PlatformIO vs Visual Studio

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PlatformIO vs Visual Studio: What are the differences?


In this article, we will compare the key differences between PlatformIO and Visual Studio in the context of using them for website development. PlatformIO and Visual Studio are both popular development platforms, but they have some distinct differences that set them apart from each other.

  1. Programming Languages: PlatformIO is primarily focused on providing a unified development platform for embedded systems and IoT devices, supporting languages such as C, C++, and Python, whereas Visual Studio is a comprehensive IDE that supports a wide range of programming languages, including C#, VB.NET, C++, and JavaScript.

  2. Platform Support: PlatformIO offers extensive support for various hardware platforms, including Arduino, ESP-IDF, Raspberry Pi, and many others, making it an ideal choice for embedded systems development. On the other hand, Visual Studio is more focused on Windows development but also provides support for cross-platform development using tools like Xamarin.

  3. Extensions and Plugins: Visual Studio has a vast ecosystem of extensions and plugins, providing developers with additional functionality and tools to enhance their development workflow. PlatformIO, though it has a smaller ecosystem, offers numerous extensions specifically tailored for embedded systems, offering features like debugging, testing, and library management.

  4. User Interface: PlatformIO is designed to have a simple and intuitive user interface, making it easier for beginners to get started with embedded systems development. Visual Studio, being a more comprehensive IDE, has a more complex user interface with a multitude of features and customization options, making it suitable for more advanced programming tasks.

  5. Integration with Cloud Services: Visual Studio provides seamless integration with Azure cloud services, allowing developers to easily deploy and manage their web applications and services. PlatformIO, however, focuses primarily on local development and does not offer built-in integration with cloud services.

  6. Community and Documentation: Visual Studio has a large and active community, with extensive documentation and tutorials available, making it easier for developers to find support and resources. PlatformIO also has a supportive community, but it may not be as extensive as Visual Studio's community, especially for specific embedded systems and IoT devices.

In summary, PlatformIO is a specialized development platform focused on embedded systems and IoT devices, offering support for various hardware platforms and providing a simplified user interface. Visual Studio, on the other hand, is a comprehensive IDE that supports a wide range of programming languages, has a larger ecosystem of extensions and plugins, and offers integration with Azure cloud services.

Advice on PlatformIO and Visual Studio

The problem I have is whether to choose Android Studio or Visual Studio? I have to develop a simple app for a school project that can work on both iPhone and Android.

The most important factors for me are Android and iOS compatibility. Although note that i would like to become a Software Engineer when i finish my course. (I'd like to work for Apple, just saying!)

After that id like easy integration for Google Ads and such if i do develop another app that people actually use to support development. (I'd also like to stick with one easy programming language that's compatible with a wide variety of platforms since i'm a beginner and have only ever used Pascal)

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Replies (1)

First of all - Android Studio and Visual Studio are IDE's. Tools to create code. What you are asking is programming framework. I assume that when you are talking about Android Studio you mean Native Android Development and by Visual Studio you mean Xamarin.

If you want to create crossplatform app then Native Android Development is NOT a way to go. Xamarin might work for you, BUT - you'd rather recommend you to go with Flutter. It's much more performant than Xamarin, programming model is friendlier for developer and technology seems just more refined. It's also officially supported by google, so no worries about support.

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Pros of PlatformIO
Pros of Visual Studio
  • 7
    Support for various Embedded Boards
  • 5
    It is the best
  • 3
    Integrates with VSCode and Atom
  • 1
    Device monitor filters
  • 1
    CI (continous integration)
  • 1
    CLI (command line tools
  • 305
    Intellisense, ui
  • 244
    Complete ide and debugger
  • 165
  • 104
  • 93
  • 37
  • 35
    Node tools for visual studio (ntvs)
  • 33
    Free Community edition
  • 24
  • 17
    Bug free
  • 8
    Made by Microsoft
  • 6
    Full free community version
  • 5
    JetBrains plugins (ReSharper etc.) work sufficiently OK
  • 3
    Productivity Power Tools
  • 2
    Vim mode
  • 2
    VIM integration
  • 1
    I develop UWP apps and Intellisense is super useful
  • 1
    Cross platform development
  • 1
    The Power and Easiness to Do anything in any.. language
  • 1
    Available for Mac and Windows

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Cons of PlatformIO
Cons of Visual Studio
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    • 15
    • 14
      Made by Microsoft
    • 6
      Sometimes you need to restart to finish an update
    • 3
      Too much size for disk
    • 3
      Only avalible on Windows

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    What is PlatformIO?

    PlatformIO is an open source ecosystem for IoT development. Cross-platform build system and library manager. Continuous and IDE integration. Arduino and MBED compatible. Ready for Cloud compiling.

    What is Visual Studio?

    Visual Studio is a suite of component-based software development tools and other technologies for building powerful, high-performance applications.

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    What are some alternatives to PlatformIO and Visual Studio?
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    Arduino IDE
    It makes it easy to write code and upload it to the board. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The environment is written in Java and based on Processing and other open-source software.
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    At GitHub, we're building the text editor we've always wanted. A tool you can customize to do anything, but also use productively on the first day without ever touching a config file. Atom is modern, approachable, and hackable to the core. We can't wait to see what you build with it.
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