One of the big questions I get is what tools do I use to develop my projects.
I guess I could go through a whole list of tools that I have used since I started developing software and websites so many years ago. Instead I am going to go over the Tools that I have used over the past 12 months worth of projects.
Website Development Tools:
Expression Web 4
First let me start with a standby that I use all of the time to develop quick websites and to maintain older websites that are still very active.
Expression Web 4 is no longer supported but is still available for free at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/expression
Besides being an excellent HTML editor it also uses the FrontPage extensions to access older websites that still use the FrontPage extensions for website management. You can also use it on your local file system or local IIS webserver.
Expression Web 4 has many features that make it a worth while website development tool to keep around and use.
Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web
You can download VS Express 2013 for Web for free at http://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/download-visual-studio-vs
I am using this more and more on my newer website projects with one major exception in regards to the websites that use the FrontPage extensions. The reason for this is, this latest version of VS Express 2013 for Web does not support using the FrontPage extensions. The previous version (VS Express 2012 for Web) is the last version which supported the FrontPage extensions.
VS Express 2013 for Web is a very good website development tool using a very good WYSIWYG editor for websites using FTP access, Local File System and Local IIS.
Another tool that I have used is WebMatrix which is free at http://www.microsoft.com/web/webmatrix/
I have only used this on 2 projects that I put together and then handed over the "keys" to the clients to maintain themselves when completed.
It is an easy tool to Create, Publish and Maintain one or more websites. Quick for the beginner to learn and use.
Windows 8 Development
Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows
Another Visual Studio Express 2013 tool available free at http://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/download-visual-studio-vs
In Microsoft's words "Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows provides the core tools that are required to build compelling, innovative Windows Store apps."
You can create Windows Store apps using the following development languages:
C# (C Sharp)
This is very flexible and a good tool to learn programming on.
You can download ready made samples to explore at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsapps/Windows-8-Modern-Style-App-Samples
Windows Phone Development
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone
You can download this Free tool at http://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/download-visual-studio-vs
This is the tool that I use all of the time which you can use to create Windows Phone app for Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8.
It uses the same programming languages as VS Exress 2013 for Windows and includes a built in emulator that is invaluable especially if you do not already have a Windows Phone. I actually developed and published my first 3 Windows Phone apps without owning a Windows Phone (not recommended).
Just like the Windows 8 development you can download ready made samples at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/wpapps/
I know this is a quick rundown of what I use for all of my project developement. I would recommend that you download them and try them out. All of these are Free and good tools to learn with.
In a future article I will give resouces that I used to learn how to use most of these tools, but don't let that delay your downloading and trying out these tools for yourself.
If you use other tools for your develpement please share them with everyone.
Have Fun using these tools and let me know what you develope with them.