We introduced “a dream” in Rangers Guidance – We will be introducing a radically new landscape for ALM Guidance … is it the correct one? and some really cool nuggets in Feature Builder … some really cool nuggets on Codeplex and remembering a deprecated HOL.

… with the launch of the Visual Studio Architecture Guidance we can report that we are one step closer to our integrated development environment dream :)

Scenario 1 – You dream of the feel and smell of printed media / books

The Architecture Guidance ships with a platter of question and answers, guidance and hands-on-lab (HOL) documents, which can be printed and read on the grass under the African blue sky. This is the traditional way of absorbing documentation, which is the ideal environment where electronics is not available or suitable … in the dessert, on the train, on the plane, sitting under the African blue sky on the grass, at the beach …

Scenario 2 – You dream of an integrated development environment, with minimal context (program) switches

Also included in the Architecture Guidance is a Visual Studio Extension, that we built using the hands-on-lab document “Creating extensions with the feature extension HOL”, with a razor sharp focus on section “Extension to share guidance in the IDE”.

The result is an extension you will notice in the extensions, once installed:

When you select the Architecture menu, you will notice a new menu item:

When you select the Visual Studio ALM Rangers – Architecture Guidance menu item, you will get the following content type. The actual layout and especially the activity diagram will probably be different as the guidance evolves constantly :)

  1. A guidance workflow map, which delivers a visual workflow through the architecture guidance.
  2. The workflow map is based on an activity diagram.
  3. The guidance browser allows you to browse through the architecture guidance in a window, positioned where you prefer, and driven by the workflow map.

This means that we can now analyze, design, code, debug and test a solution in the integrated development environment, while we peruse the architecture guidance within the same IDE … no context (program) switch.

In future we will be adding automation to the guidance map, promoting consistency, simplicity and productivity. In other words the dreams continue.

Find it on the http://vsarchitectureguide.codeplex.com site or on the Visual Studio Gallery.