Monday, February 28, 2011

Red Gate to begin charging for .Net Reflector

For those of you who are not familiar with .Net Reflector, it is a invaluable tool used for "reflecting" into .Net assemblies.  It can be used for a wide variety of purposes, but the most common usage is as an alternative to Visual Studio's Object Browser.

However, it can do much more than simply act as a substitute Object Browser.  It actually has the ability to decompile code.  If you have the source code readily available for a solution, this is probably not necessary.  However, I recently encountered a situation where a C# .Net Assembly was built by a developer who had never  saved the source code to a source control repository and therefore the original source code was not available.  In addition, the developer had since left the company.

Fortunately, .Net Reflector came to the rescue!  I was able to decompile the original assembly and extract the source code.  Once I had extracted the source code, I built the solution in Visual Studio and promptly checked in the resultant source code into the source control repository.

Well, up until a few years ago, this was a completely free tool maintained by an independent developer.  A few years ago, Red Gate acquired the tool and has been maintaining it ever since.

Well, Red Gate has made a recent announcement that this tool will no longer remain free.

You can read more about the announcement here:

http://www.red-gate.com/products/dotnet-development/reflector/announcement

Therefore, if you want to get your hands on the free version before they start charging for it, you can download it from here:

http://reflector.red-gate.com/download.aspx?TreatAsUpdate=1

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