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Support for Visual Studio 2010

Last post 06-08-2011 10:06 by Ken Evans. 38 replies.
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  • 09-20-2010 16:25 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    Thanks for that John.
    So if I understand you correctly:

    1. VS2010 does not give a NORMA user any benefits that are not already available with VS2008.
    2: If you have already migrated to VS2010, then it is helpful to have everything running in the same IDE.

    Is that a fair summary?

    Ken

  • 09-20-2010 17:35 In reply to

    • JParrish
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    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

     That's a fair summary of my reply. I am not a visual studio integration developer, so I think the question of what VS 2010 could provide by way of NORMA, is a question best left to Matthew Curland and team. Perhaps there are no internal benefits, or maybe the DSL tools have improved in performance etc, I simply wouldn't know.

  • 09-20-2010 18:33 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    I know a little about the improvements made in the DSL tools for VS2010. Some of them will represent quite an opportunity for NORMA out of the box, and for NORMA extensions. In particular, it is now much easier to have one DSL reference elements of a model created using another DSL (see Integrating Models by using Visual Studio Modelbus).

    Another benefit is that the new UML and Architecture modeling tools are now built on the DSL toolkit. Given that DSLs can now be interconnected, this opens the possibility of generating a class model from an ORM model. I would be quite interested to see whether it is possible to generate an Entity Framework model from an ORM model as well. One could then use the superior conceptual modeling of ORM to create models, yet have the power of Entity Framework 4.0 to work with.

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  • 09-21-2010 3:04 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    Thanks John. Very helpful.

    John Saunders:
    One could then use the superior conceptual modeling of ORM to create models, yet have the power of Entity Framework 4.0 to work with.
     

    Entity Framework 4.0 sounds nice however,

    The author of http://blogs.msdn.com/b/adonet/archive/2010/07/19/absolue-beginners-guide-to-entity-framework.aspx
    suggests two alternatives:

    1. Generate from a database: "If there was already a database in place that you had to use, then you would select the 'Generate from database' option, and the Entity Framework would do its best to create models and associations that fit the data."

    2:  Model-First:  "If you are starting an application from scratch and get to design the database, ...

    The description in the "Model-First" approach implies that making some ad-hoc classes is the same as "designing a database".
    On the other hand I'm also a bit nervous about the Entity Framework "doing its best".
    It seems to me that in "doing its best" the Entity Framework 4.0 database-to-objects algorithm must contain a lot of hidden assumptions.

    So this highlights the fundamental differences (aka: impedance mismatch) between the object-relational mapping approach and object-role modeling. This is well explained by Ted Neward on his blog:http://blogs.tedneward.com/2006/06/26/The+Vietnam+Of+Computer+Science.aspx

    The only quibble I have with Ted Neward is one of terminology. What he calls "Abandonment" I would call "Enlightenment"

    Do you agree?

    Ken 

     

  • 09-21-2010 3:41 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    Hello,

     Allow me to give my and my organisation's point of view by answering your summary:

    1. Microsoft changed how Add-Ins a.k.a. "Extensions" are handled in Visual Studio 2010. To me (not having built any Visual Studion Extension myself) it seems easier to build extensions now compared to the previous version, and much easier to publish them. Users can much more easily find Add-Ins and manage them in regards to enabling/disabling/updating/uninstalling through something called the Extension Manager within Visual Studion 2010. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd293638.aspx

    2. I agree with your point but I'd like to examine this argument a bit further. Version 2010 is an improvement to 2008 and it is only a matter of time until you really need the new version, although many people already upgraded maybe for features a cynical person really wouldn't call "essential". So although "NORMA in VS2010" at this point only would only be a "helpful" feature, for how long will this be a valid argument? Until the next version of VS is released? The version after that? The only reason for my organisation still keeping 2008 is NORMA, something that is also associated with some costs.

    That said, I have full respect for you guys, the theories you help us put into practice for free, and that it is an effort keeping up with Microsoft's new versions!

    Regards,
    /Fredrik

  • 09-21-2010 17:53 In reply to

    • JParrish
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    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

     Ken do you support something more like Linq to SQL? I am working on a L2S project currently, and NORMA was used to create the physical model. L2S does a good job of generating a series of classes from the database, but the object model that you get is a one to one rendition of the physical model. The biggest benefit is basically automating the generation of the entire DAL. Still, since norma doesn't currently produce an object model from the conceptual model, it seems to be about as good as can be hoped for without having to write the entire entity layer yourself, I suppose a balance. Are there any extensions to NORMA that generate C# object models that anyone is aware of? It seemed at one point there was one, but I don't see it in my current version.

  • 09-22-2010 5:06 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

     John,

    I have just tested the VS 2008 version of NORMA that is in the Library (In Win 7 Pro).
    So NORMA does generate L2S code.
    You just have to read Tutorial 1 very carefully to figure out how to do it.

    Ken
  • 10-28-2010 2:54 In reply to

    • maxusa
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    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    Hello, Matt. Any updates on the VS2010 port target date?

  • 10-28-2010 11:28 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    Hi Max,

    At this point there isn't a lot of update other than to say I've started working through the core NORMA dll. I spent 1.5 days on it and got it to compile without errors (41 warnings) against the old code generation. The changes so far are not horrible (the SVN patch file is 45k). The VS2010 DSL generation has changed significantly, including obsoleting some of the old generated attributes. We actually require a couple of extensions to be registered with the DSL generator to get it to run for our shape models, so I need to port these first before attempting regeneration with the VS2010 template, reapplying custom generation templates, etc. The VS package registration is also significantly different.

    I've been at my own desk 2 days out of the last three weeks, and haven't had a chance to work beyond this initial port. I need about one more day of coding to give any estimate on the total cost--I'm essentially still investigating. If all goes seamlessly then I'll get this out in a couple of weeks, but a December release would be a much safer bet at this point. The current public NORMA release is getting a little stale (there are some very nice new features, such as cross-model drag/drop capabilities), so I'll probably make one more release (from my home desk) without the 2010 bits.

    -Matt

  • 10-28-2010 14:02 In reply to

    • Tyler Young
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    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    YOU HAVE CROSS-MODEL DRAG-DROP???!!?!?!?!!

    That's a very popular feature request among students.

  • 11-17-2010 16:41 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    Update:

    It has been a lot of work, but I have almost all of the NORMA bits working on VS2010 now. VS2010 has some significant platform changes (code generators (generated code cannot be shared as with VS2005/VS2008), package registration (build, setup, extension registration), editor back end (fact editor), property descriptor handling (properties window), toolbox population (self-explanatory), mouse actions (toolbox interactions and constraint editing), and many more small things).

    The three parts I haven't done are code generation (Microsoft deprecated most of Microsoft.Build.Engine, and it will take me at least a day to rewrite the ORMCustomTool project file interactions), Database import (should be straightforward), and Setup (aforementioned changes to package registration will modify data). At this point, I'll be modeling flat out for at least a week using the platform, so I should be able to iron out any remaining issues, then finish up these work items. I should get a release out in a couple of weeks once I'm comfortable with the modifications.

    Thanks for being patient, I know not having this is hindering NORMA use for a lot of you. The current change set has 317 files in the core repository with several more to go, so please be patient for a bit longer while I get some product-use time in and make sure things are stable and consistent.

    -Matt

  • 11-17-2010 18:50 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    Thanks, Matt, that's great progress.

  • 11-17-2010 19:21 In reply to

    • Tyler Young
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    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    WOW!! Holy smokes you work fast when you get the opportunity. I can't wait to try it out! Thank you for the incredible amount of work that's gone into this.
  • 11-18-2010 5:33 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010

    Matt,

    That's great progress. 

    I hope that you will be able to "work around" a VS2010 "feature" that may affect NORMA users on VS2010.
    The "feature" is that code in VS2010 will not print in color.

    I was a bit mad about this because two weeks ago, I bought an A3 color printer so that I could print VS code in color.
    Initially, I thought the shiny new printer was at fault and it took me quite a while to isolate the "fault" to VS2010.

    When I asked Microsoft about it (on 12 November 2010), this is what the program manager of the VS2010 editor team said :


    "...we rewrote the Visual Studio editor for VS 2010.
    Unfortunately there were features that we couldn't get done in this product cycle, and color printing is one of those features.
    I'm unfortunately resolving this bug as Won't Fix for VS 2010, but it will remain in our database and is high on our list of features to add back in the next release.
    As you've noticed, black and white printing is still available for VS 2010. While it's not ideal, you can also potentially work around the absence of color printing by copying code into another application (e.g. MS Word) for printing.
    Visual Studio's RTF copy/paste functionality allows syntax coloring to persist when copying and pasting into another rich text editor like Word."

    So, if your tests show that NORMA won't print in color on VS2010, you now know why!

    Ken

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  • 12-01-2010 7:07 In reply to

    Re: Support for Visual Studio 2010 - Color Printing Update

    First the good news:
    Microsoft has responded to requests for color printing in Visual Studio 2010 by announcing a free color printing extension.
    Read more about it here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudio/

    Now the bad news:
    This feature is only available in Visual Studio 2010 Pro, Premium, or Ultimate because the Express editions do not support extensions.
     

    An alternative:
    You can print in color from VS 2010 Express by cutting and pasting from VS 2010 into another program that supports color printing such as Word of VS 2008 Pro.


    Ken

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