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.NET Framework Tools

The .NET Framework tools make it easier for you to create, deploy, and manage applications and components that target the .NET Framework. Most of the .NET Framework tools described in this section are automatically installed when you install Visual Studio. This section contains detailed information about each tool.

You can run all the tools from the command line with the exception of the Assembly Cache Viewer (Shfusion.dll). You must access Shfusion.dll from Windows Explorer.

The best way to run the command-line tools is by using the Visual Studio Command Prompt, which is provided with Visual Studio 2005 and later versions, or the Windows SDK Command Prompt (also known as CMD Shell), which is provided with the Windows SDK 6.1 and later versions. These utilities enable you to run the tools easily, without navigating to the installation folder. For more information, see Visual Studio and Windows SDK Command Prompts.


Some tools are specific to either 32-bit computers or 64-bit computers. Be sure to run the appropriate version of the tool by using either the Visual Studio Command Prompt for 32-bit tools, or the Visual Studio x64 Win64 Command Prompt for 64-bit tools.

In This Section

  • Alphabetical Listing of Tools (.NET Framework)
    Provides a single alphabetical listing of all the tools in this section of the documentation.

  • Build, Deployment, and Configuration Tools (.NET Framework)
    Includes tools that help with build and deployment tasks such as generating portable executable (PE) and Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) files, viewing and manipulating the global assembly cache, managing application and deployment manifests, and handling isolated stores and resource files.

  • Debugging Tools (.NET Framework)
    Includes graphical and command-line tools that provide information about the internal common language runtime environment, help you find and fix bugs in applications that target the common language runtime, and let you view assembly binds.

  • Security Tools (.NET Framework)
    Includes command-line tools that help you perform security-related tasks and test your components and applications before you deploy them.

  • Interop Tools (.NET Framework)
    Includes tools that enable interaction between unmanaged COM components and .NET Framework managed code.

  • Miscellaneous Development Tools (.NET Framework)
    Includes the following additional tools: SqlMetal Code Generation Tool and Windows Forms Class Viewer.

  • ASP.NET Command-Line Tools
    Includes administrative tools that help you precompile and manage ASP.NET Web applications.

  • WPF Tools
    Includes tools such as the isXPS Conformance tool (isXPS.exe), performance profiling tools, and XamlPad, which is a basic visual editor for Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML).

  • Windows Communication Foundation Tools
    Includes tools that make it easier for you to create, deploy, and manage Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) applications