Thursday, April 15, 2021

dotPeek: a Totally Free Alternative for .NET Reflector

As a professional .NET developer you recognize the value of a .NET decompiler. There are many scenarios when the original source code is not available but requires an understanding and using a decompiler is definitely one of the best ways to look at the source code. One of the advantages working with a managed framework like .NET is an ability for a decompiler to convert an assembly into an code of a high level programming language like C# instead of a machine code. And this is exactly an expertise in which the dotPeek shines.

One of the pioneers in the field and most favourite .NET decompilers is a .NET Reflector. About ten years ago it was acquired from its original author, that offered it to the development community for free, and became a paid product. I am not discussing  here how the today's modern paid version of .NET Reflector compares to the original free one. Instead I want to bring developers' attention to another mighty .NET decompiler that has been on the market for many years and is completely free. Let's welcome JetBrains dotPeek.

Coming from a trusted name in the industry, JetBrains, an author of a famous Resharper, and built on the same technologies, dotPeek, in my  opinion, is a must have tool for every .NET developer. It's a standalone Windows program that provides a well thought environment very familiar to Resharper users, that allows easily navigating any .NET assemblies in a form of C# code with the same level of speed and intelligence as if one was working with the original C# source code inside Visual Studio.

Do I need to say more? I don't think so. If you have been a .NET Reflector user and stopped using it after it changed ownership you owe it to yourself to take a look at the dotPeek. If you never used a .NET decompiler before, read above.

As a disclaimer, I am in no way associated with JetBrains, and all above is just my private opinion based on my personal many years long experience.

Happy decompiling.

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