Yesterday evening I attended the VISUG meeting on the Guidance Automation Toolkit. I - and I think most attendees - very much enjoyed the meeting hosted by Jelle Druyts.

Jelle started the meeting by introducing the basic concepts of the Guidance Automation Toolkit and the Guidance Automation Extensions and why someone would need this kind of thing when working on a project. Next he explained how Visual Studio SDK does the work behind the scenes for the GAT. This got us to the inner workings of a guidance package: Visual Studio Templates, recipes, guidance package wizard, actions, value provides, code generation. But of course once you used the GAT in a project you'd like it to provide value to the developers over time. This was covered in the last section of the presentation: continuous guidance.

After the theoretical explanation of GAT Jelle took a deep dive into the code and all the aspects a guidance package consists of. From building a simple package, testing and deploying it to creating guidance for a large enterprise customer, Jelle showed it's possible to achieve great results in a relative short period of time. Check out his series of blog post if you want to learn more about it.

Along the way some good starter tips, upgrade issues and must-read resources were mentioned:

Thanks Jelle for delivering this excellent user group session. Now we're only waiting on your 7th GAT post ;-)

Tags: Microsoft, Community, GAT