Free Microsoft .NET Development Resources


  • CSharp School First Edition: The Programmer’s Heaven C# School book covers the .NET framework and the C# language. Starting with the basics of the language, it goes on to cover object oriented programming techniques and a wide range of C# languages features including interfaces, exceptions and delegates. Later chapters cover practical topics including database access with ADO.NET, building Windows forms applications, multi-threading and asynchronous I/O. The final chapter covers new features in C# 2.0, including generics.
  • Threading in C#: C# supports parallel execution of code through multithreading. A thread is an independent execution path, able to run simultaneously with other threads.
  • Mike’s C# Coding Style Guide: A 13 page C# Coding Style guide. Again, the focus is on Casing, Naming conventions, Declaration style etc. A short and simple Style Guide.
  • Encodo C# Handbook: Encodo C# handbook is 72 pages of guidelines on Structure, Formatting, Naming. It also has a ‘Patterns and Best Practices’ section, which is a must read for any .NET/C# developer.
  • C# Coding Standards: A set of coding guidelines for C# 3.0 and C# 4.0, design principles, layout rules, FxCop rulesets and (upcoming) custom FxCop and StyleCop rules for improving the overall quality of your code development.

Patterns and Practices

  • Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Prism: Prism provides guidance designed to help you more easily design and build rich, flexible, and easy to maintain Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) desktop applications and Silverlight Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) and Windows Phone 7 applications. Using design patterns that embody important architectural design principles, such as separation of concerns and loose coupling, Prism helps you to design and build applications using loosely coupled components that can evolve independently but which can be easily and seamlessly integrated into the overall application. Such applications are often referred to as composite applications.
  • Windows Phone 7 Developer Guide: This guide describes a scenario around a fictitious company named Tailspin that has decided to encompass Windows Phone 7 as a client device for their existing cloud-based application. Their Windows Azure-based application named Surveys is described in detail in a previous book in this series, Developing Applications for the Cloud on the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform.
  • Developing Application for SharePoint 2010: SharePoint 2010 introduces rich new areas of functionality that create more choices and fresh opportunities for developers and solution architects. Sandboxed solutions, new options for data modeling and data access, and new client programming models with Silverlight and Ajax integration offer a step change in what you can accomplish with SharePoint applications. This guidance provides a deep technical insight into the key concepts and issues for SharePoint 2010 solution developers.
  • Web Service Software Factory 2010: The Web Service Software Factory 2010 (also known as the Service Factory) is an integrated collection of resources designed to help you quickly and consistently build Web services that adhere to well-known architecture and design patterns. These resources consist of patterns and architecture topics in the form of written guidance and models with code generation in the form of tools integrated with Visual Studio 2010.
  • Web Client Software Factory 2010: Architects and developers can use the Web Client Software Factory to quickly incorporate many of the proven practices and patterns of building Web client applications. These practices and patterns have been identified during the development of many Web client applications and their components. This version has been updated to work with Visual Studio 2010.
  • Enterprise Library 5.0: This major release is focused on architectural refactoring and full support of DI-style of development, improved usability, .NET Framework 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010 compatibility. Also, many compelling improvements were made to the existing application blocks to incorporate customer feedback and to dramatically improve testability, maintainability, and usability (including an all new configuration tool and Developer’s Guide). A migration guide is also provided.
  • A Guide to Claims–based Identity and Access Control: This book gives you enough information to evaluate claims-based identity as a possible option when you’re planning a new application or making changes to an existing one. It is intended for any architect, developer, or information technology (IT) professional who designs, builds, or operates Web applications and services that require identity information about their users.


  • Improving .NET Application Performance and Scalability: This guide provides end-to-end guidance for managing performance and scalability throughout your application life cycle to reduce risk and lower total cost of ownership. It provides a framework that organizes performance into a handful of prioritized categories where your choices heavily impact performance and scalability success. The logical units of the framework help integrate performance throughout your application life cycle. Information is segmented by roles, including architects, developers, testers, and administrators, to make it more relevant and actionable. This guide provides processes and actionable steps for modeling performance, measuring, testing, and tuning your applications. Expert guidance is also provided for improving the performance of managed code, ASP.NET, Enterprise Services, Web services, remoting, ADO.NET, XML, and SQL Server.


  • Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) – Version 4.1a: As part of its commitment to a more secure and trustworthy computing ecosystem, Microsoft makes its Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) process guidance available to the public. The Microsoft SDL process guidance illustrates the way Microsoft applies the SDL to its products and technologies. The version 4.1a of the SDL Process Guidance includes SDL for Agile Development. IT policy makers and software development organizations can leverage this content to enhance and inform their own software security and privacy assurance programs.
  • Building Secure ASP .NET Applications: Guidelines for authentication, authorization and secure communication across the tiers. Topics include ASP.NET, Enterprise Services (COM+), Web Services, Remoting, and data access (including ADO.NET and SQL Server).

MSDN Magazine

Code Samples

  • Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework: A free, centralized code sample library driven by developers’ needs. Our goal is to provide typical code samples for all Microsoft development technologies, and reduce developers’ efforts in solving typical programming tasks.
  • Head First Design Patterns: This project consists of ported code examples from the book Head First Design Patterns by Eric and Elizabeth Freeman into C#. (VB version)

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