In general, the only difference between the Community and Professional editions of Visual Studio is one of licensing. According to my contacts at Microsoft, there is no operational difference between the two editions.

The Community edition (which is a free download) can be used by individual developers and small teams (5 people or less, as long as the company revenue is under a certain amount) for commercial development. It can also be used by anyone for open source development, educational purposes, and demonstration purposes. The Professional edition (which is not free) has fewer license restrictions.

The differences get less and less with each release. Mostly the differences are only relevant if you are working in a large team – collaboration tools, automated unit tests, and the like.

For my own home PCs, I run Community edition. Because if I am working at home, I’m not collaborating. I have also worked at small IT shops which ran Community, because they seldom shared projects. Larger shops developing more complex apps may shell out for Professional or Enterprise.

Download the free Community VS. If you find something you need which is available only in Professional (which I doubt), stump up the extra money then.


Last modified: March 22, 2019



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