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Coding Beyond... Pablo Alberto Galiano
The main component is the Recipe Framework (the runtime); it is a Visual Studio package that extends the functionality of Visual Studio 2005. With it you can do the following tasks:
  • Execute recipes and unfolds Visual Studio templates with associated recipes.
  • Activate recipe references.
  • Create commands for recipes and then associate them with the Visual Studio command bar specified in the recipe definition.
  • Enable and disable Guidance Packages.

The Guidance Automation Toolkit is composed of four components: Recipes, Actions, References and Templates.

Let’s examine them conceptually:

Recipes: They are a group of Actions or a series of instructions, to automate development activities that the developers would usually have to perform manually.

Actions: They are atomic units of work called by recipes in a sequence defined by the recipe itself.

References: They are objects that the Recipe Framework uses to associate recipes with launch points, execute recipes and to store the state of a recipe. There are two kinds of references Bound and Unbound.

  • A Bound reference is one associated with an element in a Visual Studio solution, for example a Visual Studio project.
  • An Unbound reference has only one reference that is not associated with any element in a Visual Studio solution.
Templates: Visual Studio templates are written in XML and are used by Visual Studio to create solutions or add one or more projects or items to an existing solution. The templates are expanded by the Visual Studio template engine. There are three kinds of Visual Studio template used by the Recipe Framework:
  • Solution templates. These templates can be single or multi-project templates, and they unfold into new solutions, forming the starting point of solutions created by the Guidance Automation Toolkit. They are launched from the New command on the File menu or the New Project toolbar. Solution templates are specific to the Guidance Automation Toolkit and have no direct equivalent in Visual Studio.
  • Project templates. These templates unfold into one or multiple projects in an existing solution. They are launched from the New Project command on the Add menu of the solution root folder or a solution folder.
  • Item templates. These templates unfold into project items such as classes. They are launched from the New Item command on the Add menu.

All these components conforms a Guidance Package. Guidance Packages must be first installed on the developer's computer and then enabled from within Visual Studio to be usable; they are packaged and installed as a unit.

So this is a brief summary about the components of GAT, I will continue blogging more details in the following posts.

Pablo

Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 11:32 PM GAT | Back to top


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