Jetbrains - resharper 2.5.1
One of the few tools that i've found i just simply can't live without is JetBrain's ReSharper for Visual Studio 2005.
Some of the features are just outright brilliant!
Let me list those that are, without a doubt, my favorites:
this one is active at all times and is shown on the right hand side of the code window by displaying a small bar with little red (errors) or orange (warnings) lines/indicators and a status indicator at the top which shows you straight away how many errors and warnings there is in the file. By simply clicking on any of the red/orange indicators in the bar you can navigate quite easily to the part of the code where the error/warning is. Especially handy in large files and if you work in a team (can see straight away what to amend when you're gotten the latest version out of VSS).
Auto-insertion of using directives
this feature lets you automatically insert those pesky using directives as you code, without having to navigate to the top of the file. A helpful notification appears at the top of your code with an option to add the directive by pressing ALT+ENTER. all this without leaving the code you're writing. Not only does it keep up to date with .Net framework directives but also with those you have added yourself. Excellent timesaver!
Another absolute MUST have in addition to the inbuilt refactoring features of VS2005. When you refactor with ReSharper, not only does it do the job for you, but as you press the command you also get a small pop-up window with a list of the parameters you want to include in the constructor. It also converts interfaces to abstract classes flawlessly and vice versa. Again, Excellent timesaver!
what application development process is sane and sound without some serious Unit testing? IMHO, none..it's as much part of the development process as breathing is part of living. ReSharper has by far the best third-party Unit testing features i've ever worked with. Plus coupled with dotTrace Profiler you can easily throw some performance benchmarking in with the lot. Invaluable!
Working on some serious coding? well helps at hand for sure! ReSharper's code generation helps tremendously by assisting you with some of the more tedious (and time consuming) jobs there is - such as remembering to implement ALL methods from your interfaces - ReSharper does that for you, and wraps them neatly inside a region so you can easily find them. Next it also comes in handy when you have to set up delegates - again it does this for you, you only have to ask.
Those features above are fantastic - and frankly, the last couple of weeks i've been without and i was starting to feel naked (you do NOT want to see that!) without it. I've now gotten my hands on version 2.5.1 (i was previously on an older version and again JetBrains beats any other add-in to the punch by far) and are feeling nicely clothed again.
You quickly realise how much you depended on having sound coding habits and work habits when you start using this tool - now you just have to rely on making your code sound, ReSharper does the thinking for you by taking away all the menial tasks and making you more productive.
Not only is it non-intrusive but compared to some other add-ins i've worked with, it's hardly a strain on my PC.
A tool i can seriously recommend! Well done JetBrains and thanks for bringing the fun back into crunching code!