Visual Studio IDE - Good, but Heavy
February 29, 2020

Visual Studio IDE - Good, but Heavy

John Stuchly | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with Visual Studio IDE

We are using Visual Studio IDE for two primary purposes. One is application development and maintenance using primarily c#. The other is for data development, mainly using SQL Server Data Tools/extensions for SSAS, SSIS, and SSRS. This is beginning to shift somewhat on the application development as they are beginning to leverage the VS Code. On the data side, we are heavy users of Visual Studio IDE for SQL suite development and will continue to be so long as we leverage SSAS, SSIS, and SSRS.
  • Provides a single interface for developing across tools
  • Updates have become much easier as the SQL tools have moved to extensions.
  • The IDE install/update process has become more streamlined over the years..
  • Integration with Azure DevOps is now excellent and continues to improve.
  • Continuing instability with the IDE, which often results in uninstall/reinstall to remedy issues.
  • Still somewhat bloated even when slimming down the installed options
  • Overkill for some development (VS Code, the better choice for specific patterns)
  • Developers largely using a single tool simplifies understanding.
  • A subscription is relatively costly, so maybe cost-prohibitive for a small shop.
  • For larger shops, the subscriptions come with quite a few additional training services, free Azure time, etc.
While I am not a Java developer, I have used NetBeans in the past. I found the NetBeans interface to be more intuitive than the Visual Studio IDE. However, it was also more limited in scope. VS Code, on the other hand, is simplicity itself. It is excellent as just a text editor, but with the wide array of first and third-party add-ons, it is an excellent general development tool. We have begun using the Azure Data Studio offshoot for SQL data development. However, for a full-featured IDE that can do pretty much everything (this can also be a drawback), the Visual Studio IDE is excellent.
I have run into more than a few issues with Visual Studio IDE over the years. Largely, Microsoft has been very responsive to bugs. In the past few years, they have addressed and released bugfixes much more quickly than in the past. I asked this five years ago, my answer would probably have been around a six, rather than an eight.

There is also a vast developer community that often either has workarounds for issues or validates that the issue is not just your environment.

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Visual Studio IDE depends on what you're trying to do. Many modern development practices would garner better service from VS Code for Node.js, GraphQL, etc. However, if you are supporting legacy applications or leveraging the GUI capabilities, then Visual Studio IDE is a great IDE. For a data developer using the SQL Server suite, there is little choice. Databases can undoubtedly be developed outside the IDE, but Analysis Services, Reporting Services, and Integration Services are captive in Visual Studio. Fortunately, the interface is quite mature for these tools, and largely works well.