4 Feb 2008 @ 08:08AM

Updated: 22 Jan 2010 @ 08:16AM
C# is a programming language developed by Microsoft and based off of the C++ language. It can be used to develop both stand-alone applications as well as web applications. This tutorial will focus on installing a free c# web development environment. If you're looking at building C# Windows form applications, this is the wrong tutorial, sorry.

Since we'll be focusing on C# in a web development sense, C# is roughly analogous to PHP. Familiarity with that language (or any C++ based language) will help. However, there are some very major differences between the two. Regardless of your familiarity with either, both are powerful web development languages and both have their own sets of benefits and drawbacks. When comparing the two it is impossible to say which one is "better". They're both good in their respective ways.

This tutorial will be focusing on the installation of a C# web development environment. We'll be installing Visual Web Developer Express 2008, a free version of Visual Studio 2008 geared specifically toward web development. If you're interested in building Windows applications there are other versions of the Express applications focused on that. We'll also be installing Microsoft SQL Server Express to function as a database backend to the web applications we'll be developing.
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Begin by downloading the two applications we're going to need.
Microsoft Visual Web Developer ExpressVisual Web Developer is your IDE (Integrated Development Environment). It includes all the tools needed to build, compile and debug our application. As noted, there are various versions available but we're interested in the Web Developer edition. In my case Visual Web Developer 2008 was the most recent version.
Microsoft SQL Server ExpressSQL Server Express is going to be our database backend to our C# website. When you go to download this application, be sure to get the version with the Advanced Services. This will give us a GUI frontend to our database and make managing that significantly easier. In my case I downloaded Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services.
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