Visual Studio Technologies and Languages

Use this document to link to more information about key technologies, languages, and application types that are supported in Visual Studio. For more information about the integrated development environment (IDE), see Quick Tour of the Integrated Development Environment.

You can incorporate many technologies in the applications that you create by using Visual Studio. Some of these technologies are described in the following table.



More Information

.NET Framework

Learn more about the .NET Framework, an integral Windows component that supports building and running the next generation of applications and XML Web Services.


What's New in the .NET Framework 4

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

WPF is a set of .NET Framework types that can be used to create the visual appearance of Windows client applications. WPF consists of features such as Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML), controls, data binding, layout, 2-D and 3-D graphics, animation, styles, templates, documents, media, text, and typography.


Windows Presentation Foundation

Samples and Tutorials

Windows Presentation Foundation Samples on the MSDN website

WPF Walkthroughs

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)

WCF is a runtime and a set of APIs for creating systems that send messages between services and clients. The same infrastructure and APIs are used to create applications that communicate with other applications on the same computer system or on a system that is accessed over the Internet.


Fundamental Windows Communication Foundation Concepts

Samples and Tutorials

Getting Started Tutorial

Windows Communication Foundation Samples

Windows Workflow Foundation

Windows Workflow Foundation is the programming model, engine, and tools for quickly building workflow-enabled applications on Windows.


Windows Workflow Foundation Overview

Samples and Tutorials

Windows Workflow Foundation Tutorials

Windows Workflow Foundation Samples


Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform client technology that helps you design, develop, and deliver media-enabled experiences and rich interactive applications on the web.



Samples and Tutorials

Silverlight Developer Center website

Windows Forms

Windows Forms lets you develop graphically rich applications that are easy to deploy and update. In addition, Windows Forms applications can access resources on the local computer in a more secure manner than traditional Windows-based applications can.


Windows Forms Overview

Getting Started with Windows Forms

Samples and Tutorials

Walkthrough: Creating a Simple Windows Form


  • Ajax

ASP.NET builds on the programming classes in the .NET Framework, and provides a web application model and a set of controls and infrastructure that make it easy to build web applications.

Microsoft Ajax includes client-script libraries that incorporate cross-browser ECMAScript (JavaScript) and dynamic HTML (DHTML) technologies. The Microsoft Ajax Library is typically used to build pure Ajax applications. However, you can also use the Ajax Library when you build ASP.NET Web Forms or ASP.NET MVC applications. By using Ajax features, you can improve the user experience and the efficiency of your web applications.


ASP.NET 4 Overview

What's New in ASP.NET 4 and Visual Web Developer

Microsoft Ajax Overview

Samples and Tutorials

ASP.NET Walkthroughs by Scenario

Partial-Page Update Sample Ajax Application

Walkthrough: Creating an Ajax-Enabled Web Site

Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML)

XAML is a markup language for declarative application programming. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) implements a XAML loader and provides XAML language support for WPF types so that you can create most of your application UI by using XAML markup.


XAML Overview (WPF)

Samples and Tutorials

Walkthrough: Hosting a Windows Forms Control in WPF by Using XAML

How to: Use a BitmapImage

Language-Integrated Query (LINQ)

LINQ introduces standard patterns for querying and updating data by using Visual Basic or Visual C#. LINQ can be extended to support most kinds of data store. Visual Studio 2008 includes LINQ provider assemblies that enable language-integrated querying in .NET Framework collections, SQL databases, ADO.NET Datasets, and XML documents.


Introduction to LINQ

Samples and Tutorials

LINQ Samples

Language and Application Types

Visual Studio provides many application templates to help you create programs, and several programming languages in which to write them. Some of these are described in the following table.

Language and Application Types

Brief Description

For more information, see

Visual Basic

Visual Basic provides a fast and easy way to create .NET Framework-based Windows, web, and mobile device applications. As with all programs that target the .NET Framework, programs written in Visual Basic benefit from security and language interoperability.

Getting Started with Visual Basic

Visual C#

Visual C# (pronounced C sharp) is designed for building a variety of applications that run on the .NET Framework. Visual C# is simple, powerful, type-safe, and object-oriented. With its many innovations, Visual C# enables rapid application development and also retains the expressiveness and elegance of C-style languages.

Getting Started with Visual C#

Visual C++

Visual C++ is a powerful language that is designed to give you deep and detailed control when you build either native Windows applications or .NET Framework managed Windows applications.

Visual C++ Guided Tour

Visual F#

F# is a programming language that supports functional programming in addition to traditional object-oriented and imperative (procedural) programming. The Visual F# product supports developing F# applications and extending other .NET Framework applications by using F# code. F# is a first-class member of the .NET Framework languages and retains a strong resemblance to the ML family of functional languages.

Visual F#


JScript is the next generation of a Microsoft implementation of the ECMA 262 language. Many different application types are available.

Getting Started with JScript

Windows applications

An application type that is designed to be hosted in Windows. May be written in any programming language. Some examples are Class Libraries, Windows Services, console applications, and WPF applications.

Overview of Windows-based Applications

Web applications

An application type that is designed to be hosted on a web page. May be written in any programming language. Some examples are ASP.NET web applications, Web Control Libraries, and ASP.NET AJAX Server Controls.

ASP.NET Overview

Office applications

An application type that is designed to extend an Office application. May be written in Visual Basic or Visual C#. You can create document-level customizations that extend a specific Excel workbook or Word document, or you can create application-level add-ins.

Office Development in Visual Studio

SharePoint applications

An application type that is designed to be hosted in SharePoint. May be written in Visual Basic or Visual C#.

SharePoint Development in Visual Studio

Extensibility applications

An application type that is designed to automate or add functionality to the IDE, for example, add-ins or wizards. May be written in any programming language.

Extending the Visual Studio Environment

Spectrum of Visual Studio Automation

See Also


Getting Started with Visual Studio

Quick Tour of the Integrated Development Environment

Availability of Features in Visual Studio Versions

What's New for Application Lifecycle Management in Visual Studio 2010

Other Resources

Samples and Walkthroughs (Development Environment)