What is the minimum software list that one should be looking at for learning C#, ASP.NET, WinForms.

I do have a system which has Windows 2003 installed in it.

I am looking at something like WAMP for C#.NET development. Do we have a listing? Something along the following lines

  1. Visual Studio 2010 Express Edition
  2. IIS
  3. My SQL (anything specific to C#.NET or should it definitely be SQL Server 2005/2008 Express Edition)
  4. LINQPad
  5. Anything else?

Visual Studio 2010 goes with everything what you need.

  • What about the database? – Kanini Apr 8 '11 at 17:12
  • 1
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 – Sergey Apr 8 '11 at 17:20

Visual Studio Professional will take care of everything, but looks like you are interested in the Express (free) editions. So you will want:

Windows Server 2003 (which is what you have indicated you have) has IIS and can easily be installed by adding Windows Components. But for development purposes, Web Developer Express will work without it.

Also, Microsoft LightSwitch is something else you might want to check out.


This is to answer your "anything else" part of your question:

A word of caution if you are beginning to learn this stuff: The Windows platform while live and well is becoming less glamorous in Windows 8. If you want to develop Windows application you should consider the new technology (Metro) that is supported in VS2011 (in Beta now) VS2011 Express First Looks. There are 2 other technologies that come with VS2010, namely: Silverlight and WPF for desktop (could be chosen over Windows Forms). Silverlight may be choosen over WPF for some applications. I suggest you don't invest too much time learning Windows Forms details unless you have to. Also, I suggest you focus on either Desktop or Web.


I'd add whatever flavor of TOAD for database devleopment as well. I know you'll be focusing on the code, but you can get more functionality with TOAD, as opposed to the server browser. Plus it helps to have a seperate tool to look at the data with while you're working through your code.

TOAD has freeware versions of all their database tools.


Go here and let the Web Platform Installer figure it out for you :)


Note that you will need SP2 on Windows 2003 to run VS2010, I'm not sure if the installer will pick this up so best to ensure it is on there first.

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