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Top Seven Coding Standards and Guideline Documents for C#/.NET Developers Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In my last post, I had collated a list of seven must read, free EBooks for .NET Developers, and a number of people found the list to be useful. Encouraged by this, I have put together a similar list of standard guidelines/checklists for .NET /C# developers.

While it may not be a huge stretch in coming up with such a document, the key lies in implementing these standards using internal trainings, peer reviews, check in policies, automated code review tools etc. You can take a look at FxCop and StyleCop for automating the review process, and you can customize the rules based on your requirements.

So here we go. The order is not significant.

1 – IDesign C# Coding Standards

IDesign C# coding standards is a pretty good and compact (27 pages!) coding standards document. It covers naming conventions, best practices, and framework specific guidelines.



The document even has guidelines for project settings, build configuration, versioning etc.

Download IDesign C# Coding Standards

2 – Encodo C# Handbook

Encodo C# handbook is more recent and has 72 pages of guidelines on structure, formatting, and naming. It also has a ‘patterns and best practices’ section, which is a must read for any .NET/C# developer.


You can download the handbook here:

Download Encodo C# Handbook

3 – Microsoft Framework Design Guidelines

MSDN has a section on guidelines for designing class libraries, which covers a set of best practices related to type design, member design etc. You can find it here:

Read the Design Guidelines for Developing Class Libraries

4 – Dennis’ C# Coding Standards Document

Dennis created an initial version of C# coding standards, which was published as the Philips Health Care C# coding standards document (~70 pages). The document categorizes guidelines for areas such as naming, exception handling, control flow etc.

  • Update: The Initial Version I have linked here has now been superseded by the Coding Guidelines for C# 3.0 and C# 4.0. Paul Jansen of Tiobe will update his site soon with the new version. In the meantime, you can download the guidelines and a few companion documents here:

5 – Microsoft’s All-In-One Code Framework Coding Guideline

Microsoft’s All In One Code framework has a coding style guideline document. The Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework is a free, centralized code sample library provided by the Microsoft community team. It has typical code samples for all Microsoft development technologies along with a guideline document on code styles.

Download All In One Code Framework Guideline Document

6 – Brad’s Quick Post on Microsoft Internal Coding Guidelines

Brad had a post on Microsoft Internal coding standards. It is a short post that delves into styling and naming conventions.

Read Microsoft Internal Coding Guidelines Post

7 – Mike’s C# Coding Style Guide

Mike Kruger (Sharpdevelop) has published a 13 page C# Coding Style guide. Again, the focus is on casing, naming conventions, declaration style etc.

Download C# Coding Style Guide

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