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JetBrains Releases Rider, an IDE for .NET Development

A new alternative to Visual Studio for developing .NET applications, called Rider, was released to manufacturing by JetBrains.

The Rider IDE uses the company's IntelliJ IDEA for a shell and incorporates its ReSharper Visual Studio Extension technology for various automated productivity tasks.

Cross-platform functionality lets developers target Windows, Mac and Linux with many of Visual Studio's project types, including ASP.NET, .NET Core, .NET Framework, Xamarin and Unity applications. Further matching up with Visual Studio, those project can be written with C#, VB.NET, F#, ASP.NET (Razor), JavaScript, TypeScript, XAML, HTML, CSS, SCSS, LESS, JSON and SQL.

While positioned by industry watchers as an alternative to Visual Studio, Microsoft and JetBrains have cooperated on the project. In May, for example, the Microsoft DevOps team announced that the Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) IntelliJ plugin was included with JetBrains Rider IDE releases, stemming from a partnership between the companies.

One reason Rider might be an attractive alternative to Visual Studio is the price: Commercial licenses for "Rider + ReSharper Ultimate" are $449 for the first year ($349 for just Rider), while Visual Studio 2017 costs $539 per year for the Professional edition and $2,999 per year for Enterprise.

Also, as Visual Studio is offered for free in its Community editions, Rider is free for certain user groups, including Microsoft MVPs and ASP.NET Insiders, students and teachers. Non-commercial open source projects can also be developed for free through the JetBrains open source support program.

"Rider is a combination of several JetBrains technologies: it puts ReSharper's powerful .NET support in the shell of IntelliJ IDEA, and includes WebStorm (front-end development) and DataGrip (SQL and database management) functionality out of the box," JetBrains said in a blog post last week. "If you have experience using ReSharper in Visual Studio, or any of JetBrains IDEs, we hope you will feel right at home with Rider.

"Rider's feature set includes 2,000+ live code inspections across the supported languages, 500+ refactorings, a variety of code base navigation helpers, a unit test runner, debugger, rich coding assistance, and a lot more advanced IDE features."

Along with a planned bug-fix release later this year, another 2017.2 major release is scheduled for the fall, addressing functionality such as support for MSTest and .NET Core 2.0, as well as a companion SDK.

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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