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Visual Studio 2008 or Visual Studio 2012 Express

Posted on 2013-02-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I am about to start to learn .net.  See this question for an overview of where I am at and what I will be using it for :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Development/Q_28022425.html

I have a full copy of Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2005 installed on my Win 7 Professional PC. But looking at my options I saw on the asp.net site a complete download for the Visual Studio 2012 EXPRESS version. Now I know the Express version is a cut down and my first thought was to start using the full 2008 version but am I right? (Can't afford the full 2012 version). What would I lose / gain using the 2012 express version?

Thanks Lou
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Question by:Louverril
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 38867038
"I will give  webforms and MVC  a quick try and see what happens."  You'd probably want the WEB Express version .. for general developement you can still use your VS2008 but you'd be missing out on the latest innovations in the last 5 years..  i.e. VS2012 soon to be fully integrated with GIT. and so forth.. but for a learning environment.. the express versions are fine but you will have problems with mixed code  vb/c#/j# code in one project. This may or may not be a limitation for you.. it is just there.. The truly adventurous can just use notepad and vbc.exe (included with .net) (generally only really useful for console apps)

I found this series to be interesting: http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Visual-Basic-Development-for-Absolute-Beginners
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ambience earned 250 total points
ID: 38867227
Actually, VS2012 Express is way better than VS2010 in terms of packaging. You can now have different language projects and projects of different types in a single solution. The demarcation now is based on desktop and web, so theres a desktop edition and a web edition and one for Win8 metro apps.

The loss of functionality might be severe for 3rd party extensions. For example, the mySQL connectors didnt install for Express editions and you couldnt use it in Entity data modeling. Such restrictions may apply but you'll have to check the third party for it.

Other than that I find it much easier to work in 2012 express editions. You obviously dont get all the project templates in each editions but that doesnt stop you from setting up manually.

Plus there are some enterprise grade features like for example better SQL server management and tools that arent in express editions.

I would say that you start with Express and then you'll find out whether you really need a pro edition or not.
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by:Louverril
ID: 38889629
Thanks to you both.

Just one more question -  as mentioned I have already got Visual Studio 2008 full version installed on Win 7 Professional - do you see any problems if I install the MVC pack (with Visual Studio Express 12) on the same PC?

Thanks Lou
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LVL 22

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by:ambience
ambience earned 250 total points
ID: 38889657
Not at all, in fact it is very common for development environments to have multiple VS versions installed. 2012 has different project files but because the extensions are different it doesnt hurt.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 38892196
I have VS2005, VS2008, VS2012, Visual Studio LightSwitch (2010) on my dev machine. I keep the different projects (VS versions)  in separate directories.
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Author Comment

by:Louverril
ID: 38892974
I should be OK then!

Thanks.
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