In this section. I will show you the practical steps you need to take to write, compile, and run simple C# programs.
Currently, you have two major options for developing and running C# programs. You can either obtain the .NET Software Development Kit (SDK) for free from Microsoft or purchase the feature-packed Visual Studio .NET program.
The SDK contains everything you need to compile, run, and test C# programs. It includes the Common Language Runtime, sample code, a C# language compiler, JIT compilers, and documentation. The only thing not included is a text editor to type and edit your C# programs. We will provide some tips on choosing an editor a little later in this section.
Visual Studio .NET is Microsoft's comprehensive development environment. It includes an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), advanced C# editor, support for RAD, extensive support for debugging, and many additional features that improve the developers productivity.
It is important to notice that the SDK and Visual Studio .NET use the same C# compiler, JIT compilers and runtime to compile and execute programs. Accordingly, you can run exactly the same programs and they will execute with the same speed no matter which package you use. Visual Studio .NET simply provides you with numerous additional powerful tools to facilitate the designing and writing of C# programs.
This book assumes you are using the SDK with a simple text editor like Notepad.