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JetBrains ReSharper is a popular Microsoft Visual Studio extension for .NET developers. The software development tool can help developers increase productivity, minimize errors, maximize efficiency, and write cleaner code. Additionally, it makes Visual Studio a stronger overall integrated development environment (IDE).
While your code quality and enjoyment of Visual Studio can increase if you use JetBrains ReSharper, you should first ensure the developer tool is right for you before investing your time or money. With this guide, we will help you achieve that goal with deep dives into JetBrains ReSharper’s features, pricing, pros, and cons; we have also listed some of its top alternatives so you can make a more informed decision.
JetBrains ReSharper was initially released in 2004 to enhance the coding experience provided by Microsoft Visual Studio, a popular integrated development environment (IDE) for developing Windows applications. ReSharper’s initial primary goal was to help Visual Studio developers quickly spot potential problems, automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, and suggest improvements so they could write code that was cleaner and easier to maintain. The programming tool met these expectations via navigation, intelligent code analysis, and refactoring features. It has grown in popularity over the years, as it became known within the .NET community for saving developers time and increasing productivity.
Now, JetBrains ReSharper is one of the top Visual Studio productivity tools for .NET developers, and it has expanded its list of features to include code templates, code generation, code style enforcement, unit testing, and support for additional frameworks and programming languages. Not only does JetBrains ReSharper help Visual Studio users, but it also makes the IDE much better by extending its capabilities.
JetBrains ReSharper has several features that make it a popular Microsoft Visual Studio extension. Here are some of the highlights the developer tool offers:
If your code could use improvement, ReSharper will let you know how to make those improvements with suggestions from its library of over 1,200 quick fixes. These fixes repair the most common issues found in supported programming languages.
Moving on, ReSharper has a variety of code editing helpers for syntax highlighting, context actions, language injections, complete statements, parameter info, regular expression assistance, importing namespaces, delimiter auto-insertion, code reordering, etc. One of its most valuable helpers lets users quickly see the documentation for a particular method/function, class, or other symbol directly in the code editor by simply positioning the caret on a code symbol and pressing Ctrl+Shift+F1.
Code generation is another JetBrains ReSharper feature. The developer tool lets you generate different type members by simply pressing a couple of keys. You can also create constructors with a few keystrokes; create from usage; implement or override methods; configure code generation options; and generate delegating members, formatting members, equality members, and properties with ease.
ReSharper also has various types of code templates to save time — including live, surround, postfix, source, and file options — plus solution-wide code refactoring. The aforementioned context actions (there are over 450 of them) can save a ton of typing time when you need to implement small changes to your code.
The programming tool also saves time with its navigation and search features that let you go where you want to quickly. For example, users can jump to specific files, types, or members in the codebase.
ReSharper includes code formatting and cleanup capabilities to eliminate unused code and make you compliant with coding standards. It also offers a unit test runner to run and debug unit tests based on MSTest, Jasmine, QUnit, NUnit, and xUnit.net, plus debugging assistance offered via searchable Visual Studio DataTips and inline debugging adornments.
JetBrains has separate ReSharper pricing plans for organizations and individual use. The developer tool also has special offers. Universities, educational organizations, and startups can get JetBrains ReSharper at a 50% discount. If they qualify, open-source projects, students, and teachers can use ReSharper for free.
Here are JetBrains ReSharper’s pricing plans for individuals subscribed under the yearly billing option, which saves two months of costs compared to monthly billing:
The ReSharper plan offers Visual Studio extensions for C++ and .NET developers. The dotUltimate plan includes six tools: ReSharper, ReSharper C++, Rider, dotTrace, dotCover, and dotMemory. And the All Products Pack includes 16 tools: ReSharper, ReSharper C++, CLion, Code With Me, DataGrip, DataSpell, dotCover, dotMemory, dotTrace, GoLand, IntelliJ IDEA, PhpStorm, PyCharm, Rider, RubyMine, and WebStorm.
JetBrains ReSharper’s pricing plans for organizations are as follows:
As with the individual plans listed above, the ReSharper plan for organizations unlocks Visual Studio Extensions for C++ and .NET developers; the dotUltimate plan offers six tools, including ReSharper; and the All Products Pack comes with 16 tools in one subscription.
The main pros of JetBrains ReSharper include the following:
JetBrains ReSharper is a significant time saver. Its shortcuts make navigating through code a breeze. Its continuous code analysis quickly pinpoints problems and offers quick fixes to avoid bigger issues down the line. The programming tool minimizes the time needed to optimize code. And when you combine all of those pros, you get quicker overall development cycles.
Areas where JetBrains ReSharper could improve include the following:
Some users have reported that ReSharper can degrade Visual Studio’s performance and bring it to a crawl, even with smaller projects. ReSharper has been known to show nonexistent errors in some versions or suggest incorrect fixes. And depending on your budget, ReSharper may seem expensive.
While JetBrains ReSharper can make coding easier and save developers a ton of time, some alternatives may be a better fit if its cons, such as slowed performance and cost, are a concern.
Microsoft’s IntelliCode is an AI-powered extension for Visual Studio that offers intelligent suggestions. It may be an ideal ReSharper alternative for developers seeking coding assistance driven by AI. IntelliCode is free, and you can learn more about it here.
Roslynator is a Visual Studio tool that improves code quality via code analysis, code generation, and code refactoring features. It is the ideal JetBrains ReSharper alternative for developers seeking something free and lightweight. Learn more about Roslynator here.
CodeRush is an IDE productivity extension for Visual Studio that analyzes code and offers code navigation, refactoring, and generation features. It is a solid ReSharper alternative for developers that need something free, customizable, and speedy. Learn more about CodeRush here.
Now that you know what JetBrains ReSharper has to offer, how much it costs, and what its strengths and weaknesses are, it is time to decide whether or not the Visual Studio extension meets your software development needs. If ReSharper does not, know that the alternatives listed above are all highly-regarded and should suffice in helping you achieve higher code quality.