Announcing VSPAT – ‘Pattern Toolkit Builder’


VSPATI am very proud to announce the first public release of the ‘Pattern Toolkit Builder’ extension for Visual Studio 2010.

This new toolset and approach will revolutionize the way individuals and organizations: design, build and deploy their repeatable solutions by capturing, incorporating and scaling-out their best practices, knowledge and expertise to increase the consistency, predictability, supportability and maintenance of solutions they deliver.

So what does it do? If you are an IT expert and you have expertise in implementing and delivering custom solutions or technologies, and you wish to share your knowledge and expertise with your team/community/partners or across projects/communities, then VSPAT provides a new way to capture, communicate, and deploy: your best practices, code and script samples, or architectural or a technology patterns, with others that is instructional, configurable and customizable.

Get It

You can download and install ‘Pattern Toolkit Builder’ extension from the Visual Studio Gallery, or from within the ‘Extension Manager’ in Visual Studio. Please see the ‘Pre-Requisites’ section for installation instructions.

Getting Started

We are also releasing a ‘Pattern Toolkit Builder Hands-On Lab’ (HOL) extension that guides you through the process of building your first pattern toolkit, giving you a quick glimpse at some of the most basic features for designing, building and packaging a reusable solution.

Building a ‘Pattern Toolkit’ will likely be a new experience for many IT Professionals, so we have included two hands-on labs to help you: the first one gives you an introduction to the basics of building and testing a pattern toolkit. The second lab demonstrates more advanced features of pattern toolkits such as: automation, adding templates, configuration wizards, and extension points.

Once you get to see the power of building pattern toolkits from these labs, we hope the possibilities for scaling your expertise start to become apparent very quickly.

Some Example Toolkits

An example MVC Application Pattern Toolkit

An example Lync Deployment Pattern Toolkit

MVC Application Toolkit Lync Deployment Toolkit
With this toolkit, developers can build branded ASP.NET web applications using the MVC pattern. That incorporates established best practices for architecture, naming, coding and design, by lead Developers and Architects in that organization. This toolkit demonstrates composing together multiple toolkits that contain archetypes for various kinds of standard web forms in these applications. With this toolkit, systems/network engineers can analyze data center infrastructures consisting of baseline Windows Servers, and can automate the correction, configuring or deployment of the necessary components of a new or existing Microsoft Lync solution. Rules and Best Practices  provided by the Lync deployments Infrastructure Architects of this organization.
Comments (11)

  1. Awesome news, Jezz – congratulations on this great accomplishment.

  2. David Bainbridge says:

    Congratulations, Jezz.

    Does this VSPAT version have a way to automatically generate test cases from DSL models? I spend a lot of time writing code to Arrange a test for a complicated bug. It would be much easier to generate the code from the Designer using the model that has the bug.

  3. Edward Bakker says:

    Congratz buddy!

  4. jezzsa says:

    Hi David, thanks.

    Not sure what you are asking for here.

    Do you mean "how to generate code from an arbitrary DSL that you would include in a pattern toolkit"? or "how to generate code from the Pattern Model Designer DSL that is in a pattern toolkit"?

  5. jezzsa says:

    Hi Edward, nice to see you again after so long.

    So, this is what you had been waiting for, for so many years. Let me know what you think?

  6. Eric Swanson says:

    How does this relate to the Guidance Automation Extensions and Guidance Automation Toolkit?

    msdn.microsoft.com/…/ff631854.aspx

  7. jezzsa says:

    Hi Eric,

    GAX/GAT was one of the first implementations of guidance with automation. Feature Builder was another that evolved the concept further. VSPAT is a further evolution of those concepts that combines the guidance with modeling, asset reuse and an extensible platform for contextualized and stateful automation.

    Without getting too technical about it, VSPAT takes the learnings and concepts from both GAX and Feature Builder experiences and scenarios and expands and extends them far further.

    There aren't going to be many more investments by Microsoft in either GAX or Feature Builder in the future, and so VSPAT is poised to take these core scenarios into the future.

    I hope that helps explain it.

  8. Andy Mauer says:

    Hi Jezz,

    can you give any information about the support in DEV11?

    Thanks!

    /Andy

  9. jezzsa says:

    HI Andy,

    Yes, we are working on a fix for DEV11 which will be released shortly.

    You can see a little more description of why things are different at the bottom of the VSPAT Visual Studio Gallery page. DEV11 changes the location of how VSIXes are deployed, which affects VSIXes that need to reference things like *.targets files etc. as does each Pattern Toolkit project.

    We will have a fix out soon for you.

  10. Liuxiang Chen says:

    Will you release a standalone help document ?

  11. Yes, you can find it on the 'Documentation' page of the http://vspat.codeplex.com site.