Introduction to ReSharper

Are you a Visual Studio user looking for the following -

  • Write better code
  • Examine and refactor existing codebases

If yes, then ReSharper is the tool you are looking for. It comes with an unparalleled support for C#, VB.NET, C++, XAML, JavaScript, TypeScript, JSON, XML, HTML, CSS, ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, Protobuf, NAnt, and MSBuild scripts, including comprehensive cross-language functionality.

With this, you can focus on the task at hand instead of doing normal, repetitive manual labor. It is a comprehensive tool for automatic error detection and code correction that reduces development time and boosts productivity.

With that basic introduction, let us quickly begin with the article on ReSharper.

Table of contents

  1. What is Resharper?
  2. Features of ReSharper
  3. Conclusion

What is ReSharper?

JetBrains ReSharper is a Visual Studio plug-in that brings in a lot of intuitive code navigation and editing tools that Visual Studio lacked previously. Despite being an established platform for over a decade and supporting a wide range of programming languages, Visual Studio still lacks several basic code navigation and editing features. This includes many features that are already present in IntelliJ IDEA (a Java development environment) for a long time.

Enter ReSharper, a refactoring tool. It comes with so many features that using them all together would be a challenge even for experienced developers. In fact, calling ReSharper a “refactoring” tool undersells its potential.

But since extent to which most of you rework the code base continues to increase, refactoring is the original and still the best feature of a tool like ReSharper. JetBrains has offered an exceptionally comprehensive set of features to drastically reduce code maintenance times.

Code Analysis, Navigation and Search, Code Assistance, Code Generation, Unit Testing, Internationalization, XAML Editing Tools, Cross-Language Functionality, and more are available through this tool.

The list of features is quite vast, and it keeps growing with each new version of the tool. In many situations, the tool will help you rewrite certain code blocks to increase performance, readability, or compliance with generally-recognized coding conventions, or all three.

Features of ReSharper

The following features of ReSharper 2021.3:

  • Code quality analysis: ReSharper shows you straight away if your code contains problems or can be improved with its design-time code inspection for all supported languages. You can also execute static code analysis( in any scope) to the complete solution, if necessary.
  • Fixes to detected code issues: ReSharper not only warns you when there’s an issue with your code but also offers auto-fixes to reduce errors and code smells.
  • Project dependency analysis: ReSharper creates project hierarchies and visualizes project dependency diagrams, which you can save and compare with new solution states at various stages without having to compile anything.
  • Type dependency analysis: ReSharper can easily evaluate and visualize different forms of relationships between types in your solution using a hierarchical view or a type dependency diagram.
  • Navigation and search: You can quickly go to any file, type, or member in your codebase, or move to a specific symbol’s usages, base, and derived symbols, or implementations.
  • Decompiling third-party code: You can go to code in referenced assemblies using an integrated decompiler. If an assembly isn’t referenced, you can open and browse it using the Assembly Explorer window, which has the same navigation options as the source code.
  • Code editing helpers: Extended IntelliSense, hundreds of fast code transformations, auto-importing namespaces, reordering code, and showing documentation are just a few of the code editing tools available.
  • Code generation: Use code generation activities to handle boilerplate code faster instead of writing properties, overloads, implementations, and comparers by hand.
  • Safe change of your codebase: To safely update your codebase, take advantage of solution-wide refactorings. You can rely on ReSharper, whether you need to invigorate legacy code or organize your project structure.
  • Compliance with coding standards: You may get rid of unneeded code and assure compliance with coding standards by using code formatting, name style assistance, and many more code style preferences that you can swiftly enforce using code cleanup.
  • Extensions: Full-featured plug-ins, sets of templates, structural search and replace patterns are easy to find, install, and update with ReSharper extensions.
  • Command-line tools: You can conduct code inspection, discover code duplicates, and clean up code in your CI server or with standalone command-line tools if you enjoy the way ReSharper inspects and cleans up your code.

Other features include extensible templates, regular expressions support, internationalization support, and a robust unit test runner. Language-specific capabilities include those for ASP.NET/ASP.NET MVC, XAML, JavaScript, TypeScript, and CSS, to name a few.

Conclusion

Visual Studio lags well behind ReSharper in terms of functionality, and this gap is widening. Every few months, a new version of ReSharper is published, whereas Visual Studio is updated every 2 to 3 years. Even then, Microsoft’s primary focus is on adding more macro-level application templates rather than coding and refactoring features (micro-level).

If you want to read more articles about ReSharper, take a look at our website for more publications: https://www.partech.nl/en/publications

Originally published at https://www.partech.nl.

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