Using Code-Focused Rapid Application Development (RAD)

Excerpt by Joe Mayo

There are many visual designers in Visual Studio that allow you to drag-and-drop controls onto the screen, in what is often referred to as Rapid Application Development (RAD). However, most applications of any significance require code that defines the logic of that application. Visual Studio recognizes this by supporting Code-Focused RAD-tools that help you write code faster. This section shows a few of the ways you can navigate code, and how to add snippets and refactor code.

Navigating Code

Visual Studio has several features supporting code navigation, including Call Hierarchy, Navigate To, Highlighting References, and Live Semantic Errors. The last two are not really navigation features, but they do help you understand code better. Call Hierarchy Call Hierarchy allows you to view callers and callees to a type member in your code. You can open the Call Hierarchy window (see Figure 8) by selecting the type member name you're interested in and pressing Ctrl+K+T. RAD Call Hierarchy lets you view callers and callees to a type member. The Call Hierarchy window also lets you navigate through code. To navigate to a specific location, double-click on that location in the Call Hierarchy window. You can open the branches of the tree by clicking an arrow to view either Calls To or Calls From the location of the arrow. Navigate To Navigate To lets you quickly move to anywhere in your code by typing a search term. Type Ctrl+, (comma) to display the Navigate To window shown in the Figure below.


The Figure above shows how Navigate To lets you search and move to code quickly. After the Navigate To window appears, you can type a Search term and all the matching members will appear in the Results window. You can double-click any item, or select an item and click the OK button, and Visual Studio will take you to the right location. Highlighting References The Highlighting References feature allows you to select an identifier and Visual Studio highlights all the references to that identifier. Figure below shows how this works.


The Figure above. Highlight References shows the selected identifier and references. In the Figure above, we selected the method identifier, Level2. Visual Studio highlighted the reference to that identifier inside the Main method. Live Semantic Errors Live semantic errors show you problems with your code as you type. You can see compiler errors and warnings without building your code. Figure 11 shows what a Live Semantic Error looks like.


The Figure above. Live Semantic Errors show you problems as you type. The example in the Figure above is missing an end quote, which is a compiler error. The Live Semantic Error appears as a squiggly line under the location of the error. For warnings, you receive a green squiggly line.

JoeMayoThis post is an excerpt from the online courseware for our C# 2012: Visual Studio 2012 IDE course written by expert Joe Mayo.

Joe Mayo
Joe Mayo is an author, independent consultant, and instructor specializing in Microsoft .NET and Windows 8 technology. He has several years of software development experience and has worked with .NET since July 2000. Joe has written books and contributes to magazines such as CODE Magazine. He has been an active contributor to the .NET community for years, operating the C# Station Web site, authoring the LINQ to Twitter open source project, and speaking regularly at user groups and code camps. For his community contributions, Microsoft has honored Joe with several Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Awards through the years.

This course excerpt was originally posted July 26, 2013 from the online courseware C# 2012, Part 1 of 4: Visual Studio 2012 IDE by Joe Mayo

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