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Whilst sharing the same product family the Enterprise Edition of Digital Lenz Developer Foundations is radically different from it's sister product. It includes all of the developer tools from the professional Edition but expands on them and additionally adds a whole host of stand alone enterprise tools all encapsulated in a single Developer Foundations Enterprise Manager. The first thing you notice is that Developer Foundations Enterprise can now handle multiple projects. This dramatically expands the power of the product. For example: One major new feature is the ability to calculate Impact Analysis across an enterprise. Cross referencing any VB projects be they DLL, OCX etc that may be affected by a change.
It is now not just simply a developer only product, the stand alone tools provide managers, team leaders etc with the ability to review and monitor the code being produced by their development teams. By way of plain English reports even a non technical manager can quickly identify areas where maintainability will be adversely affected or where documentation requirements are not being met by individual developers or whole teams.
Technical team leaders can run quality reviews across the entire enterprise including the ability to repair issues. All away from the Visual Basic IDE.
The new Enterprise tools include:-
Enterprise Wide Visual Basic Integrity Checking
During the take on process for the enterprise structure Developer Foundations checks every single .vbp file for integrity. It will report missing modules and projects fragmented over multiple folders. This makes for a more stable implementation and dramatically improves the success of any maintenance or archiving processes.
Enterprise Wide Documentation.
You can now extend the documenting facilities provided by the Professional Edition to encompass the entire enterprise. For example: Show all areas of a project where a function in a dll is called from. Your entire enterprise can be compiled into a single .chm file showing all the components (with images) and drill right down to see the actual code, formatted and coloured as it would be seen ion the Visual Basic IDE. There is now a complete document management subsystem as well. It will let you combine authored business and technical documentation with the output from Developer Foundations, and it can all be categorized by business are or in fact whatever you like. To be printed by the click of a button.
Enterprise Wide Coding And Naming Standard Checking.
The quality standards checking performed in the Professional Edition is here as well, except that now it can all be done from outside the Visual Basic IDE and across multiple projects. Extremely powerful when for example, a property on a .ocx or in a dll function had been badly named and you want to change it system wide. This facility gives you the power to retrospectively standardise a project after it has gone live without having to load Visual Basic once. It utilizes extremely powerful and intuitive tools that let you manipulate and repair the code as you see fit. It also allows creation of the documentation data used by Developer Foundations without having to be in Visual Basic itself as this deficiency constitutes a quality failure in itself.
Enterprise Wide Impact Analysis.
Imagine the scenario, Your team leader asks you to change something, he is mildly fluent in VB and reckons it will take about two days. The only person who can tell him otherwise is you, and more often than not you can't give him an accurate assessment of the situation until you start making the changes, and then it is often too late and causes all sorts of friction. Conversely you are a manager who asks a developer how long a change will take and he estimates two days, but in fact it ends up taking two weeks because he wasn't aware of all the dependencies and the amount of retesting required.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could ask someone what would be affected by making a change to a function, sub or form etc. Well you can ask Developer Foundation Enterprise because it knows exactly what references what, and can give you an immediate impact analysis of the change. Coupled with a gradually evolving set of testing stats maintained against individual sections of the system it can give estimates of complexity and time duration for any change. The kind of information which can make the difference between Hitting or Missing a deadline
Enterprise Wide Error Handler Maintenance and Build Manager.
The Enterprise version of this functionality is quite different. It allows you to not only apply error handling and line numbers to all projects in the enterprise, but additionally it will manage your builds for you as well. When you issue a build directive it will check the projects involved for up to date error handling and make changes where required. It will then make a copy of the source, line number it (so those annoying line numbers are not left in the source) and then compile via Visual Basic, archive the source and deploy the executables to a specified destination.
Should an error then occur the error handling subsystem can refer to the archived source to retrieve the exact line of code that failed. Along with the call stack, full environment dump, optional screen dump & user annotations it will give you a real head start when it comes to fixing errors. What's more the errors are categorized by system category or VB project and a history of who developed those system areas is stored. So the bugs are delivered directly to the relevant developer as well as the team leader and project manager either through the Enterprise tools or via email.
The build manager is also invaluable in keeping track of which project version was last released. A major headache for developers and managers involved with a large enterprise development.
Enterprise Wide Statistics And Metrics.
Again this tool offers all the functionality of the Professional Edition but can now query all projects in the Enterprise from the external Developer Foundations Enterprise Manager.
Enterprise Wide Code Formatting.
This tool also offers all the functionality of the Professional Edition but can now repair all projects in the Enterprise from the external Developer Foundations Enterprise Manager.
The Professional tools are updated to include:-
Enterprise Wide Project Cross Referencing and Impact Analysis.
If you project calls a function in another project it can be quite annoying having to hunt around Visual Basic projects to find the function so you can work out what it does. Because of the way it cross references all projects Developer Foundations Enterprise gives you the simple but extremely powerful ability to preview the function in a window, fully formatted and colour coded. Conversely you can view all projects that call your procedure and see the actual calls themselves. Furthermore the code is editable should you need to make changes and the impact of those changes can be immediately calculated so you can make a decision as to whether you should make changes or not.
Enterprise Wide Messaging.
The Enterprise tools feature a simple messaging system so you can communicate with fellow team members who may not be in the same room. Exchange code via the code library or direct to the code pane. Send images, get advice, meld the team into a single working cortex instead of single isolated and disparate entities.
Enterprise Wide Bug Tracking.
The new Enterprise Build Manager will allow automatic distribution of bugs to developers who worked on the code in which the error has occurred. These bugs will appear in the Developer Foundations IDE and allow viewing of all the details outlined above. An invaluable aid in the debugging process.