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Visual Studio or Visual Studio Express

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I’m interested in making DLL, libraries and executables written in C++. I know Express will do all of that but I’m wondering if there is any benefit for me to shell out cash for the retail version. I know the retail version has a resource editor which makes tagging version numbers easier but beyond that I think they both are updated at the same time. This is not for a commercial product yet – just development in my free time.

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Quote:

I know the retail version has a resource editor which makes tagging version numbers easier

Er... it has less to do with version numbers and more to do with editing resources. Version numbering of builds and deployment can be implemented either way, without the aid of the visual resource editor, for about the same amount of effort (in fact, all the editor provides for you is a quick .rc construction tool; you can still write the .rc scripts by hand for your resources).

Anyway; the extra functionality in the non-free versions is something that you only need to be concerned about if you need it (or to put it another way, if you don't know if you need it or not, you don't need it). Stick with Express.

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I downgraded from VS 2003 to VC++ 2005 EE a couple of years back (when my conscience got the better of me). Quite honestly, it felt like a considerable upgrade. That's probably because 2005 is considerably better than 2003 in this first place, but I did miss one thing quite sorely - Visual Assist X. While it's not actually part of Visual Studio, I saw it as an essential addon. Unfortunately, the express editions don't support it and it doesn't look like they ever will.

Ultimately, the decision depends upon your circumstances. There's little doubt that the full edition is better than the express, but there seems to be a lot of bloat (server and database, in particular) that the game developer will never use. If you're swimming in money, get it. If you can spend the $100 better elsewhere, don't buy it. Understand that upgrading will only give you the capacity to be more productive. It won't make you a better programmer and it won't make your final products any more professional.

Admiral

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Well I use 2005 studio at work all the time and so far the only things built in that it looks like I'm missing would be my resource editor (which I can simply use the work copy to generate the script and bring it home) and a way to make empty solutions. It will make a solution if you make a project - but not an empty one. Not a big deal for either one. The help I'm a little skeptical about but we'll see if its comparable - it might be the same or it might be different, not sure.

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The built in documentation might be lacking for express but heck, I could never get the built in documentation in studio pro to work as well very well. Not like it use to back in the VC6 days.

Well thanks for the info guys

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