Am about to start coding using microsoft .Net technologies, am just worried about the license, so if I compile my code using the .Net compiler "not visual studio" can I distribute, sell or use my product freely or I should have some sort of "microsoft license", same thing for sql server express installed(depolye) with my application

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    Visual Studio uses csc.exe behind the scenes, so compiling using the command line and compiling using Visual Studio are exactly the same. Aug 29, 2012 at 16:27
  • yes but the csc.exe comes with .Net's not the visual studio Aug 29, 2012 at 16:29

2 Answers 2


You don't need Visual Studio to create distributable applications. It's perfectly legal to get the SDK, use Notepad to create your application, compile it with the command line compiler (csc.exe for C#), and sell or distribute the resulting program to anyone.

You pay for Visual Studio to get the additional features that Visual Studio provides.


You can even distribute commercial applications with their FREE Visual Studio Express products. There are no commercial restrictions in regards to the .NET framework. The only thing you cannot do is publish performance metrics of the .NET framework itself without Microsoft's permission.

Microsoft wants you to use their products to produce commercial software. They don't want their to be anything in the way of that. IF you like Visual Studio download the Express version.

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