PHP Tools – A Must for Visual Studio lovers.

Last week I returned to University to complete my Degree in Multimedia and Internet Technology. After spending over a year in the routine of working 9-5, it’s been quite a shock and will take some time to get used to it all again!

Since branding myself as a .NET developer, I’ve grown very accustomed to the .NET language and developing for web using ASP.NET. However my final year has none of this at all, with the Advanced Web Development module focusing solely on creating large scale web applications using PHP.

Visual studio 2012 is my favourite of all the IDE’s – Especially with intellisense being an utter Godsend. During second year of my course, we used NetBeans for the PHP module. I quickly found that I wasn’t very keen on this as an IDE, begging the question now – If only I could use Visual Studio, in the same way I develop C#, but for PHP.

PHP Tools

PHP Tools box render.

It didn’t take me long after Googling around for solutions for me to stumble across this little gem; PHP Tools developed by DEVSENSE Software Solutions. A quick scroll through it’s features, and I had already made up my mind.

In the past, I’ve found that when using another language, in another IDE is like learning a whole new thing. But with PHP integrated nicely into Visual studio, I feel that I can now focus on what matters most – Learning the language and learning how to develop large scale web applications.

I’ve spent a little while playing around with it, and I’ve found that I am able to adopt the same methodologies I had been using when developing in C#, in PHP. Fantastic. I am now able to focus solely on learning the ins-and-outs of PHP without the hassle of getting used to a whole new development environment.

Whilst the full Professional version of PHP Tools is not free, I can wholeheartedly say – It’s worth every penny! There is however a free version as well as a 30 Day Trial of the professional version for you to make up your mind. For me however, it didn’t even take 1 of those days for me to decide that I needed this!