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Open Source Framework and Library Recommendations

As the technical editor for the UK MSDN Flash I get surprisingly free rein to decide what content to place in it . I suspect one day they will notice – but I will enjoy it while it lasts. Every 3 months or so I do a special edition of the Flash, and this week I chose to go with “Open Source Frameworks and Libraries”. I have written before on Microsoft and Open Source and the rosy future I see ahead and I decided it was time (long overdue?) to give some of the great OSS for .NET developers wider visibility. The Flash newsletter is great for this as it goes out to around 70K developers in the UK. With the help of the UK community (see the provisional list of suggestions), I came up with the following 23 OSS projects.

I have tried to strike a balance between some fairly well known projects and some lesser known but equally well respected offerings. Which means we have “old favourites” such as xUnit and Moq (testing and mocking respectively), alongside Argotic (syndication framework), Excel Data Reader (Excel file to DataSet) and #SNMP (SNMP library) as well as some frameworks primarily developed out of the UK such as Fluent NHibernate (no more XML ORM mapping) and OpenRasta (REST based framework for building web applications).


  1. Download [TEST]
    One of several very good testing frameworks to aid with TDD.
  2. Download [TEST] RhinoMocks mocking framework
    Ease testing by allowing the developer to create mock implementations of objects.
  3. Website [TEST] White for automation of Windows applications
    Programmatically drive Windows applications.
  4. Download [TEST] Gallio Automation Platform
    Works with many testing frameworks including MSTest, xUnit, NUnit and MbUnit.
  5. Download [DATA] Fluent NHibernate
    Fluent NHibernate lets you write mappings in strongly typed C# code.
  6. Download [OOP] StructureMap Dependency Injection/Inversion of Control
    Enable looser coupling between classes and their dependencies.
  7. Download [OOP] Managed Extensibility Framework
    Make the shift from applications being statically compiled to dynamically composed.
  8. Download [APPFX] s#arp architecture for web applications
    Foundation for rapidly building web applications using ASP.NET MVC with NHibernate.
  9. Download [APPFX]OpenRasta REST based framework for building web applications
    Simplify exposing a REST based API to your application.
  10. Download [APPFX]CSLA.NET Application Framework
    A comprehensive framework for .NET development.
  11. Download [APPFX]Spring.NET Application Framework
    A comprehensive framework for building web applications.
  12. Download [RUNTIME]Mono enables .NET on Linux and Mac
    Use those .NET skills to target Linux, BSD and OS X.
  13. Download [UTIL] Sandcastle Help File Builder
    Create MSDN-style documentation from .NET assemblies.
  14. Download [HELPER] EasyHook for Windows API Hooking
    Extend unmanaged code (APIs) with managed code.
  15. Download [HELPER] Json.NET for working with JSON formatted data
    R/W using the JsonReader and JsonWriter or serialize your .NET objects with a single call.
  16. Download [HELPER] Excel Data Reader for Excel 97 to 2007
    Read Excel files straight into a dataset.
  17. Download [HELPER]#SNMP Library
    A natural API interface to encapsulate SNMP functions.
  18. Download [HELPER] DotNetZip Library
    A great ZIP library plus samples.
  19. Download [HELPER] Visio Automation Library
    Automate Visio from C#, Visual Basic and more.
  20. Download [HELPER] PHPExcel is not just about Excel!
    PHP classes to r/w Excel 2007, PDF, HTML and more.
  21. Download [HELPER] Argotic Syndication Framework for RSS, Atom, OPML and more
    Makes the reading and writing syndicated content in common formats very easy.
  22. Download [HELPER] NLog logging library
    Easily write diagnostic traces from your application.
  23. Website A great directory of C# Open Source software
    Nicely indexed directory of libraries, frameworks and tools.
This article is part of the GWB Archives. Original Author: Eric Nelson

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