After 3 months of experience with the Project Glidepath Technical Preview, we have now released Project Glidepath 2.0!

It contains many additional features and facilities including multiple factories and better support for VB.Net along with C#.

Information regarding downloading Project Glidepath 2.0 is found here.

We will be recording screencasts of the new features shortly and will post a entry on this blog when they are available.

Note: With Project Glidepath 2.0 you will also be able to watch/listen to screencasts and podcasts directly within Visual Studio using the Glidepath Console feature!

From the Project Glidepath Website, a brief summary of what Project Glidepath offers:

    • The release of Windows Vista is creating a new wave of demand for applications. Combining the hundreds of new features and thousands of new APIs added to Windows Vista with starting and keeping a MicroISV business running is a formidable challenge.  We at Microsoft want to help make it easier for you to be successful. 
    • Project Glidepath, an Microsoft evangelism initiative, provides you the step-by-step instructions for everything from how to get started with Windows Presentation Foundation to how to write and publish a press release.
    • Project Glidepath delivers the workflow-based guidance, sample code, content and custom tools you need to create successful applications for Windows Vista including .Net 3.0 right inside Visual Studio 2005.

 

Here is a detailed list of the changes between Project Glidepath 1.9 and Project Glidepath 2.0

 

1.   Terminology Changes

a.    Project Glidepath Software Factory --> Project Glidepath Repository Manager

                         i.        In the upgrade from 1.x to 2.0 we realized that we could enable multiple, dynamically built, factories with nested viewpoints by making minor changes in the underlying code and tools used to build Project Glidepath factories and packages.  Thus since a factory is now something built on-the-fly the add-in has been renamed to more accurately reflect its actual functions.

                       ii.        The Project Glidepath Repository Manager (the Visual Studio add-in) serves three main functions:

1.   Synchronization of the local Project Glidepath repository (commands, content, templates and plugins) with the repositories described by one or more RSS feeds.  The default feed is the MicroISV repository feed that is located at www.projectglidepath.net

2.   Display of Project Glidepath context menu items on the solution, projects and various files based on the contents of the local Project Glidepath repository.

3.   Management of the state of Project Glidepath factories and packages including workflow steps, context information and factories chosen.

b.    _Viewpoints project --> _ProjectGlidepath project

                         i.        In Project Glidepath 2.0 viewpoints are now exposed within each factory that you choose to use rather than in a single project.  We still needed a "master" project on which we could hang the "Update", "Overview" and master "Workflow" menu items so we have renamed this project "_ProjectGlidepath".

c.    Application Architecture package --> individual software factories

                         i.        In 1.x you could use a single "factory" driven off of the "Application Architecture" viewpoint.  In 2.0 you can now insert multiple factories and this is done by configuring the "FactorySelector" viewpoint.

d.   Website Packages directory --> Master Repository

                         i.        Since in 2.0 there can be multiple factories as well as multiple packages we have renamed the "packages" directory used by the RSS feed the "Master Repository".  Project Glidepath can synchronize to one or more "master" repositories.  Each RSS feed represents the contents of a repository exposed by that site.

2.   Multiple Factories

a.    Packages, Factories and Viewpoints

                         i.        Project Glidepath packages contain workflow-based guidance, content, and optional code/tools the package authors prepared.  Packages are injected into your solution when you choose one or more of them from one of the selection dialogs as the result of "configuring" a viewpoint.

1.   A viewpoint is "configured" in one of two ways:

a.    Configuring a viewpoint may invoke the selection dialogs showing one or more packages stored in your local repository that relate to the focus of that viewpoint, e.g. the "DataStorage" viewpoint allows you to select packages that relate to various forms of SQL Server.

b.    Alternately, configuring a viewpoint may invoke a custom tool, e.g. the dialog box that appears when you configure the "GlidepathFeatures" viewpoint.

                       ii.        A Project Glidepath Software Factory is an enhanced Project Glidepath "package".  It contains not only workflow-based guidance and content along with optional code and optional custom tools, it also contains viewpoints. 

3.   Adding Project Glidepath to existing solutions

a.    In Project Glidepath 2.0 you can now add Project Glidepath functionality to an existing C# or VB.NET solution in Visual Studio 2005.  You do this by:

                         i.        Enabling the Project Glidepath Repository Manager

1.   Select Guidance Package Manager from the Tools menu

2.   The Gudiance Package Manager dialog will open

3.   Click on the "Enable/Disable Packages…" button

4.   The Enable and Disable Packages dialog will open

5.   Click on the checkbox next to Project Glidepath in the Guidance Package column

6.   Click on the OK button, the Enable and Disable Packages dialog will close

7.   Click on the Close button, the Guidance Package Manager dialog will close

8.   Right click on the name of your Solution

9.   Select the "Add Project Glidepath" menu item

10.                 The _ProjectGlidepath project will be inserted into your solution

4.   Additional Project Glidepath 2.0 features

a.    Glidepath Console - You can now access the Project Glidepath blog, forums, FAQ and audio/video podcasts from within Visual Studio.  Right click on the _ProjectGlidepath project and select Glidepath Console… from the menu.

b.    Feedback System - Project Glidepath now features a way for you to tell Microsoft what you like, dislike and want regarding factories, packages and workflows.  On each project there is a "Feedback…" menu item and in the workflow dialog there is a "Workflow Feedback" button

                         i.        Anonymous, type/description/details

1.   The information you send is totally anonymous

2.   The feedback dialog allows you to either type in a type or select from a list of pre-defined feedback types.

3.   You must then enter a one-line description and also details of what you want us to know.

                       ii.        Implementation

1.   When you click the "Send via Web Service" button in the Feedback dialog, your information is sent to a web service and eventually emailed to Microsoft.

c.    Customer Experience Program - As with Visual Studio, we have built instrumentation into Project Glidepath so that we can see how developers actually utilize Project Glidepath's features.  You can opt-out of this feature during the installation of the Project Glidepath Repository Manager.  You can also opt-in later using the GlidepathFeatures viewpoint (see below).

                         i.        Anonymous, ProjectGlidepath-only information

1.   This information is only collected about Project Glidepath features and does not contain any information about your application or other features of Visual Studio you use.

                       ii.        Example - Here is an example of the kind of information collected:

10/12/2006 12:52:44 | =========================================================================
10/12/2006 12:52:44 | Solution Opened:  by --NONE--
10/12/2006 12:53:01 | Workflow Dialog Opened for: _ProjectGlidepath
10/12/2006 12:53:04 | Workflow Feedback sent for: _ProjectGlidepath.workflow.txt
10/12/2006 12:53:17 | Feedback sent for: _ProjectGlidepath
10/12/2006 12:53:39 | Solution Closed: C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\Visual Studio 2005\Projects\ProjectGlidepath1\ProjectGlidepath1.sln by --NONE--
10/12/2006 12:53:39 | =========================================================================

d.   GlidepathFeatures viewpoint - The GlidepathFeatures viewpoint is built into the _ProjectGlidepath project.  When you select Configure… on this viewpoint a custom dialog appears that allows you to enable or disable features of the Repository Manager.

                         i.        Customer Experience Program enable/disable

1.   When you install the Project Glidepath Repository Manager you have the opportunity to opt-in (default) or opt-out of the Project Glidepath Customer Experience Program (see details above).  The Glidepath Features dialog allows you to change your mind at any time.  Note:  Once you change this setting it does not change the behavior of Project Glidepath until you restart Visual Studio.

                       ii.        Repository Synchronization Reminder enable/disable

1.   Project Glidepath 2.0 normally displays a dialog each time you open a Project Glidepath-enabled solution to remind you to update your local repository by synchronizing it to the master repositories to which you've subscribed via the RSS feeds you've selected.  In the reminder dialog there is a "Don't Show This Dialog Again" check box if you wish to suppress display of this dialog.  In the Glidepath Features dialog there is a checkbox that will allow you to re-enable the reminder dialog if you wish.  In a future version of Project Glidepath we will be enabling auto-checking of the RSS feed information and only reminding you when the RSS feed indicates new content is available.

5.   Coming Soon… The technology of Project Glidepath is only one part of the value we are providing in this evangelism initiative.   Many additional factories and related packages are in development and will be added to the master repository soon.

a.    Kickstart factories

                         i.        We are building two "Kickstart" factories to help MicroISVs whose products are built with Visual Basic 6 and Delphi.  These will be available shortly and will allow you to add Windows Vista functionality to your existing applications while retaining the ability to install and run on earlier versions of Windows.

b.    WPF, WCF, WF, CardSpace factories

                         i.        We have factories under construction for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and Windows CardSpace.  When these factories are ready they will work with both .NET 3.0 as installed on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as well as Windows Vista.

c.    Works with Windows Vista and Certified for Windows Vista factories

                         i.        We are building two factories that will lead you step-by-step through the process of obtaining one of the two logo options for Windows Vista.  The "Works with Windows Vista" logo requires that your application runs without problems on Windows Vista.  The "Certified for Windows Vista" logo involves the addition of additional features, manifests and external testing.  More details on both of these programs is available at: http://microsoft.mrmpslc.com/VistaPlatformAdoption/Default.aspx