I was just wondering what is the best combination of free software that can be used for general software development. For example commercial softwares like Visual Studio and Crystal Reports creates a nice tandem for creating lots of different kinds of systems for windows like Accounting system , Inventory system etc. we all know that these software cost quite a lot, so if you are just a freelance programmer, I don't think these solution would be that much viable. What I'm looking for is a free development software that freelance programmers can use to create commercial software. It would also be nice if the devt tools can be compiled for multiple OS like it would work for both Windows or Linux.
What are you looking to program in? There's a lot of difference choices to choose from programming. I think Visual Basic 6 is very easy to create programs in, and well it's not that hard to learn. It's not free though.
The Borland Turbo Explorer versions of their software are ALL free - but there are also paid versions available.
I use Borland Turbo C++ Explorer and it is great.
There's also DevC++ which a lot of people swear by, but I don't use it myself. It's an Open Source C++ API.
You can get Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual J#, Visual C#, and a free version of MSSQL Server in the Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2008 set. I have also downloaded this. Unlike with the Borland free offerings, you can have all of those products installed on the same computer. With the Borland Turbo Explorer software packages, you can only have one installed at a time - so Turbo C++ on one computer, Turbo Delphi on another, etc.
The Turbo Explorer packages also come with a free version of InterBase 7.5 from memory.
I'm not really sure how their offerings compare with Crystal Reports though, as I have no actual working experience with Crystal Reports. It's one of the few software packages that I haven't actually touched in my line of work, although I've seen it around quite a lot.
I only develop websites so can't really comment, although I have had some experience with MS Visual Basic Express 2005 and 2008 Editions for making basic apps, and these are fine if you can program in vb.net