So... What do you use linqpad for?

So, I discovered linqpad a few days ago and have been using it for it's ability to quickly test my LINQ statements and see real results quickly. But I was just wondering, what else can you use linqpad for that VS and a test project wouldn't be able to handle? Or is it just that linqpad doesn't require the setup of a project to use it as a scratchpad that makes it so awesome?



  • I use it for beyond testing simple queries. There are times I use it to see the generated SQL (and get an actual execution plan), then there are times I either prototype and test functions, them methodically move them into my classes. I've used it to test queries through our entities, parse and process XML files into object models.

    I've also used it to test LINQ queries against WCF data services, both for SQL and Oracle. The fact that you can also reference your own assemblies allows you to use 3rd party libraries and even your own libraries and be able to debug into them.... and as you pointed out, all without having to set up a Visual Studio project. Another handy use has been for running management 'scripts' which do anything from cleaning up files to populating sample data. You can create unit tests and move those into your test projects as well.

    You'll find over time you'll probably find a very clever use for it, I keep finding new things from time to time.
  • One of the key things for me is to be able to write, run and debug code in places where Visual Studio isn't available. Having a simple, single executable I can copy over to a back office server - and reference the key assemblies - makes a huge difference in productivity.

    My other favorite feature is .Dump() [and overloads] and sibling methods like DumpLive(). Being able to visualize the data - and export that to Word/Excel is huge not only for my understanding but being able to share it with other team members to help out. LINQPad makes it trivial to transform or shape that data to help them out as well.

    There is much, much more I love about LINQPad - I have been using it almost daily for over five years. There is just soo little friction to prototype ideas and experiment. I absolutely love it.
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