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Class Design Tools?

I'd like to know about application(s) or the name by which the following
process is referred which would allow a business analyst to enter the
following statements which when submitted would result in the generation of
class library members...

"Are you an individual person not working?"
if no, ask "have you ever worked for an employer?"
if no, ask "Are you thirteen years of age or younger?"
...

--
<%= Clinton Gallagher
METROmilwaukee "Regional Information Services"
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee. com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/

Jul 21 '05 #1
4 2380
I'm confused about what this tool would do. What would you expect the class
to look like? Would this happen at design time or run time? What
object-relational mapping should take place for persistence? How would the
resulting system behave?

I'm not sure if you are asking for an expert system, a questionnaire system,
or something else entirely.
--
--- Nick Malik [Microsoft]
MCSD, CFPS, Certified Scrummaster
http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this forum are my own, and not
representative of my employer.
I do not answer questions on behalf of my employer. I'm just a
programmer helping programmers.
--
"clintonG" <cs*********@RE MOVETHISTEXTmet romilwaukee.com > wrote in message
news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP10.phx.gbl. ..
I'd like to know about application(s) or the name by which the following
process is referred which would allow a business analyst to enter the
following statements which when submitted would result in the generation of class library members...

"Are you an individual person not working?"
if no, ask "have you ever worked for an employer?"
if no, ask "Are you thirteen years of age or younger?"
...

--
<%= Clinton Gallagher
METROmilwaukee "Regional Information Services"
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee. com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/

Jul 21 '05 #2
I'm not sure either which is why I'm asking Nick, thanks for responding.
The explicit reference to 'class library members' was somewhat understated
and perhaps a misnomer.

Let me put it this way. I eventually realized that it was no longer
efficient for me to write HTML manually so I adopted the use of tools such
as Dreamweaver and FrontPage that provided me with a graphic user interface
that not only results in the generation of the source 'code' but they also
support operations such as drag and drop, process controller 'wizards' that
support the logical creation of the layout itself after a few uses of which
we submit, run and then sit back to ponder the results. I still write a lot
of HTML and related client-side script manually regardless but I now always
start with an initial 'design' using the push-button interface that
generates much of the factory work. I can sit back and review my naming
conventions, the logic of my intentions and have a tool generate something
useful that I can then continue to modify or reuse as required.

I'm at the point where I want to know what options exist to do the same for
myself and others when 'designing' database schemas, xml schemas, classes
and so on.

Clear as mud? :-)

--
<%= Clinton Gallagher
"Nick Malik [Microsoft]" <ni*******@hotm ail.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:xrWAd.3060 29$HA.7962@attb i_s01...
I'm confused about what this tool would do. What would you expect the class to look like? Would this happen at design time or run time? What
object-relational mapping should take place for persistence? How would the resulting system behave?

I'm not sure if you are asking for an expert system, a questionnaire system, or something else entirely.
--
--- Nick Malik [Microsoft]
MCSD, CFPS, Certified Scrummaster
http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this forum are my own, and not
representative of my employer.
I do not answer questions on behalf of my employer. I'm just a
programmer helping programmers.
--
"clintonG" <cs*********@RE MOVETHISTEXTmet romilwaukee.com > wrote in message
news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP10.phx.gbl. ..
I'd like to know about application(s) or the name by which the following
process is referred which would allow a business analyst to enter the
following statements which when submitted would result in the generation

of
class library members...

"Are you an individual person not working?"
if no, ask "have you ever worked for an employer?"
if no, ask "Are you thirteen years of age or younger?"
...

--
<%= Clinton Gallagher
METROmilwaukee "Regional Information Services"
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee. com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/


Jul 21 '05 #3
It's clear, but you may or may not like the answer.

Much of what you are talking about in the application development space is
approached from two different directions: RAD GUI development, and Model
Driven Architecture.

The approach you experienced with the HTML tools falls into RAD GUI
Development. You get a hefty helping of this with Visual Studio to help you
put together your apps from a U/I standpoint. This mostly hasn't changed
since the earliest days of Visual Basic, with the exception that we can bind
databases to a lot more controls now.

A more typical approach for app development using tools would be Model
Driven Architecture. In this paradigm, you draw diagrams of your code
structure using UML (or something close) and the, at the click of a button,
large amounts of code are emitted. You can create the framework and
inheritance tree for enterprise applications in under a week (I've done it).
You need a couple of skills to succeed in this: a good understanding of the
structure of applications development from a patterns perspective, and a
light understanding of UML class diagrams.

To get the skills:
http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik/arch...21/328727.aspx

The tools are interesting. The granddaddy of these is Rational Rose, but
personally I never found the Rational tools to be useful. My favorite, at
present, is a tool called Sparx Enterprise Architect (EA). You start with
an Excellent UML diagramming tool, and you can emit code in C#, C++, Java,
VB.NET, and Smalltalk. The tool is fun to use, and has a swiss-army-knife
feel to it... just about everything is in there, although some features are
kinda silly. Everything works and works well. The code that is emitted can
be readily "round tripped" which means that you go modify the code, add
piles of implementation details, etc, and then run the tool to update the
diagrams from code. You can add something to the diagrams at that point,
and put the code back out, without losing any of your work. You just can't
beat it.

That said, the new version of Visual Studio (currently in Beta) is promising
to come out with a similar capability. It won't have support for as much of
the UML, and it won't have all the bells and whistles that no one uses, but
it will have the ability to create diagrams, emit code, and round-trip, just
like Sparx EA. On the blogs, the designer of this tool said that the
diagrams won't be UML 2.0 compliant, which is probably a death-knell for its
use in large enterprises. We will have to wait to see what happens. I've
used the Beta version to create a diagram and emit code that I then dragged
across to my existing environment to write code in. It pretty cool and
should give EA a run for it's money.

You can also add in tools like AOP and O/R Frameworks like NHibernate, which
will make your code considerably smaller. This approaches the problem from
the coder standpoint, but there is minimal support for these things directly
in development environments like Visual Studio (that may change).

I hope this helps,

--
--- Nick Malik [Microsoft]
MCSD, CFPS, Certified Scrummaster
http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this forum are my own, and not
representative of my employer.
I do not answer questions on behalf of my employer. I'm just a
programmer helping programmers.
--
"clintonG" <cs*********@RE MOVETHISTEXTmet romilwaukee.com > wrote in message
news:uP******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP11.phx.gbl...
I'm not sure either which is why I'm asking Nick, thanks for responding.
The explicit reference to 'class library members' was somewhat understated
and perhaps a misnomer.

Let me put it this way. I eventually realized that it was no longer
efficient for me to write HTML manually so I adopted the use of tools such
as Dreamweaver and FrontPage that provided me with a graphic user interface that not only results in the generation of the source 'code' but they also
support operations such as drag and drop, process controller 'wizards' that support the logical creation of the layout itself after a few uses of which we submit, run and then sit back to ponder the results. I still write a lot of HTML and related client-side script manually regardless but I now always start with an initial 'design' using the push-button interface that
generates much of the factory work. I can sit back and review my naming
conventions, the logic of my intentions and have a tool generate something
useful that I can then continue to modify or reuse as required.

I'm at the point where I want to know what options exist to do the same for myself and others when 'designing' database schemas, xml schemas, classes
and so on.

Clear as mud? :-)

--
<%= Clinton Gallagher
"Nick Malik [Microsoft]" <ni*******@hotm ail.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:xrWAd.3060 29$HA.7962@attb i_s01...
I'm confused about what this tool would do. What would you expect the

class
to look like? Would this happen at design time or run time? What
object-relational mapping should take place for persistence? How would

the
resulting system behave?

I'm not sure if you are asking for an expert system, a questionnaire

system,
or something else entirely.
--
--- Nick Malik [Microsoft]
MCSD, CFPS, Certified Scrummaster
http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this forum are my own, and not
representative of my employer.
I do not answer questions on behalf of my employer. I'm just a
programmer helping programmers.
--
"clintonG" <cs*********@RE MOVETHISTEXTmet romilwaukee.com > wrote in message news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP10.phx.gbl. ..
I'd like to know about application(s) or the name by which the following process is referred which would allow a business analyst to enter the
following statements which when submitted would result in the
generation of
class library members...

"Are you an individual person not working?"
if no, ask "have you ever worked for an employer?"
if no, ask "Are you thirteen years of age or younger?"
...

--
<%= Clinton Gallagher
METROmilwaukee "Regional Information Services"
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee. com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/



Jul 21 '05 #4
Thank you Nick, your comments are well understood and appreciated. I don't
mind learning, I thrive on it in fact, but I am getting to the point that
I'd really like to make it as easy as possible to actually use what I learn.
At least for one release before moving on to the next ;-) I'll be reading
the blog and downloading Sparx to see what its going to take for me to make
this transition.

<%= Clinton Gallagher

"Nick Malik [Microsoft]" <ni*******@hotm ail.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:t7ZAd.7279 48$mD.417331@at tbi_s02...
It's clear, but you may or may not like the answer.

Much of what you are talking about in the application development space is
approached from two different directions: RAD GUI development, and Model
Driven Architecture.

The approach you experienced with the HTML tools falls into RAD GUI
Development. You get a hefty helping of this with Visual Studio to help you put together your apps from a U/I standpoint. This mostly hasn't changed
since the earliest days of Visual Basic, with the exception that we can bind databases to a lot more controls now.

A more typical approach for app development using tools would be Model
Driven Architecture. In this paradigm, you draw diagrams of your code
structure using UML (or something close) and the, at the click of a button, large amounts of code are emitted. You can create the framework and
inheritance tree for enterprise applications in under a week (I've done it). You need a couple of skills to succeed in this: a good understanding of the structure of applications development from a patterns perspective, and a
light understanding of UML class diagrams.

To get the skills:
http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik/arch...21/328727.aspx

The tools are interesting. The granddaddy of these is Rational Rose, but
personally I never found the Rational tools to be useful. My favorite, at
present, is a tool called Sparx Enterprise Architect (EA). You start with
an Excellent UML diagramming tool, and you can emit code in C#, C++, Java,
VB.NET, and Smalltalk. The tool is fun to use, and has a swiss-army-knife
feel to it... just about everything is in there, although some features are kinda silly. Everything works and works well. The code that is emitted can be readily "round tripped" which means that you go modify the code, add
piles of implementation details, etc, and then run the tool to update the
diagrams from code. You can add something to the diagrams at that point,
and put the code back out, without losing any of your work. You just can't beat it.

That said, the new version of Visual Studio (currently in Beta) is promising to come out with a similar capability. It won't have support for as much of the UML, and it won't have all the bells and whistles that no one uses, but it will have the ability to create diagrams, emit code, and round-trip, just like Sparx EA. On the blogs, the designer of this tool said that the
diagrams won't be UML 2.0 compliant, which is probably a death-knell for its use in large enterprises. We will have to wait to see what happens. I've
used the Beta version to create a diagram and emit code that I then dragged across to my existing environment to write code in. It pretty cool and
should give EA a run for it's money.

You can also add in tools like AOP and O/R Frameworks like NHibernate, which will make your code considerably smaller. This approaches the problem from the coder standpoint, but there is minimal support for these things directly in development environments like Visual Studio (that may change).

I hope this helps,

--
--- Nick Malik [Microsoft]
MCSD, CFPS, Certified Scrummaster
http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this forum are my own, and not
representative of my employer.
I do not answer questions on behalf of my employer. I'm just a
programmer helping programmers.
--
"clintonG" <cs*********@RE MOVETHISTEXTmet romilwaukee.com > wrote in message
news:uP******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP11.phx.gbl...
I'm not sure either which is why I'm asking Nick, thanks for responding.
The explicit reference to 'class library members' was somewhat understated
and perhaps a misnomer.

Let me put it this way. I eventually realized that it was no longer
efficient for me to write HTML manually so I adopted the use of tools such as Dreamweaver and FrontPage that provided me with a graphic user

interface
that not only results in the generation of the source 'code' but they also support operations such as drag and drop, process controller 'wizards'

that
support the logical creation of the layout itself after a few uses of

which
we submit, run and then sit back to ponder the results. I still write a

lot
of HTML and related client-side script manually regardless but I now

always
start with an initial 'design' using the push-button interface that
generates much of the factory work. I can sit back and review my naming
conventions, the logic of my intentions and have a tool generate something useful that I can then continue to modify or reuse as required.

I'm at the point where I want to know what options exist to do the same

for
myself and others when 'designing' database schemas, xml schemas, classes and so on.

Clear as mud? :-)

--
<%= Clinton Gallagher
"Nick Malik [Microsoft]" <ni*******@hotm ail.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:xrWAd.3060 29$HA.7962@attb i_s01...
I'm confused about what this tool would do. What would you expect the

class
to look like? Would this happen at design time or run time? What
object-relational mapping should take place for persistence? How would
the
resulting system behave?

I'm not sure if you are asking for an expert system, a questionnaire

system,
or something else entirely.
--
--- Nick Malik [Microsoft]
MCSD, CFPS, Certified Scrummaster
http://blogs.msdn.com/nickmalik

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this forum are my own, and not
representative of my employer.
I do not answer questions on behalf of my employer. I'm just a
programmer helping programmers.
--
"clintonG" <cs*********@RE MOVETHISTEXTmet romilwaukee.com > wrote in

message news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP10.phx.gbl. ..
> I'd like to know about application(s) or the name by which the following > process is referred which would allow a business analyst to enter
the > following statements which when submitted would result in the

generation of
> class library members...
>
> "Are you an individual person not working?"
> if no, ask "have you ever worked for an employer?"
> if no, ask "Are you thirteen years of age or younger?"
> ...
>
> --
> <%= Clinton Gallagher
> METROmilwaukee "Regional Information Services"
> NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee. com
> URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
>
>
>



Jul 21 '05 #5

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