17.1. NuGet

For the rest of this class, we will be working with Visual Studio (VS). Visual Studio can be overwhelming at first, but we will provide you with tools and tips as we continue through the course. We are going to introduce you to topics as needed so that we can cover things that you can practice right away.

In this chapter, we will discuss NuGet and the Debugger.

17.1.1. NuGet

NuGet is a package management tool for .NET software. To use a dependency in a C# project, we can rely on NuGet to connect us with third-party code. NuGet allows us to bypass downloading and hosting the dependency library ourselves. We will only scratch the surface of the utility of a .NET package manager in this course. That said, it is still a good idea to get familiar with these tools. As your programs grow larger, NuGet will help to maintain a robust codebase.

NuGet packages are readily available within the IDE itself. Perhaps you have noticed the Dependencies directory that is created in our projects? To browse available packages, right click on that directory. From there, select “Manage NuGet Packages” from the dropdown menu:

User selecting "Manage NuGet Packages" from dependencies dropdown menu

User selecting “Manage NuGet Packages”.

The resulting window shows a catalog of software packages you may add to your project.

Package browsing view of the NuGet package manager window

Browse available NuGet packages

NuGet allows you to use external code sources without including the codebase itself. You can make use of compiled libraries that other developers have already built. You can choose to use a specific version of a package hosted by NuGet, and update that version as need be.

17.1.2. Check Your Understanding

Question

Select which item best describes the job of NuGet.

  1. NuGet compiles your C# programs to be deployed in different conditions.
  2. NuGet is a marshmallow-like confection found in many candy bars.
  3. NuGet is a package manager for .NET programs.
  4. NuGet allows you to download dependency library source code into your solution.