I nearly panicked that there was very little documentation on all the template short cuts within CodeRush, then I found how to display the CodeRush helper window (now docked with my Solution/Class explorer window) which provides 'next key' help for all the CodeRush short cuts.

Once I'm back from my holidays I expect to be really ramping up the Visual Studio 2008 development on my dual core Vista desktop, which should give me a much better CodeRush experience.  So expect a more detailed review to come towards the end of February.

UPDATE 30 Jan 2008 : Oops, point wasn't true, although the JetBrains web site didn't make this clear, so shame on them for not telling me clearly, and shame on me for not e-mailing JetBrains customer services.  I was still concerned about Resharper's CPU usage though.

Print | posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 10:06 AM

Comments on this post

# re: Development tools - CodeRush and Refactor Pro

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Actually you can use your ReSharper 3.0/3.1/4.0 license for ReSharper 2.0 (which supports VS2003), so you only need to buy a single license.

Left by Oleg Stepanov on Jan 29, 2008 6:59 PM

# re: Development tools - CodeRush and Refactor Pro

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Thanks for the tip - I've updated the post to reflect that fact.

And with JetBrains offering a free upgrade to current purchases to VS 2008 support that's VS 2003/2005/2008 for a single price. Top stuff.

Left by Liam Westley on Jan 29, 2008 9:40 PM

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