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Microsoft Visual Studio OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Microsoft Visual Studio is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top .NET Development Services. It is most often compared to SharePoint Designer: Microsoft Visual Studio vs SharePoint Designer

What is Microsoft Visual Studio?
Visual Studio.NET is the umbrella that represents the key pieces of the .NET platform delivered from Microsoft, including the .NET Framework, the recently announced .NET Core, and a shared common layer of packages, compilers and runtime. Read this .NET blog post about the evolution of the platform and the different pieces that make .NET 2015.

Microsoft Visual Studio is also known as MS Visual Studio.

Microsoft Visual Studio Buyer's Guide

Download the Microsoft Visual Studio Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Microsoft Visual Studio Customers
Knab, Hamburg Port Authority, Kecioren Municipality, National Instruments, Hamburg Port Authority, Government of Odisha, Kongsberg Maritime AS
Microsoft Visual Studio Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Microsoft Visual Studio pricing:
  • "There's a community edition that is absolutely free to use. It's pretty good."
  • "Our purchasing department pays a fair price for it."
  • "The introduction of the Community Version allows some people to use it free of charge."

Microsoft Visual Studio Reviews

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HH
Senior Software Engineer at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Great integrated debugger, offers lots of features, and is extremely stable

Pros and Cons

  • "While you're coding, it's really nice to be able to print stuff out and make sure that all the data is being organized the way you want it to be."
  • "Technical support needs to be improved. Right now, it's not great."

What is our primary use case?

Right now I'm primarily using the solution for C-Sharp development.

I've actually been using the solution on iOS to do Xamarin apps. That might be something that's quite atypical, in terms of using the solution. It's not easy to do.

What is most valuable?

Having also done development within a text, I really enjoyed the (what I believe is called) IntelliSense feature. It helps if you are doing development within a text browser.

The integrated debugger is fantastic. 

None of these are particularly new features. Everybody else has been using it for 20 years too.

I find it funny that a lot of people complain about the solution. However, I find that it provides users with so many great and useful features, like console output, for example. You always have the option to dump a whole bunch of items out if you don't need them in the production.

While you're coding, it's really nice to be able to print stuff out and make sure that all the data is being organized the way you want it to be. 

It's got a lot of tools integrated into it. 

There's a community edition that is absolutely free to use. It's pretty good.

What needs improvement?

If you use the professional edition, you can do unit testing much easier. You can do mock-ups and tasks of that nature. It would be nice if they made that available on the community edition as well. 

There needs to be a feature upgrade, especially for the free features. They might have done so in the past or over the last few years. Still, it would be nice it if happened more often.

During some research into the product, I've discovered that they are trying to apply AI, as well as machine learning. This would be a welcome edition. They will most likely be advanced features. That means they won't be free. However, maybe in the future, they will be, given that enough time passes.

Technical support needs to be improved. Right now, it's not great.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for a long time. I would estimate I've used it on and off for 20 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is actually really stable. It's been around for so long. It's not like Microsoft Office products where a few years ago they decided to go redesign everything, and then the file formats were no longer compatible. In that case, users were confused as to which excel format to save in. This solution has been the same for 20 or so years. The format is the same. It hasn't changed. It remains very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I can't really comment on that aspect of the solution. I work on small projects, so I've never used it on any kind of scale.

There are about 20 people who use it in our organization. They're either software developers or software testers.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't actually used their formal tech support, but have tried using their Microsoft answers. A lot of them are out of date. They're terrible. The support is basically: "Well, we can't reproduce that."

They don't even seem to do a search for themselves on Stack Overflow. You basically Google search to see if somebody else has answered the question. I would say that of course, it is free, so you get what you pay for and therefore the bar should be low on expectations. Still, it can be frustrating.

I have considered that maybe they have some poor interns trying to answer these questions, and they certainly don't seem too interested in providing the type of detailed responses a user might require. That's just what my impression is from trying to find answers occasionally. 

The nice thing about their model is if somebody asks a question, people will answer it. Then everyone can vote on the answer as the solution, and people can follow up. 

On Microsoft, if you go to their forums or help section for the product, you'll see the question is five years old. Nobody will ever say whether the answer they gave was the solution helped. So users often get confused. You need to ask yourself: "Do I spend half an hour deploying this? Or do I keep Googling?" It's awful.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is really easy. You just download it and start it up.

I don't think my company uses much of an implementation strategy. There aren't as many protocols or structures. If we need it, we just download it and begin using it. 

I would say the only downside with this setup is that although it's usually pretty clear what libraries you want to include, it is slow to download. You do have to set aside a time when you can start the download. It's best to go off and do something on your own. You'd hate to do it at work, as you'll have to wait and you'll have nothing else to do. It's going to take half an hour to download at least.

Maintenance requirements are extremely low. There's next to none, really. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution has a community version, which is free. It also has a paid version, with a few more premium features, but the free version is still really useful.

What other advice do I have?

I believe I am using the 2015 version of the solution. It's the default for C-Sharp programs at the very least. Depending on what programs we get in, we can often use it extensively. I don't have plans to expand the solution right now. There are other solutions that would be available to us. 

For example, if we're going to do Python development, we'll probably use PyCharm instead of Visual Studio. Visual Studio does support Python, but PyCharm was in there before and everybody knows it. So we don't really force people to use it. Our company is a small company, where developers can choose their own development avenues.

In terms of advice, I would give to other users, I would suggest following a tutorial at first if you've never used it. They actually have some good tutorials online. If you actually follow them line by line, you get the setup and training that you need. Their help answers to random user questions are terrible, however.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten, mostly due to the fact that it's got a lot of features. If you want to do development, it makes it easy. I know, on the other hand, that there are some other really amazing tools out there. However, they aren't necessarily free. It's a good selling point: you get all this stuff for free, it's standard, and lots of people use it. Once you've learned it, it's quite useful.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ZL
R&D Director at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
A total solution in a single interface that makes for a convenient development tool

Pros and Cons

  • "It is convenient to have all the development tools in one interface."
  • "The interface is slow to start up."

What is our primary use case?

We use it mostly for build management.  

What is most valuable?

Visual Studios is a business solution developed by Microsoft. In general, I like it because it integrates many tools into one interface to provide a total solution. I think it is convenient to have everything in one interface.  

What needs improvement?

I think that because it integrates many tools into one interface the startup is very slow. It would be nice if the startup speed could be improved. Maybe in the future, they can provide a better, lighter interface or something based in the cloud. It would be on Azure, for example, or other cloud providers. But I do not think Microsoft will have native support with AWS.  

We have not only purchased the Visual Studio, but we also subscribed to MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network). I like that this way we can always have the latest updates. All the products from Microsoft always have the most up-to-date functionality.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Visual Studio for 15 years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is amazing sometimes that Visual Studio will pop up a message reminding me about the performance. Sometimes it will tell me how much time it is spending on certain tasks. Microsoft suggested I disable this feature, but I cannot disable it, so I have to let it post the reminders and alerts.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

What I want to have is more scalability. If Microsoft can provide more possibilities for scalability that would be better for me. Sometimes I do not need it, but sometimes I think I need it. I want it to be easy to configure and easy to add our demos.  

Hundreds of users are using this product within our company.  

How are customer service and technical support?

With technical support, we have the benefit of raising a ticket if we get stuck on something in progress. We can create a ticket with Microsoft with specific questions or problems to get their help in working through any technical issues. They are pretty good with their response.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

When I came to work in this company, the company had already decided to use this tool. So I have to use this tool for development when working here because it is what was available for development.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The company buys and pays for the product. I think our purchasing department gets a fair price for it. But the actual price is something I do not have any idea of.  

What other advice do I have?

I think how the product gets used and how it fits your use case depends on different user scenarios in the development environment. I cannot say which tool is better for someone in their circumstances. If someone wants to use the open-source to get free development resources, I think that is also an okay solution, but they may need to spend more time on making anything integrated with other OSS (Open Source Software) or OTS (Off-The-Shelf Software) software.  

I would recommend this product, but it depends on the user's scenario and the user environment. I cannot easily say if another user can easily accommodate Microsoft Visual Studio or not.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate Visual Studio as a seven or eight-out-of-ten.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Visual Studio. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
540,694 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Siddarth Nair
RPA Developer at a outsourcing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
A stable and complete package for .NET software development

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that it is a complete package, with an IDE and everything that you need for software development."
  • "There are some features that I have yet to explore and it would be helpful to have more information about what is available and how it works."

What is our primary use case?

We are using Visual Studio for .NET software development.

One application that we are developing is for the service industry in Ireland. We are trying some PoCs for developing APIs and Web Interfaces using ASP.NET CORE. Once we demonstrate it, we will be developing a full-fledged solution.

Other teams in our organization are currently developing other projects, some of which are going into production in about a month.

How has it helped my organization?

This is an IDE for software development using .NET, and there are not many tools like it available. Anything we need to do, development-wise, we use this tool.

What is most valuable?

Its hard to point the most valuable feature as I see this IDE as a complete package for developers to build software solutions. Live Share, code refactoring, IntelliCode, the debug and diagnosis tooling are all valuable.

What needs improvement?

There are some features that I have yet to explore and it would be helpful to have more information about what is available and how it works.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visual Studio for eight years and still using it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We use this product on a daily basis and the stability is great. It does depend on the environment and how it is set up, but that is for the developers to learn. We have not had any downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution. At this time, we have five or six developers who are using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have been in contact with Microsoft's technical support, but not much. When I have issues, I use the community forum. I have found that they respond quickly and I can resolve the problem.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I started learning .NET using Visual Studio and still using. As far as developing .NET solutions are concerned, Visual Studio is all that is needed. I did use Eclipse and Netbeans long back to develop Java solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

The Azure deployment is very quick, although we are still following the old method. It is still quick to publish and deploy, taking about five minutes for the on-premises version.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not the right person to advise on the pricing and the cost aspect as I just develop solutions using the tool. Although I am not directly involved in pricing, I have heard positive comments about the licensing fees. When our subscription expires, the finance department takes care of it.

The most basic edition of Visual Studio, the Community edition, is available free of charge which is oriented towards students, individual developers and small teams.

What other advice do I have?

This tool is widely used in the software industry. The most recent version, 2019, has a lot of new functionality, some of which I still have to explore. Visual Studio is a developer friendly tool.

My advice for anybody who is considering using Visual Studio is that it is a complete package that contains everything you need for .NET code development.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
FX
Programmer Specialist II at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Great code management feature; improved stability has increased reliability for us

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution to develop web applications. I'm a programmer specialist II and we're customers of Visual Studio. 

What is most valuable?

I think the code management is the most convenient and valuable new feature. Deployment of the solution is also a very smooth process.

What needs improvement?

I think the file installations could be improved because they're very heavy and I'd like to see the solution support Python for developing purposes. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the previous versions, the product wasn't so stable, but in this latest 2019 version they have fixed the issue and it's now a stable solution. 

What do I

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution to develop web applications. I'm a programmer specialist II and we're customers of Visual Studio. 

What is most valuable?

I think the code management is the most convenient and valuable new feature. Deployment of the solution is also a very smooth process.

What needs improvement?

I think the file installations could be improved because they're very heavy and I'd like to see the solution support Python for developing purposes. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the previous versions, the product wasn't so stable, but in this latest 2019 version they have fixed the issue and it's now a stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good in this solution. We have about five developers in the company using it on a regular basis. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm very satisfied with the support. 

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to install, the only issue being that it takes up a lot of memory. We had two people involved with the deployment and implementation took a few days. We didn't use any consultants, we just followed the documentation.

What other advice do I have?

This is a simple product to use and the best advice I can give is to follow the documentation. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.