Windows Developer Power Tools
Turbocharge Windows development with more than 170 free and open source tools
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2006
Pages: 1312

Software developers need to work harder and harder to bring value to their development process in order to build high quality applications and remain competitive. Developers can accomplish this by improving their productivity, quickly solving problems, and writing better code.

A wealth of open source and free software tools are available for developers who want to improve the way they create, build, deploy, and use software. Tools, components, and frameworks exist to help developers at every point in the development process. Windows Developer Power Tools offers an encyclopedic guide to more than 170 of these free tools to help developers build top-notch Windows software from desktop applications to web services.

To help you choose the right tools for solving both common and uncommon problems you face each day, this book follows a unique task-oriented organization, laying out topics in the same order that you and your team are likely to encounter them as you work on a project. Each tool entry features a solid introduction -- a mini user's guide -- so you can get up to speed quickly and understand how to best use the tool in your environment. Inside, you'll find:

  • A guide to more than 170 tools covering 24 unique aspects of Windows and .NET software development, with many descriptions contributed by the tools' authors
  • Descriptions of freely available ASP.NET and Windows Forms controls, object relational mapping systems, testing frameworks, and build and continuous integration tools
  • Articles on tools to help developers troubleshoot misbehaving applications
  • Guides for utilities to boost productivity in the development environment as well as speeding up tasks in Windows itself
  • "Quick pick" lists at the start of each chapter to help you find and choose the right tool for your task
  • "At a Glance" and "In a Nutshell" summaries to help readers more quickly narrow their options
  • References to an online book site to keep you up-to-date with new releases and features
  • Forewords by Mike Gunderloy (Larkware) and Scott Hanselman (, operators of the two most popular tools sites for Microsoft developers.

Also, plenty of links in each article point you to additional detail online if you wish to delve more deeply into features and functionality. This one-stop resource covers a wide range of open source and freeware tools to help you answer questions around planning, developing, testing, and rolling out great software. Best of all, they're free.

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About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews


by PowerReviews
oreillyWindows Developer Power Tools

(based on 5 reviews)

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Reviewed by 5 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


A Must have Book

By vasudev

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows Developer Power Tools:

When you a have a first look at the book, the first question that comes to mind is why a book exclusively on Developer Tools? And that too a book of more than 1000 pages dedicated to developer tools?

But once you check the contents, its amazing. It has covered every aspect right from writing the code , Checking the code, Troubleshooting and debugging, security aspects , database. It must have been such an exhaustive effort to have put together such a wide variety of tools related to such a wide variety of topics.

Its like an Encyclopedia, a must have for everyone, whether one is a freelance programmer or a developer.

And each tool has been handled perfectly.It starts with 'at a glance table' with all the references, then comes the 'getting started' and then 'using the tool' which is explained nicely with figures and examples and ends with 'getting support' and 'more information' section.

So with such an explanation, anybody who is not yet familiar with a tool will find it very easy to understand and implementing it.

So if one starts using such power tools along with the main software, it'll surely make a difference and make project development for developers more easier and better.

One will be amazed to see vast areas covered, be it online communities building or Dot net nuke or topics like web development enhancement, and in the end miscellaneous chapter includes very interesting tools for boosting productivity with Windows utilities.

Its a must have book, a encyclopedic guide. A lot of effort has been put into by James and Jim to make others life easier by utilising such useful tools.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Windows Developer Power Tools

By Frederick J Eccher Jr

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows Developer Power Tools:

Title: Windows Developer Power Tools

Subtitle: Turbocharge Windows development with more than 170 free and open source tools

First Edition: December 2006

ISBN 10: 0-596-52754-3

ISBN 13: 9780596527549

Pages: 1308

By James Avery, Jim Holmes


"This book offers an encyclopedic guide to more than 170 free and open source programming tools for those of you who want to extend your development environment, write higher quality software, and increase productivity. Each article includes a concise guide to implementing the tool -- you'll be able to get up to speed quickly and use the tools to solve problems you face every day in your software development." Quoted from the URL

I generally agree with the book description. Each article is pretty concise and the book is a fast read. Even skimming the table of contents to find one or two tools to use is very easy.

The book starts with a forward, then credits, then a preface before 23 chapters, an appendix and an index. There were 60 contributors including the author according to the credits. The preface states there are 170 tools in this edition. There were no errors that I found. There was no errata submitted to the website on 8 April 2007.

The book is balanced and starts with chapters about ASP and Forms. They are both extremely well written and have very useful tools.

This book is light reading. I read it in a month, just a couple of hours a day. The style is light and easy to enjoy. The flow of the style makes it hard to believe that so many authors are involved in the writing. It seems like one person wrote it. I really liked each subsection being 10 pages or less. It was much easier to consume each tool without having to read 20 or 30 pages about it. I think that readers will find a more successful experience when they only have to read 10 pages or less, download the tool, and play with it before putting it into practice.

I thought [and hoped] there would be more tools in:

Chapter 17 Tightening up your security. 5 tools might mean there is not enough information on security tools out there or programmers are keeping the best security tools secret and well... secure.

17.6 For more information refers to design patterns and other issues not directly affecting security specifically, but simplifying code in general will help security.

I liked the following chapters quite a bit:

Chapter 15 Troubleshooting and Debugging

Chapter 20 Interacting with Databases

Chapter 21 Exploring Object/Relational Mapping

The best chapters were hard to determine, all the chapters were excellent. Here are two that I thought were best:

Chapter 22 Enhancing Web Develpment

Chapter 23 Boosting Productivity with Windows Utilities

Chapter 23 was the very best in the book, in my opinion.

This book is worth 5 stars and every penny charged for it, taking everything into account. This book will pay for itself over and over.

I also liked the sources of the tools: many of the people in the credits are heavy hitters with lots of quality talent and time in writing software. I know Brian Button but did not know he had a contribution until one of our user groups mentioned it at a meeting. Good job Brian.

Well done.


Frederick J Eccher Jr


M.S. Management of Information Systems

A.B. Psychology

B.A. Biology

CIO, Community Partners

President, Board of Directors, Saint Louis Visual Basic Users Group

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Saving Time & Headaches...

By Prometheus

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows Developer Power Tools:

James Avery & Jim Holmes created an outstanding, easy to read, yet encyclopedic reference manual for time constrained .Net developers. The manual identifies a myriad of time-saving tools which developers can use to create and/or enhance web-based applications deploying .NET technology. It especially excels in presenting tools' code-examples while highlighting tips, tricks, must dos, and "gotchas" that can assist or derail the completion of most applications. Personally speaking, as a developer who doesn't have time to thoroughly research such topics in my trade, I appreciated the breadth and clarity of coverage for those presented tools.

This manual is useful for novice and guru developers, alike. This is a must read for all developers who want to save time and effort while striving to develop robust applications. It should be included in the library of reference materials that is maintained by all seasoned & serious developers.

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


You could spend your time looking...but why?

By Brian Sherwin

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows Developer Power Tools:

James has done it again. First it was Visual Studio Hacks--now Windows Developer Power Tools. This time he added Jim Holmes to help him deliver the "encyclopedia" of tools to get the development job done.

You could spend a lot of time tracking down these applications and then learning how to use them, but why? These guys have found the best of the best in open source tools to get the job done. OK, there are some tools that you can buy (like ReSharper, CodeSmith, etc.) but James puts it best--"With free tools, I can make sure everyone on my team can get a copy without breaking the bank." (not verbatim since I don't have the book in front of me)

Stop reading the reviews and just go buy it.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Absolutely a Must Have (but read it quickly as it will date soon)

By Damon W. Carr, CTO agilefactor

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows Developer Power Tools:

A fantastic work. I would get is ASAP and consume it, because by the very nature of the tools they speak of, a lot might be outdated within a year or even less.

By any measure if you are not aware of even one of these tools and it can save you more then the price of the book (if you do not find this then I will buy you dinner), what do you have to lose?


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