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InfoQ Homepage News .NET Reflector is Going Commercial

.NET Reflector is Going Commercial

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Reflector is considered a must have by many .NET developers. Whether it is debugging third-party libraries, translating between languages, or simply examining your own compiled code, Reflector has become a must have tool. And until recently, both it and all its add-ons have been free.

Originally developed by Lutz Roeder, Red Gate Software took over development in August of 2008. Since then Red Gate has continued to support the tool with periodic releases while the Add-In community on CodePlex grew.

On January 20th Alex Davies announced the first public beta of their commercial offering. Known as Reflector Pro, it consists of three components. First there is Reflector 6, which adds support for .NET 4.0. Like previous versions it is free, though this one comes with a Visual Studio add-in that allows one to jump into Reflector from the source code.

The “Pro” part of Reflector Pro comes from its debugging support. Using this add-in for Visual Studio, you can decompile whole assemblies and generate debug symbols for them. From there you can use .NET’s normal step-through debugging.

Laila of Red Gate writes,

Whilst we've made a lot of improvements to Reflector, the radical addition, which we hope you'll want to try out as well, is '.NET Reflector Pro'. This is an extension to .NET Reflector that allows the debugging of decompiled code using the Visual Studio debugger. It is an add-in, but we'll be charging for it, mainly because we prefer to live indoors with a warm meal, rather than outside in tents, particularly when the winter's been as cold as this one has. We're hoping (we're even pretty confident!) that you'll share our excitement about .NET Reflector Pro.

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Community comments

  • some free options already exists

    by Binoj Antony,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Well the codeplex deblector add-in lets you debug the assemblies for free and the add-in lets you navigate to any code element inside Reflector.
    Looks like red-gate ended up extending these two add-ins.

  • free is the enemy of the good

    by Srikanth Remani,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    free is the enemy of the good

  • Free Version Has Been Extended

    by Simon Galbraith,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    All the functionality that Reflector has ever provided is still free, in addition CLR 4 support and an addin to Visual Studio have also been provided, also for free.

    Reflector Pro is a paid for product that allows you to use the Visual Studio debugger on 3rd party code decompiled with the Reflector engine.

    Simon Galbraith, Red Gate Software.

  • Re: Free Version Has Been Extended

    by Andrew Marshall,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I've used the free version twice and each time it saved my a$$.

    The first time, about 18 months ago, we lost source code for a DLL. We got all the code back from an installation on a test server.

    And just yesterday I used Reflector to see if a code change had actually made it into production. It hadn't. :-(

    Great, easy-to-use product! I can't wait to evaluate the Pro version.

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