Now that Visual Studio 2005 has been released to manufacture (RTM), folks are asking us when to expect a version of DSL Tools that works with the RTM release. Well, you won’t have to wait long – it should be available within the next two or three weeks. And we’ve got two new features lined up for you as well:
Deployment, where you create a setup project for your designer authoring solution using a new DSL Tools Setup project template, which, when built, will generate a setup.exe and a .msi for installing your designer on another machine on which VS2005 standard or above is installed.
Validation, where it’s now possible to add constraints to your DSL definition which can be validated against models built using your designer. Errors and warnings get posted in the VS errors window. We support various launch points for validation – Open, Save, Validate menu, and these are configurable. All the plumbing is generated for you – all you have to do is write validation methods in partial classes – one per domain class to which you want to attach constraints – which follow a fairly straightforward pattern.
We’re also going to release our first end to end sample about the same time. The sample is a designer for modelling the flow in Wizard UI’s (it’s state chart like), from which working code is generated.