In order to build the best possible deliverables, the patterns & practices team pulls in a number of external specialists and industry experts to work on our teams. For the last couple of years, we've been working very closely with Clarius Consulting (as well as other companies and individual consultants) on a large number of projects, including the Guidance Automation Toolkit and all of our Software Factory projects to date. Clarius's experience with these projects has given them unique insight into the good, the bad and the ugly around building software factories for Microsoft and for their own customers.
The great news is that they have taken all of their learnings and packaged them into the freely-downloadable Clarius Software Factories Toolkit. This toolkit is designed to simplify the process of building software factories with GAT and DSL, and also adds a number of new features. The SFT site lists the highlights as follows:
- Eases integration between GAX and DSL Tools, providing several assets to make your guidance packages and DSL designers work togheter seamsly without effort .
- Provides plenty of automated guidance for creating your own Guidance Packages, starting with real world and customizable solution templates.
- Adds full support for VB.Net developers.
- Fixes several well-known GAX issues and bugs.
- Adds GAX support for Scripting and Eventing.
- Uses the much better WiX setup technology over VS Setup projects, proving support for generating both, setupand merge modules for your guidance packages.
- Base library offering stock assets ready to use covering VS, DSL, TFS, WF and other technologies.
Includes several sample guidance packages demonstrating the usage of the different offered features.
If you're building your own software factories, or thinking of taking the plunge, this is something you should definitely take a look at!