What Is C Sharp Scripting?


Scott Campbell

C# Scripting is a powerful feature that allows developers to write and execute C# code directly without the need for compiling it into an executable application. This article will explore what C# Scripting is all about and how it can be used in various scenarios.

What is C# Scripting?

C# Scripting, also known as “CSharp scripting” or simply “CSX,” is a feature introduced in C# 6.0 and later versions. It enables developers to write and execute C# code interactively within an environment like the .NET Core CLI (Command-Line Interface) or an integrated development environment (IDE) such as Visual Studio.

Unlike traditional C# programming, where code must be compiled into an executable before it can be executed, scripting allows developers to write code snippets, expressions, or entire programs on the fly without the need for a separate compilation step. This makes it easier to experiment, prototype, and quickly test ideas.

Advantages of C# Scripting

C# Scripting offers several advantages over traditional compiled programming:

  • Rapid Prototyping: With scripting, you can quickly test ideas and see immediate results without having to wait for the lengthy compilation process.
  • Interactive Development: By using a scripting environment, you can interactively experiment with your code by executing individual statements or blocks of code without the need to create a complete application.
  • Data Analysis and Manipulation: C# scripting is particularly useful for data analysis tasks where you need to process and manipulate data quickly.
  • Scripted Automation: Scripts can be used to automate repetitive tasks by writing small scripts that perform specific actions.
  • Embedding in Applications: Scripts can be embedded within applications to provide dynamic behavior or extensibility.

How C# Scripting Works

When you write C# scripts, they are typically executed by a script host, such as the .NET Core CLI or an IDE with integrated scripting support. The script host dynamically compiles and executes the code on the fly, providing immediate feedback.

C# scripts can contain any valid C# code, including variable declarations, method definitions, expressions, and more. Additionally, you can reference external assemblies and NuGet packages to leverage existing functionality in your scripts.

To execute a C# script, you would usually use the command line or an IDE-specific command. For example, with the .NET Core CLI, you would use the following command:

dotnet script myscript.csx

This command instructs the .NET Core CLI to execute the specified C# script file (myscript.csx).


C# Scripting is a powerful feature that allows developers to write and execute C# code interactively without the need for compiling it into an executable application. It offers rapid prototyping, interactive development, data analysis capabilities, scripted automation, and embedding in applications. By leveraging C# scripting, developers can quickly test ideas, perform data analysis tasks efficiently, automate repetitive actions, and enhance application extensibility.

If you haven’t tried C# scripting yet, give it a go! It’s a valuable tool that can significantly streamline your development process.

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