Red Gate’s .NET Reflector Becoming Commercial (Paid)

Red Gate’s .NET Reflector Becoming Commercial (Paid)

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I just got the word that Red Gate’s .NET Reflector will be changing to “paid only” starting with the upcoming version 7 in early march. Neil Davidson (Red Gate’s Co-CEO) wrote this open letter:

An open letter to the .NET community

Red Gate has announced that it will charge $35 for version 7 of .NET Reflector upon its release in early March. Version 7 will be sold as a perpetual license, with no time bomb or forced updates.

As many of you know, our original intention was to maintain .NET Reflector as a free tool. But, after two-and-a-half years of providing it without charge, we realized that we could not make the free model work. We know that this will cause pain for some people in the .NET community, and we apologize for the change in policy.

As a commercial company, we need to charge at least a nominal amount to keep .NET Reflector up-to-date and relevant. Without revenue coming in, we cannot dedicate a team of developers to ensure that Reflector remains a valuable part of .NET developers’ toolboxes.

As always, your feedback is important to Red Gate, so please contribute any thoughts on this subject to our .NET Reflector forum.

Neil Davidson
Co-CEO, Red Gate Software

This is not a surprise news as at some point most of us expected this turnaround. What we didn’t expect, I think, is that Red Gate is actually NOT releasing a free version of .NET Reflector anymore so the only available product out there will be the commercial (paid) version.

Version 7 of .NET Reflector comes with a new set of features aiming to capture the attention of the .NET community and Red Gate expects a lot of feedback too.

The new license model comes with “perpetual” rights over the version you purchase but upgrades to newer versions will have a small fee.

Version 7 will be released in 3 different versions, although at the time of this writing there is no information about different pricing schemes:

  • .NET Reflector
  • .NET Reflector VS
  • .NET Reflector VSPro

The first one is the stand-alone windows program and the other two integrates with Visual Studio (and also includes the windows app). Debugging capabilities are included only in VSPro.

Among the most interesting features are:

  • Full support for .NET 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0
  • Decompile an entire assembly to either C# or VB to view and debug in Visual Studio
  • Step-through debugging of any assembly in Visual Studio (as long as it’s not obfuscated)
  • Step into and set breakpoints anywhere in any assembly
  • Watch variables in the decompiled code
  • Use Visual Studio’s advanced debugging features in decompiled code: Set Next Statement, modify variable values, and dynamic expression evaluation in the immediate window

Version 7 Beta 1 is available for download now.

I’m collectiong feedback about everything regarding the new changes in pricing and features to pass to Red Gate so feel free to discuss here.