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Using Bing to Boost C# Development

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The Bing Developer Assistant (BDA) is a plugin designed to benefit C# developers using Visual Studio.  While the name suggests it might be used to develop for Bing, it actually used is to develop with Bing.  BDA replaces the previously released Bing Code Search with a new tool that incorporates new functionality and bug fixes.  This plugin is based around 3 main features:

  • Visual Studio IntelliSense integration
  • Sample Browser IDE toolbar
  • Offline search

The new tool will now incorporate Bing results directly into the editor’s IntelliSense pop-up window.  Results obtained through BDA are labeled by the presence of the Bing logo and a URL that makes clear where the information is coming from (MSDN, StackOverflow, etc).

The Sample Browser included with BDA provides a separate toolbar that allows searching for code samples within the IDE, incorporating functionality available separately in the Code. Through BDA, this toolbar allows searching of both code snippets and code sample projects.  New with this release of BDA is the addition of offline code search.  Through the Tools | Options menu item in Visual Studio local files can be included with the search results returned by the Sample Browser.  This allows code that is specific to a particular project (or your employer) to be available without having to be stored in a publicly accessible location.

The BDA beta plugin is available now for VS2012 and VS2013.

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