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The Professional Edition of Digital Lenz Developer Foundations delivers to the Visual Basic programmer all the tools necessary to produce code of the highest quality with the minimum of effort.
The Visual Basic Integrated Development Environment whilst excellent and powerful in itself, still has some major functionality holes. Developer Foundations underpins and plugs these holes very effectively. From Standards checking to comprehensive compiled documentation it leverages functionality previously only dreamed of by VB developers.
Using a simple but revolutionary design the suite of tools achieves seamless integration into the Visual Basic development environment in a manner unprecedented for this type of utility.
Adhere to Coding and Naming Standards.
Many other standards checking tools on the market offer large and unwieldy lists of issues, a daunting prospect for even the most conscientious developer, and a major reason why they often end up collecting dust on a shelf. Developer Foundations is different, radically different. By pushing the limits of the Visual Basic IDE it enables the developer to handle the full range of quality issues as they progress through the coding cycle. It allows complete customisation so allowing the developer to meld the tool into their working environment rather than having to try and work around it.
One of the major complaints raised regarding many other products of this kind is the lack of a repair facility. Informing a developer about a problem is all very well and good, but the amount of issues that crop up during development can be considerable and some involve lengthy search and replace sessions. Developer Foundations is different in this area as well. It offers intelligent fix options. It will in most cases be able to automatically repair for example a coding standard issue at the click of a button. More involved issues are tackled by advanced editing tools.
Documenting Visual Basic Projects.
It is fair to say that if there is one thing most developers hate to do it has to be documentation. Usually left until the end of the development cycle (and only then if there is time) it is a tedious and time consuming task. How nice it would be if during development you added information gradually to your project, whilst in the Visual Basic IDE, and than at any point you could just click a button and produce documentation in a number of formats from Word documents to a fully compiled .chm file. Well now you can Developer Foundations deliver the power direct to IDE, and what's more it doesn't bloat your source code with large blocks of annoying comments.
An additional feature is the ability to print your code. This is a far more advanced version of the facility offered by VB. It will let you select right down to procedure level what you want printing across the whole project. It will produce colour coded prints and optionally output your code to HTML files.
But Documentation, Coding Issues and Naming Standards are just the beginning. Developer Foundations offers a whole host of other facilities and all these are available from a single intuitive IDE:-
Generate Error Handling and monitor Run Time errors.
This feature allows the application of user defined error handling to Visual Basic projects. The scope of this action ranges from a single procedure right up to a full project. Default error handlers are supplied along with the ability to write and apply user specified code. Trapped errors can be monitored by the user within the Developer Foundations IDE. Errors can be sent either via a network share or directly through Email.
Identify and manage Dead code and Components.
Many projects end up with massive amounts of commented code, unused variables and procedures, even whole modules. These can not only bloat the size of the executable but can hamper subsequent maintainability of the source code. Developer Foundations can identify and manage these dead items. It can either Comment them, remove them to archive files or simply remove them forever. The choice is yours.
Generate metrics about their projects.
Gauging the complexity of a project especially if it was written by someone else can be a lengthy process. Simple metrics can speed along this process quite considerably. Part of the Developer Foundations IDE is the ability to view project statistics and metrics right down to member level. This gives a useful overall view of the project (and is also invaluable for showing your manager how well you are progressing).
Manage and automatically standardise indentation of code.
Most developers have their own favourite setup for the Visual Basic editor. But one of the areas that this can have considerable impact, given the availability of reusable code fragments often written by other people, is the level of indentation different people prefer. Pasting a block of code with indentation of 4 characters into a procedure that uses 2 character indentation can adversely affect the readability of that code. Developer Foundations can solve this problem with the click of a button. It will indent all code within a procedure or a complete project to a specified value or the defined default in the VB options page.
Dramatically improved Search and Replace functionality.
Ever wished you could see all the lines of code where a specific string occurs, then select all the ones that your replace operation applies to and then just apply the changes when you are satisfied. How about being able to replace a string in lines of code where the lines begin with a specific string themselves. Maybe even replace a string but only in property procedures. With the Developer Foundations Search and Replace function you now can now achieve all this and much more.
One of the great strengths of Visual Basic is the reusability of the code you and other developers write. The only problem is that you have to carry around masses of projects, some of which are a chore to load because they are out of context and have lots of errors. What if you could take all the routines you recognise as useful and store them away in a library as you write them. Then just bring the library with and pull the code straight into your project. You could pick up useful code from the Digital Lenz web site in the form of library files published by other developers.
Profile Visual Basic Projects.
The functionality offered by our profiler is simple, unlike many other dedicated tools that provide extremely complex statistics. Digital Lenz as a group of working developers realize that most profilers are grossly neglected if used at all. What most developers want is a simple tool that will tell them which of their routines are causing a bottleneck so that they can introduce marked performance increases in as little time as possible.
Designed to work alongside the standard Visual Basic Bookmark functionality. Developer Foundations offer the ability to add custom bookmarks and then see the lines of code that are bookmarked in a list. Clicking on the line will jump to the relevant section of code. This gives the user the ability to navigate around the code in a much more intuitive and informed manner.
A simple To-Do list which lets you prioritise your tasks. You can also automatically add Developer Foundations tasks so you don't forget them and execute fixes directly from the list.
More to Come...
Because Developer Foundations is built on an open architecture we are constantly developing more tools that will simply plugin to the existing IDE. Keep checking back.