Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft. It is used to develop computer programs, as well as websites, web apps, web services and mobile apps. In this blog we explain more about IDE and how it works.

What is Visual Studio IDE?

Microsoft Visual Studio is an IDE (integrated development environment) made by Microsoft and used for different types of software development such as computer programs, websites, web apps, web services, and mobile apps. It contains completion tools, compilers, and other features to facilitate the software development process. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the term IDE, this is a feature-rich program that supports many aspects of software development. The Visual Studio IDE is a creative launch pad that you can use to edit, debug and build code and then publish an app.


The above image shows the Visual Studio with an open project that shows key windows and functionality. 

  • In Solution Explorer, on the upper right, you can view, navigate, and manage your code files. Solution Explorer can help organise your code by grouping the files into solutions and projects. 
  • The central editor window, where you’ll probably spend most of your time, displays file contents. In the editor window, you can edit code or design a user interface such as a window with buttons and text boxes. 
  • In Git Changes at lower right, you can track work items and share code with others by using version control technologies like Git and GitHub.

Productivity features

There are many popular features in Visual Studio aimed at boosting productivity when developing software, these include:

Squiggles and Quick Actions 

Squiggles are wavy underlines that alert you to errors or potential problems in your code as you type. These visual clues help you fix problems immediately, without waiting to discover errors during build or runtime. If you hover over a squiggle, you see more information about the error. A lightbulb might also appear in the left margin showing Quick Actions you can take to fix the error. 

Code Cleanup  

With the click of a button, you can format your code and apply any code fixes suggested by your code style settings, .edit or config conventions, and Roslyn analyzers. Code Cleanup, currently available for C# code only, helps you resolve issues in your code before it goes to code review. 


Refactoring includes operations such as intelligent renaming of variables, extracting one or more lines of code into a new method, and changing the order of method parameters. 


IntelliSense is a set of features that display information about your code directly in the editor and, in some cases, write small bits of code for you. It’s like having basic documentation inline in the editor, so you don’t have to look up type information elsewhere.

Editions available

If you are looking to use Visual Studio it is available for both Windows and Mac. Visual Studio for Mac has many of the same features as Visual Studio for Windows and is optimised for developing cross-platform and mobile apps.  

There are three editions of Visual Studio: Community, Professional, and Enterprise. To learn which features are supported in each edition head here.

To find out more about Visual Studio or if you’d like more information about building low-code apps contact our team.