Bill Gibson's Blog

Thoughts on building SQL Server Data Tools

Out of the gate…

Hi – I’m Bill Gibson, a senior program manager on the Whitehorse team.  I want to use this blog to share some insights and observations from the world of Whitehorse.  In case you missed it, Whitehorse is the internal project name for the Distributed System Designers in Visual Studio 2005, available in the Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Architects package.  Now there’s a mouthful !  For those on the team we’ll always be Whitehorse…

As one of the Whitehorse architects, I have been focused particularly on application and system design.  There’s much we’ve achieved in the first release of these tools and still much to do.  There are also lots of misconceptions about what the tools are for and how they should be used and can be extended.  We obviously have not done a great job of explaining what an ‘application’ is or explaining why class libraries don’t show up on the design surface, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who really gets the System Designer!   I’ll try and talk to these kinds of issues as well as exploring ideas we have for the future – at least those I can share publicly.

And just in case you’re interested in my background… I like others on the team have a long history in model-based development tools.  For anyone familiar with the Texas Instruments integrated CASE products — known variously as IEF, Composer and more recently, COOL:Gen — I was on the design team from 1985 to 1997 (!) working on both the modeling tools and the methodology that underpinned it.  Much of the thinking from those days, particularly the work we did on component based development, still permeates our thinking today.