Guidance Automation Toolkit

There were a couple of recent posts in the forum asking what GAT was and how one gets started on using this, so I thought of writing a post to cover the answers.

Let’s just take one aspect: Say for example architecting the data access in software solutions developed at your company.

You might define whether it be using CRUD operations or using an ORM. Once you decide on the architecture you want all your developers to follow that methodology along with the best practices.

One way that you give guidance to your developers is through writing a document with all the relevant guidelines. Another option that you could do is build a utility that let’s the developer walk through a wizard which would then generate the skeleton or handle most of the mundane things like writing the insert, update sp’s and related .NET code.

Now building a utility like this takes a lot of time and effort, this is exactly where GAT fits in. It let’s you define the guidance to developers in an easier manner (than if you were to write your own) so that it becomes very easy for your developers to follow the guidance that you have defined. They don’t need to read long documents but can instead use the toolkit that you provide.

The best way to learn GAT is to practice it. Try out this HOL (Hands-On Lab: Data Client Application) which walks you through creating a guidance package for generating the data access classes as well as connecting them to a simple smart client.

Guidance Automation Toolkit

Imagine Cup Finals – Today!

The day is finally here, five teams were chosen from over forty-five entries from almost all the universities in Sri Lanka. Today evening at the Taj, each team will present their Imagine Cup entry to a panel of judges as well as an audience that includes their colleagues, lecturers, industry as well as the media.

One team is going to emerge victorious and will be makings its way to the global finals in India where they will compete with the other national winners.

AirNow, the team that I mentored, spent quite a lot of time over the past weekend as well as the last two days, polishing up on the presentation and demos. I got them to do something cheeky by including a quote by Steve Jobs on connecting the dots 😉

Best of luck to all the teams!

Imagine Cup Finals – Today!

MSDN June Webcasts

This month’s MSDN webcasts line up looks like a pretty impressive resource on all things Web Services.

Our very own fellow MVP, William “Softwaremaker” Tay will be doing his virgin webcast on “Taking Advantage of TCP/IP Reliability in SOAP”. Don’t miss out.

The other webcasts include:

 

MSDN June Webcasts

Imagine Cup Sri Lanka site

Wela announced yesterday about the launch of www.imaginecupsrilanka.com. As usual a job well done by Wela and team which included both Razor and Charith.

The finals take place next Wednesday and is going to be much bigger than last time. Amity (AirNow), the team that I’m mentoring has a good chance of winning (I haven’t seen much of the other presentations though) and I wish them all the luck.

Another plus to my team is that it is dominated by women with a ratio of 3 to 1. In Sri Lanka ‘Women in IT’ is alive and kicking. The way these geek girls move around so comfortably within the Visual Studio tools can put many guys I know to shame. They tell me that they’ve only been using Visual Studio in the last five months which I find very hard to believe.

AirNow is going to KICK ASS!

PS: If you would like to come see the finals register at the site, there are a few slots available to the public.

Imagine Cup Sri Lanka site

SQL Prompt

If you spend time writing Stored Procedures or SQL Queries then SQL Prompt is a must have tool. It basically adds Intellisense for SQL Server and works well with SQL Server 2000 as well as SQL Server 2005.

The best news is that Red Gate is giving it away free of charge until the 1st of September.

Just to give you an example, I was just showing it off to one of my friends at work with a simple SELECT statement and he prompted me to write an INNER JOIN, lo and behold SQL Prompt looked up the foreign keys and went ahead and inserted the join clause linking the two fields between the tables.

Now this is a product that far exceeds the users expectations. Sweet!

Microsoft, shame on you for not including this in Developer Studio.

SQL Prompt

What’s up?

Wow. I just remembered that I had a blog.

I’ve been quite busy the last three to four weeks putting some of my personal development items in place. The biggest changes has been inspired by a combination of reading Steve Pavlina, The Seven Habits and Getting Things Done.

I now sleep only 6.5 hours a day, wake up at 5 am, head over to the cricket grounds at Tamil Union. At the grounds I’m joined by Kavinda and Wansika, we jog about five rounds around the ground and do another five with a brisk walk. Next we hit the showers and I then do a quick 20 laps at the pool before coming back to office by around 8.00–8.30 am.

And boy does it really energise your day. My best part of the morning is the cool feel of the wet grass under my feet and listening to the early morning sounds of the chirping birds. I’ll try to post a few pics sometime soon.

My memberships fees to join Tamil Union has been one of the best investments I’ve made in my life. I just spent Rs. 6,500/– to become a club member which included a Rs. 3000/– joining fee.

What’s up?