This post is to provide some tips for people who may or may not have been using the .NET Framework SDK. Most of these tips apply to the .NET Framework SDK v2.0 Beta, but some will also work with previous versions.
1. Most people do not know this, but the SDK is included with Visual Studio. Look at your start menu you will see a Microsoft .NET Framework SDK program group.
2. Whidbey Tip: We have added a SDK command prompt that will set all of the environment variables you need to build basic .NET Framework applications. Once you start using the command line to do you work you will learn that you can't live without it.
3. Debugger: The SDK includes a lightweight graphical debugger called DbgCLR. There is a shortcut to this in the SDK v2.0 Start menu. If you ever need to debug something, but don't want to install VS this is the way to go. Just install the SDK tools only and you have everything you need.
4. C++ compilers. The .NET Framework SDK includes cl.exe, link.exe, and vcbuild so that you can build C++ applications.
5. Mage.exe and PermCalc.exe. These are new tools that you can use to generate click once manifest files. Mage has a GUI that is pretty easy to use and will help you create the manifest files that click once needs. PermCalc.exe is a little bit hard to find. It's in the VS directory. Just type PermCalc in the SDK command prompt and you will get the details on it.
6. ILDasm.exe. I had built .NET Framework applications before coming to work for Microsoft and never user Ildasm, but since someone on my team introduced me to this tool I have found it extremely useful. Run Ildasm and open up a managed assembly of exe. You can then browse through all of the namespaces, classes, properties, methods, etc. It is extremely helpful when you are dealing with poorly documented software.
If you are an avid SDK user let me know. I'm looking for customers to gather feedback from, invite into beta programs, and recognize as MVP's.