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Decoding the IDE Dilemma: Navigating Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code

by Rajni
Visual Studio VS Visual Studio Code
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Choosing the right Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is crucial when it comes to software development, and it can often feel like solving a complex puzzle. The two IDEs that are used most areVisual Studio” and “Visual Studio Code.” The choice between the two can affect a developer’s productivity and code quality. Despite their similar names and shared developer-friendly environments, they are distinct tools and differ on various grounds. In this article, we will learn the difference between the two so as to help you make an informed decision between Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code.

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Understanding the Basics

Before we jump to the comparison between the two, let’s first have a brief idea about what these two are:

Visual Studio: Visual Studio, developed by Microsoft, is a full-fledged Integrated Development Environment. It offers comprehensive tools and features for various programming languages, primarily focusing on .NET languages like C# and VB.NET. It provides a rich set of functionalities, including debugging, code navigation, project management, and integrated version control. 

Visual Studio Code: Visual Studio Code, often abbreviated as VS Code, is a lightweight, open-source code editor developed by Microsoft. Unlike its sibling Visual Studio, it’s not an IDE but rather a code editor that supports a wide range of programming languages. It offers a customizable interface, an extension ecosystem, and an emphasis on a streamlined coding experience.

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Difference Between Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code

Difference Visual Studio & Visual Studio Code
Feature Visual Studio Visual Studio Code
Platform Windows, macOS, Linux Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS
Programming Language Supported .NET, C#, C++, Python, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Go, etc JavaScript, TypeScript, NodeJS, Python, Go, PHP, C++, C#, etc
Features Code editor, debugger, compiler, profiler, unit testing, source control integration etc Code editor, debugger, linting, code formatting, extensions, version control integration
Users Professional developers who need a full-featured IDE Developers who want a simple and customizable code editor
Project Types Visual Studio excels when it comes to creating complex applications like desktop software, web applications with intricate backend logic, and enterprise-level solutions VS Code is more suited for lightweight projects, scripting, web development, and front-end work. Its simplicity and quick startup make it a favorite for small to medium-sized projects
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Visual Studio Code is free to use and hence mostly preferred by freelance developers and small enterprises. 

On the other hand, Visual Studio IDE has 6 different plans: 

  • Visual Studio Professional (Monthly) at $45.00 per month. 
  • Visual Studio Enterprise (Monthly) at $250.00 per month. 
  • Visual Studio Professional 2019 standalone license at $499.00. 
  • Visual Studio Professional (Standard) at $1999.00 per year. 
  • Visual Studio Test Professional (Standard subscriptions for testers and IT Professionals) at $2169.00 per year. 
  • Visual Studio Enterprise (Standard) at $5999.00 per year. 
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Choosing Between Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code

Choosing between the two might be a tricky task, nonetheless, decide what’s most suitable according to your requirements.

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Visual Studio As A Choice

It has a lot of features, and the developers won’t need further extensions or plugins. 

Used for complex projects requiring debugging and testing capabilities.

Useful while using Microsoft Ecosystem, such as Azure for seamless integration.

For enterprise development in terms of collaboration and project management tools.

While working on languages like C# and need support system.

Visual Studio Code As A Choice:

Lightweight and fast editor that doesn’t burden the system. 

While working on multiple programming languages, this IDE is best choice as it is versatile editor.

When you are into web development like JavaScript and other technologies.

You want to customize your development environment with extensions.

You work on different operating systems.

You want a free and community-driven tool.

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The choice between Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code depends on the complexity of your projects, the languages you work with, and your preferred coding experience. Visual Studio offers features for larger and more complex projects, especially those in the .NET ecosystem. It charges developers and enterprises both. On the other hand, Visual Studio Code is a versatile code editor, ideal for smaller projects, web development, and multilingual programming. It is free to use. There are various aspects like pricing, features, requirements of projects, and complexity of projects that should be kept in mind while choosing between the two. Regardless of your choice, Microsoft’s development tools ensure that you have a powerful coding environment. 

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