Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Differences between Visual Studio 2005 Standard and Professional Editions


With the whoops I mentioned here comes the discussion of exactly what is the difference between the two version of the Visual Studio 2005 (standard and professional). First of all, here are the differences that Microsoft has made public in their feature chart. Before you spent too much time with the scorecard, let me summarize the major differences:


* User Experience: Streamlined
* Deployment Tools: Click Once
* Extensibility: Consume Extensions
* Reporting: SQL Server Reporting Services
* Debugging: Local
* 64-bit CPU support, Server Explorer, SQL Server 2005 integration: No


* User Experience: Full
* Deployment Tools: Yes
* Extensibility: Full
* Reporting: SQL Server Reporting Services and Crystal Reports
* Debugging: Local and remote
* 64-bit CPU support, Server Explorer, SQL Server 2005 integration: Yes

Most of the differences are fairly straightforward. That leaves the question between deployment tools, extensibility, and "user experience". Here is what I know on the first two.

“Consume Extensions“ means the you can use an existing Visual Studio Add-in. All, on that note, means there is IDE support for creating new Add-ins. Fair enough.

“Deployment, One-Click” means there is a mechanism to deploy a product through the IDE, but not create setup projects that produce a .MSI file.

So, what about user experience? There has been some talk here, here, and here about what it means, but it all is fairly vague. I do not have a clear-cut answer but I have a theory:

I was at a presentation earlier this year where the presenter was typing code. It looked like the presenter was using Resharper at a user group presentation! I was told that was not the case, but an extra set of new features built into the IDE. Maybe the folks at Microsoft sent the Resharper folks a nice check and incorporated that technology into the Professional Edition (and above)! That would mean

For standard, User Experience: Streamlined == Intellisense

For professional, User Experienced: Full == Intellisense + Resharper-like functionality

Again, just my theory. But thanks are in order to Geoff Snowman who provided me with a lot of this information and continues to check out our future “experiences“.

One thing is for certain, the Standard edition of Visual Studio 2005 is no wimp. In the past, Standard editions were basically a compiler + a text editor slightly better than notepad. Such is not the case. For learning, hobbyists, or those needing a bit more than the Express versions offer, it appears to be sized just right.

However, for those of us who continue to make a living in the .NET world, its the Professional version and above.

Edit: Just received this note indirectly from Prashant Sridharan, the Visual Studio Project Manager:

Standard is basically the union of the Express SKUs with mobile and remote data support added. It doesn't have support for remote debugging or server-side development, it doesn't have SQLCLR support, and it doesn't have the deeper data tools in Pro.


David Stennett said...

Microsoft did not send a check I'm afraid ... however, ReSharper 2.0 will pack a lot of added features that Microsoft didn't manage to garner influence from ... you can see the complete ReSharper 2.0 plan at:


Best regards,

David Stennett
JetBrains, Inc.

Rupesh said...

I have seen two types of cd packets of visual studio 2005.
One pack has two cds while the other has five cds.
Whats the difference between these two cd pack and five cd pack.