As many of you likely know, Lutz Roeder turned over control of one of the “must have” .NET developer tools, .NET Reflector to Red Gate software. True to their promise, RedGate has continued to support the free version of Reflector and make continued improvements, including the addition of a Visual Studio plugin to jump into Reflector and the support of .NET 4 assemblies with their most recent release of the tool.

In addition to their support of the free tool, RedGate has extended Reflector’s core disassembly capabilities and is now offering a commercial version of the tool, Reflector Pro. RedGate has rolled the tool into their .NET Developer Bundle. So, if you hold existing .NET Developer Bundle licenses, you can pick up Reflector Pro and start using it. So I did.

Reflector Pro integrates right into Visual Studio (including the VS 2010 RC), which is really important given its core competency. What it allows, simply stated, is for you to step through any assembly in Visual Studio as if it were your own. This is a killer feature that you almost never need… until you really need it. Reflector Pro does this by disassembling assemblies of your choosing and then generating the corresponding debug symbols you need to perform a variety of functions:

  • Stepping into third party libraries
  • Setting breakpoints in third party libraries
  • Watch and modify values in third party libraries

Like the free version of Reflector we’ve all grown to love, the Pro version of the software isn’t needed all the time and it just works the way you want when you need it. RedGate’s site (http://www.red-gate.com/products/reflector/index.htm) provides a simple video demo and walkthrough. More your should not need to get going with this tool.

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