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Getting Started:

Visual Studio Community

If you have worked with programming languages or frameworks from Microsoft before, you probably already know Visual Studio. It's an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) perfectly suited for working with .NET technologies like ASP.NET MVC and programming languages like C# and VB.NET. An IDE is an advanced editor, where you can usually edit your code but also manage your projects, compile your code and so on.

In other words, Visual Studio (VS) is an advanced tool which allows you to work with every aspect of your ASP.NET MVC projects. Advanced tools are usually expensive and so is Visual Studio. Fortunately for all of us, Microsoft has been so kind as to release a completely free version of Visual Studio called Visual Studio Community. The Community edition contains all but the most advanced features found in VS and it will be more than enough to learn about ASP.NET MVC through this tutorial.

Download Visual Studio Community

So let's get started with this tutorial - go ahead and download Visual Studio Community from visualstudio.com. Here's a direct link to the download page:

https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/

As soon as you have downloaded and installed it, you are ready to proceed with the next articles, where we will create your first ASP.NET MVC application.

Not using Windows?

Don't worry, there's a version for macOS as well - just follow the link above and be sure to select the version of Visual Studio Community for macOS!

Summary

Visual Studio Community is the free version of Visual Studio, an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that you can use to develop ASP.NET MVC applications with. I want to emphasize that you definitely CAN develop ASP.NET MVC websites without Visual Studio, e.g. by using a simple text editor like Notepad and the command line compiler, but especially for beginners, Visual Studio makes everything easier to get started with. I highly recommend that you give VS Community a try - it will be the IDE used through out this tutorial.