Guidance Automation Extensions and Guidance Automation Toolkit: February 2007 Community Technology Preview


This document provides information about the February 2007 Community Technology Preview of the Guidance Automation Extensions and Guidance Automation Toolkit that could not be included in the product documentation.


Fixes and Improvements in this Release


This release of the Guidance Automation Extensions has the following improvements from the earlier release, the June 2006 Community Technology Preview:



  • Installation on Windows Vista. GAX can now be installed on Windows Vista with User Account Control (UAC) enabled.

  • Handling of read-only .gpstate files. In previous releases of GAX, errors were displayed when the solution was closed and the .gpstate file was read-only (such as when the file was checked in to source control). In this release, the file will be automatically checked out (if under source control) and will be automatically updated to ensure the guidance package state can be saved.

  • Use of standard system colors in wizards and dialogs. The previous version of GAX used some non-standard system colors in certain wizards and dialogs which resulted in text that was difficult to read on some systems. This release now uses standard system colors for all dialogs and wizards.

  • Guidance Navigator performance improvements. The implementation of the Guidance Navigator has been altered to check recipe references less frequently. This change will result in significantly improved performance, particularly for large solutions.

  • Guidance Navigator window display improvements. The logic that governs how and when the Guidance Navigator window is displayed has been improved. The window will now only automatically display the first time a guidance package is enabled for a solution. In addition you can prevent the Guidance Navigator window from ever opening automatically by updating the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\Microsoft\Guidance Automation and setting the value AutoShowGuidanceNavigator to “0”.

  • Recipes on solution root now appear in Guidance Navigator. In the previous release of GAX, recipes attached to the solution root element did not appear in the Guidance Navigator window. This bug has been fixed in the February 2007 release.

  • Tooltips in Guidance Navigator. The Available Guidance and History tabs of the Guidance Navigator now include tooltips that show recipe descriptions and details on which solution elements each recipe can apply to. 

  • HxS documentation links in Guidance Navigator. A guidance package may include an HTML overview page that is displayed in the Guidance Navigator window. Any links on this page to Microsoft Help 2.0 (HxS) files using the ms-help:// prefix will now launch the appropriate page in the Help viewer window.

  • Fix to Guidance Package registration bug. In previous releases of GAX, registration of guidance packages could fail when the Windows registry contained an AutoRun value under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Command Processor key. This bug has been fixed in the February 2007 release.

  • Version-specific registry keys. This release of GAX includes version-specific registry keys that will make it easier to build installers that can check against a specific version or GAX or later. These keys and values are located under the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Guidance Automation Extensions:















Key or Value Name


Description


@CurrentVersion (REG_SZ)


Contains the version number of the current release. The February 2007 CTP release uses the version number “1.2”


Compatibility


Sub-key that lists any versions of GAX that this release is compatible with


Compatibility\@[Version] (REG_DWORD)


A REG_DWORD value exists for each compatible GAX version, with a value of 1. The February 2007 CTP release has a value called “1.1” which refers to the June 2006 CTP.


 


This release of the Guidance Automation Toolkit has the following improvement from the earlier June 2006 Community Technology Preview:



  • Compatibility with Windows Vista. The Guidance Package Solution template is now compatible with Windows Vista. In addition, any guidance package installers built with GAT should now successfully install in Windows Vista with UAC enabled.

  • Fixes to registration recipes. The Register and Quick Register recipes now have more consistent behavior and improved error handling. The recipes will now automatically build the solution, and registration will only occur if the solution builds successfully.

Known Issues


Installing and Uninstalling the Guidance Automation Extensions


You cannot install the Guidance Automation Extensions if you already have an earlier version installed. Before uninstalling the Guidance Automation Extensions, you must first uninstall all guidance packages, including the Guidance Automation Toolkit. If the guidance packages were installed from a Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI), you can use the Add or Remove Programs tool to uninstall them. If the guidance packages were registered using the Register Guidance Package recipe in the Guidance Automation Toolkit, you should open each guidance package in Visual Studio and run the Unregister Guidance Package recipe.


If for any reason you are unable to uninstall any guidance package cleanly, you can manually remove it from the list of installed guidance packages. This list is stored in a file that is typically located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Recipe Framework\RecipeFramework.xml. If you open this file in a text editor, you will see a <GuidancePackage> element for each guidance package still registered. If you delete all of the <GuidancePackage> elements manually from the XML file, the Guidance Automation Extensions can be uninstalled. However, it will not remove the registry keys of those packages, so you should take this approach only as a last resort.


After all guidance packages are uninstalled, you can uninstall the Guidance Automation Extensions. You can then install a later release of the Guidance Automation Extensions and reinstall any desired guidance packages, including the Guidance Automation Toolkit.


Using Guidance Packages Built with the June 2006 Community Technology Preview


Most guidance packages that were built with the earlier June 2006 Community Technology Preview of the Guidance Automation Toolkit will continue to run on this release of the Guidance Automation Extensions; however, in some circumstances it may be necessary to perform some additional tasks.


Installing and Registering Guidance Packages


If you want to use a guidance package that has been packaged into a Windows Installer (MSI), you should be able to run the Windows Installer after installing the new release of the Guidance Automation Extensions.


If you want to use a guidance package that is in source code form, you must open the solution in Visual Studio. For every project that references Guidance Automation Toolkit assemblies or Guidance Automation Extensions assemblies (generally those starting with Microsoft.Practices.RecipeFramework), you must select each reference and either set the Specific Version property to False or delete the reference and add a new one that points to the new version of the Guidance Automation Toolkit assemblies or Guidance Automation Extensions assemblies (assembly version 1.2.0.0). After doing this, it should be possible to compile the code and register the guidance package using the Register Guidance Package recipe in the Guidance Automation Toolkit.


The February CTP of GAX will automatically redirect any calls to the June 2006 CTP assemblies (version 1.0.60429.0) to the February 2007 CTP assemblies (version 1.2.0.0). If you are updating existing guidance packages that only need to work on the February 2007 CTP, you may update any assembly references in your configuration files to use the 1.2.0.0 assemblies.


Community


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Comments (8)
  1. AGBrown says:

    Tom,

    Thought you might like to know: if I now install the Feb 07 GAX and GAT, the Dec 06 release of the WSSF fails with the error:

    This installer requires the Guidance Automation Extensions June 2006 CTP which is not present on the computer. Please install it and try again.

    I’m using Win XP SP2, VS 2k5 Pro SP1. Also have AJAX framework installed.

    Andy Brown

  2. AGBrown says:

    Sorry Tom, just found the forums for the GAT and posted there – probably a better place for the question.

  3. Today I got out of bed feeling a little better and to quickly check my email. I have been sleeping more

  4. Sagi Y says:

    Hope u are feeling better.

    How can i uninstall the previuos version of the Guidance Automation Extensions?

    When doing so, i receive an error maessage saying i must remove the Smart-Client Guidance package first.

    This i already did, i even removed all application blocks from my computer.

    Any Ideas?

  5. After a false start a couple of weeks ago (when it was still February), we’re pleased to announce that

  6. Some weeks delayed but is finally out!, this new Febrary 2007 CTP basically has support for Vista and

  7. Earlier this week version 1.2 or the February 2007 Community Technology Preview of the Guidance Automation

  8. jescrich says:

    Some weeks delayed but is finally out!, this new Febrary 2007 CTP basically has support for Vista and

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