.NET Decompiler Comparison

Jul 18 08:17 2011 M Wright Print This Article

A comparison of software currently available for decompiling .NET assemblies.

Until February 2011 if you wanted to decompile a .NET assembly you used .NET Reflector by Lutz Roeder/Red Gate.  .NET Reflector was originally designed by Lutz Roeder and made freely available to the development community,Guest Posting it was later taken over by Red Gate who promised to maintain the software and keep it available for free (if possible).  Unfortunately this was not to last and in February 2011 Red Gate Software announced that .NET Reflector 7 would no longer be made available for free, and would now cost $35 dollars.  With the one and only .NET decompiler software no longer been available for free, several companies/groups started work on developing free alternatives.So what software can you use to decompile .NET assemblies?DevExtras CodeReflectCodeReflect by DevExtras is designed as a simple easy to use .NET decompiler.  It provides effective decompilation of .NET assemblies.  It does not include any advanced features such as Visual Studio integration or addin support, it simply focuses on .NET decompilation and doing it well.  It is the only free reflector alternative that supports vb.NET.Decompile assemblies to the following languages: MSIL, C#, VBPrice: Free (Commercially Maintained)Website: http://www.devextras.com/decompiler/.ILSpyILSpy is an open source project that allows MSIL and C# decompilation, it is the only free .NET decompiler that supports third-party addins, although at the time of writing there were only two addins available, none of which noteworthy.Decompile assemblies to the following languages: MSIL, C#Price: Free (Open Source)Website: http://www.ilspy.net/.JetBrains DotPeekDotPeek by JetBrains is another commercial .NET Decompiler. It is standalone but many suspect that it will eventually be incorporated into other JetBrains products.  It does not include any advanced features such as Visual Studio integration or addin support.Decompile assemblies to the following languages: C#Price: Free (Commercially Maintained)Website: http://www.jetbrains.com/decompiler/.Telerik JustDecompileJustDecompile by Telerik is another commercial .NET Decompiler. It is standalone and has a nice interface that uses Telerik's own .NET control suite.  It does not include any advanced features such as Visual Studio integration or addin support.Decompile assemblies to the following languages: C#Price: Free (Commercially Maintained)Website: http://www.telerik.com/products/decompiling.aspx.Red Gate .NET ReflectorThe original .NET decompiler.  Supports Visual Studio integration and has a wide variety of addins available made by the development community.  It is the most stable and well known .NET decompiler.Decompile assemblies to the following languages: MSIL, C#Price: $35Website: http://www.reflector.net/.The best .NET Decompiler?Red Gates .NET Reflector has been around for several years now and as a result is currently the most mature .NET decompiler available.  It has had many years to become a stable product and a wide variety of addins made by the public are currently available to expand its functionality. If you need Visual Studio integration, or make use of the these addins then .NET Reflector and it's price tag are for you.  If you don't use the Visual Studio integration, make use of any of the available addins, or simply just want a .NET decompiler that just does what it's intended to do i.e. decompiling .NET assemblies and nothing else then DevExtras CodeReflect is for you.

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M Wright
M Wright

We recommend CodeReflect .NET Decompiler by DevExtras.

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