FREE IDE Downloads


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The purpose of this page is to provide information on getting and downloading Integrated Developer Environments based around Visual Basic.NET programming.

Last Updated: December 19th, 2014

By: Jason H


SharpDevelop: Free VB.NET/C# IDE alternative to Microsofts Express Edition IDE’s.

This FREE, Open Source IDE has been around for awhile now and has come a LONG ways. It is still being updated and improved. It is called: #Develop (pronounced SharpDevelop). IT is a Free OpenSource based Integrated Developer Editor that is entirely written in C# and even the source code is available for download. The IDE supports programming in Visual Basic.NET And in C#. There are some Very nice and unique features implemented in this IDE and I suggest you go here and check them out. Below are some of the features they highlight…

  • Forms designer for C#, VB.NET and Boo
  • Code completion for C#, VB.NET and Boo (including Ctrl+Space support)
  • Integrated NUnit support plus code coverage (NCover)
  • Integrated debugger
  • Code Analysis with FxCop
  • Refactoring support
  • Multi-framework support (.NET 1.1 and 2.0, Mono, Compact Framework)
  • XML Editing (source and tree view) with XPath search
  • Parser-based code converter (C# to VB.NET / Boo and more)
  • Compile C#, VB.NET & Boo code in the IDE out-of-the-box
  • Code AutoInsert (Alt+Ins)
  • Xml documentation preview
  • Setup projects supported with Windows Installer XML (WiX)
  • Subversion integration
  • Open source, LGPL licensed


There is a Feature Tour you can take here if you want to see them all. They also have a page that compares Microsofts FREE Express Edition VB and C# IDE’s to the Sharp Develop IDE. Below is a small portion of the list…


FeatureSharpDevelop 2.1Visual Studio Express Editions
Code auto-completionYesYes
Code syntax highlightingYesYes
Windows Forms DesignerYesYes
Web Forms DesignerNoProvided with Visual Web Developer
Code CoverageYesNo
Unit TestingYesNo
Languages SupportedC#, VB.NET, BooC#, C++, VB.NET, J#


You can check out the complete comparison at this link.

Head on over to the main site page at this link to view all the available info or go to this link if you want to download.



Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition

Microsft has made available a VB 2013 Community version. It is superior to Express while still being free. Its basically the Professional version with a different EULA.

Below is a small excerpt from Microsoft on the Community Edition…

Visual Studio Community for a free, full-featured IDE with powerful coding productivity features, cross-platform mobile development tools for Windows, iOS and Android, and access to thousands of extensions. This edition of Visual Studio is available at no cost for non-enterprise application development.

Click here to go to the Overview Page

Click here for different Download Options


Visual Basic 2013 Express

If you don’t want to install the Community edition you can still get the Express edition.

Below is a small excerpt from Microsoft on the Desktop Expression Edition…

Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop enables the creation of desktop apps in C#, Visual Basic, and C++, and supports Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms, and Win32.

Click Here to check out the download page.


Microsoft Small Basic

This is a small, easy to use language based on Visual Basic syntax.

The info below is from Microsoft…


Programming is Fun, again!

Microsoft Small Basic puts the “fun” back into computer programming. With a friendly development environment that is very easy to master, it eases both kids and adults into the world of programming.


Small Basic combines a friendly environment with a very simple language and a rich and engaging set of libraries to make your programs and games pop. In a matter of few lines of code, you will be well on your way to creating your very own game!

With a new and revolutionary IntelliSense®, Small Basic makes writing code a breeze.


Share your programs with your friends; let them import your published programs and run them on their computer. Using the Silverlight player, you can even post your games on your blogs and websites for them to play your creations in the browser.


Learn the programming concepts starting with the fundamentals and move your way up. Small Basic is based on .NET and what you learn here could be easily applied to other .NET programming languages like Visual Basic. And when you do graduate to Visual Basic, you can bring your existing programs with you using a built-in conversion utility.


Click Here to check out the webpage.


Visual Web Developer 2013 Express
Visual Web Developer is now a part of the 2013 Community edition mentioned above. If you don’t want that full download you can still get the Web Developer separately.

Below is a small excerpt from Microsoft…

  • Provides everything you need to begin building Web applications out of the box.
  • Create great looking and easy-to-use Web applications using an intuitive, WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop user interface designer.
  • Take advantage of more than 60 new reusable controls and hundreds of reusable code snippets to reduce the time needed to create engaging, interactive Web applications.
  • Use Master Pages to manage a consistent site layout in one place.
  • Let IntelliSense give you fast access to methods and libraries for use within your applications.
  • Common Tasks and Smart Tags place commonly accessed Web building functionality one click away.

Click here to check out the page.


Visual Basic 5.0 CCE

This is actually a very old IDE that Microsoft had available as a Free download around the time VB 5.0 was being released. Its called the VB 5.0 Control Creation Edition. Unfortunately though, this IDE will ONLY create Custom Control based projects. But if your into Classic VB then this IDE could be very useful. Its actually pretty hard to find this download anymore. I haven’t seen it at Microsoft’s download site in a long time. Thankfully I’ve held onto it the past few years.

Click Here to Download


Well, hopefully this page will be of some use. I will add/update whenever changes or updates related to Free IDEs take place. Anyways, Have Fun 🙂


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