Three Free Online Code Sandbox and Collaboration Tools for SQL, .NET, JavaScript

Being able to write and test code snippets in your Web browser in collaboration with others anywhere in the world is an empowering experience. This is especially true when the tool is free for anyone to use. I can see no better way for developers to learn new languages or code better applications when the old-school barriers of software and hardware are removed.

In the realms of coding for JavaScript, SQL, and .NET, I am aware of three very useful environments that I would suggest: JSFiddle, SQL Fiddle, and .NET Fiddle. In the article below I will briefly describe the capabilities of each tool and how they will give your programming efforts an edge.

JavaScript/jQuery Sandbox Tool:

http://jsfiddle.net/

This now-famous tool was created and is maintained by Piotr and Oskar.

JSFiddle is a great resource for any developer that supports a huge variety of JavaScript libraries. I won’t list them all here, but some of the most well known are:

  • Pure JavaScript
  • JQuery 1.x  to 2.x
  • Prototype 1.6 & 1.7
  • YUI 2.8 to 3.8
  • Dojo 1.5 to 1.9

You can also set your HTML DTD as:

  • HTML5
  • XHTML
  • HTML 4.01

JSFiddle also supports AJAX request testing in JSON, JSONP, HTML, and XML formats.

Collaboration-wise, JSFiddle allows you to invite friends and to communicate with voice if you sign up for an account. Cool stuff!

SQL Sandbox Tool:

http://sqlfiddle.com

SQL Fiddle was created and is actively maintained by Jake Feasel.

As with the other tools mentioned here, you can use this tool specifically to prototype, test, share, and collaborate on SQL scripts. You do not need to own resource-intensive software such as SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) or Oracle to test your scripts. This is a huge advantage if, for example, you are looking to code cross-platform SQL.

SQL Fiddle Supports:

  • SQL Server 2008, 2012
  • SQLite
  • MySQL 5.1 to 5.6
  • Oracle 11g
  • PostgreSQL 8.3 to 9.3

.NET Sandbox Tool:

http://www.dotnetfiddle.net/

I am not entirely sure who the developer is for this, but they have done an outstanding job! Here is a link to the .NET Fiddle about page.

This tool supports C# and VB.NET scripts as a console tool. Note that only .NET 4.5 is currently supported.

The advantage of this tool is that you don’t have to install Visual Studio on your machine, and that you don’t have to start it up and create a new project each time you want to test a code snippet. You can also share your code with others and work on snippets together in real-time using TogetherJS. I am not aware of any other such tool available today (including the newly released Visual Studio Online).

Two additional features of .NET Fiddler that I really like are:

  • The real-time validation of your code as you write it
  • Intellisense! You can get a list of options for a method by typing the .

A Quick Look into Visual Studio Online

On a side note, if you are developing in .NET, you should also try out Visual Studio Online. You will have to sign up for a free outlook.com account to do so. With Visual Studio Online, you will still need to download and run Visual Studio 2013 onto your PC, but then you can collaborate online with other members.

Visual Studio Online is a good idea that I will look into further, but for quick online prototyping purposes, I will use .NET Fiddler.

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