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# Monday, September 04, 2006

For the next post I'll split our world into two parts:
Architect - the one who creates those guidelines
Programmers - those who get the guidelines and should follow the directions.

Tools Vocabulary:

  • GAX - Guidance Automation Extension:
    This Part of installation should be installed on all your programmers' stations, this installation is working as a run-time environment on your computer. Once you installed the GAX you can download tons of guidance installers (MSI\Setup.exe), you can find those on the net or ask your architect to create some for you(read GAT bullet for further info).
  • GAT - Guidance Automation Toolkit:
    This part of the installation will be used by the Architect (The one who writes those guidelines).
    After installing the GAT, you can insert your VS2005 and create a new solution : go to Guidance package and see your new sample packages.

Here are your first steps in the GAT world:
(From now on (this post, only) I am the Architect and you are my enthusiastic-gifted-lovely programmers).

  1. Download the GAX,  run the MSI, in this point there is no visible difference in your VS2005. 
  2. Download my sample project: GatLectures.Lec1Setup.msi (592.00KB) and run the installer, this sample project creates a sample solution. In this solution you can find more options on your context menu (Fig1), you can also see the new snippets(Fig 3 & Fig 4) I've inserted.
    Here are some screen shots samples:

Create Customized class
Fig 1. Add Your custom made class, instead of copy&paste from others class.

         Custom made property screen
Fig 2. Custom made screen for inserting the class parameters and generating the class data.


Projects snippets
Fig 3. Choose your current snippets by moving between the existing projects


Your Project Snippets
Fig 4. I've added two snippets samples, and you (the programmer) can use it without installing 
        anything else. (all programmers will use the same snippets in the whole project)

        Stop Here, Please try those two steps by yourself!

        After you've finished playing with this package yourself you can simply remove the package by going 
        to your: Control Panel -> add/remove programs -> remove the GatLectures.Lec1Setup.

  1. Now you can play the architect role yourself:
    * Step 1 - Download the GAT and install it.
    * Step 2 - Open your VS2005
    * Step 3 - Open a new project -> Guidance Packages, 
                   here you can see the Guidance Package Development.
    If your fingers are dancing on the keyboard, like mine were in this installation, you can try this out or you can wait a little bit.
    On my next lectures I'll give a full explanation on how to do this right.

The First two steps will be a common behavior for programmers, the third step will be done by the architect or the guidelines creator.

* Special thanks to Gil for assisting me in the programmer's side (phase 1 and 2 of the installation & the screenshots).

* I would be glad to receive any question\remarks either by comment or by mail, it will help me understand your point of view and where my explanations are insufficient.
* If you want to see something else (either simpler or complicated) just send me a comment or mail.
Monday, September 04, 2006 12:20:22 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
.Net 2.0 | Guidance Automation Toolkit

# Friday, August 25, 2006

Gat is an acronym for Guidance Automation Toolkit, this name is a self descriptive.
The first big example I can think about GAT usage is for all the big guidance docs in our office, every programmer wrote at least one guidance document.

For example, document that holds your team standards, such as: all of our web-pages will inherit from MyTeamMasterPage.
For example, in my team we always open new web-page which inherit from the same page, which holds some helper properties.
Another example is in our Dal & BO which both sitting in COM+ they both inherit from the same class and implement the same interfaces and so on.

This guidance docs are pretty good, because they force the same standards between the team members, but the big problem that new programmers will need more time before they could learn and use all those specific standards, and also this is a waste of time for the programmer.
When we change those standards we should learn everyone those new standards and it take some time to get used to this new standards.

The Gat is giving you whole new world to automate this process and to stop the monkey copy-paste.

For example instead of adding new empty WebForm.aspx you can cause your programmers to add the special MyTeamWebForm.aspx which holds inside the logical stuff we describe before.

I know that some of you might mumble to yourself: Merlin did the same or I wrote such Add-ins, but it is more powerful than you can think about it right now, so stay tuned for the next days I'll post here my tutorial for the Gat newbie.

Friday, August 25, 2006 9:13:40 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback
.Net 2.0 | Guidance Automation Toolkit

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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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Shani Raba
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