Welcome to this comparison of Visual Studio 2005 and Dreamweaver 8.

Here you have the opportunity to compare features of these products aimed at professional developers. However, Dreamweaver 8 also serves as a tool for professional designers. If you or anyone on your team is a designer, please also explore the designer features of Expression Web Designer.

Comparison area Watch the video Download the video Read the transcript Specific features compared

Document Windows & Panels

(33 MB)

  • Start Page
  • Split View and Split Screen
  • Modifying workspace layout using panels and panel groups
  • Saving the workspace layout
  • Built-in layouts
  • Using multiple monitors during development

Code Editors

(25.3 MB)

  • Code Hints / Intellisense
  • Selecting and collapsing regions of code
  • Inserting server controls into code
  • Modifying properties of controls
  • Code Snippets
  • Compiling server-side code

Components & Toolbox

(15.8 MB)

  • Resolving name conflicts between controls
  • Adding a control to the Tag Chooser / Toolbox
  • Using custom controls
  • Creating the @Register directive for controls

Design Notes

(7.2 MB)

  • Providing Design Notes / Comments in code
  • Hiding comments from the end-user
  • Finding ToDo comments quickly

Help Features

(11 MB)

  • Searching in help
  • Context-sensitive help
  • Dynamic help that automatically appears while you work
  • Online support options


(16.6 MB)

  • Viewing properties set on an element
  • Changing properties of an element
  • Viewing style applied to tables
  • Modifying properties of multiple controls at once
  • Working with events on server controls


(17.1 MB)

  • Using the CSS Editor / CSS Panel
  • Examining the cascade of styles on a design element
  • Code Hint / Intellisense support when defining CSS
  • Verifying styles meet WCAG accessibility guidelines

Customizing & Extending

(26.9 MB)

  • Using History to replay actions
  • Creating Commands or Macros
  • Automating design tasks using Extensions and Macros
  • Assigning macros to a keystroke
  • Inserting server-side code using Server Behaviors and Snippets

Optimizing Code

(24.2 MB)

  • Aids to automate creating compliant HTML and XML
  • Removal of redundant tags
  • Cleaning up extraneous markup from Word
  • Customizing the appearance of tags in the editor
  • Verification that tags throughout the document are balanced

Templates & Master Pages

(24.1 MB)

  • Automatically applying repetitive code
  • Creating a Template / Master Page
  • Adding pages that utilize a Template or Master Page
  • Previewing the appearance of a page that uses templates or master pages
  • Administrative overhead of static vs. dynamic pages

Code & Compiling

(28.7 MB)

  • Using declarative code in a site with Server Behaviors and the Design Surface
  • Deploying pages that use server-side code
  • Binding a data source to a control
  • Writing custom server-side code
  • Presenting data from a database
  • Discovering features via Intellisense
  • Compiled source code has additional features and is less error-prone

Database Support

(21.3 MB)

  • Preparing to make a data-driven Web page editable
  • Using a DataGrid or GridView to allow editing data in a database
  • Creating SQL statements to reference data
  • Creating data-driven applications entirely on the design surface


(18.3 MB)

  • Creating XSL transformation files
  • Adding constructs to XSLT pages
  • Previewing XSLT output
  • Rendering XSLT output on a page
  • Using hierarchical controls with XML

User Controls

(20.3 MB)

  • Editing a User Control
  • Previewing how a User Control will render on a page
  • Writing the @Register directive required to use a User Control
  • Adding custom properties to a User Control that can be programmed with server-side code

Login Controls

(21.7 MB)

  • Login controls in ASP.NET
  • Defining custom actions surrounding login controls
  • Providing a form for a user to create an account
  • Allowing password recovery and reset
  • Integration with a standard membership provider

Membership Controls

(22.2 MB)

  • Providing an authentication strategy in ASP.NET
  • Storing users and roles
  • Securing pages with rules
  • Redirecting unauthenticated users to a login page

Consuming Web Services

(32.5 MB)

  • Prerequisites to consume a Web service
  • Locating an appropriate Web service to consume
  • Generating a Web service proxy class
  • Making a SOAP call into a Web service
  • Establishing asynchronous calls to a Web service

Providing Web Services

(11.2 MB)

  • Creating a Web service
  • Testing a Web service
  • Returning tabular data from a database
  • Securing the data exchanged in a Web service


(13.2 MB)

  • Setting a breakpoint
  • Editing code during a debugging session, and then continuing to run that code
  • Use of visualizers to examine the contents of an object
  • Debugging JavaScript

Source Control

(22 MB)

  • Shared access provided by file locks
  • Comparing multiple versions of a file
  • Enabling connectivity to other source control systems through MSSCCI
  • Checking out and checking in files
  • Enabling rollback to a previous version

WCAG / Section 508

(7.2 MB)
  • Filtering manual checklist items out of the WCAG accessibility report
  • Analyzing accessibility every time the project is built


(24.6 MB)

  • FTP and WebDAV support
  • Secured communication via SSL
  • Inherent support for a test environment as well as production
  • Using the Publish Website tool to prevent source code from being deployed
  • Convenient installable MSI files for projects
Comparison Area Watch the video Download the video Read the transcript Specific features compared