Grigori has just announced the release of the Guidance Automation Extensions and Guidance Automation Toolkit, July 2007 CTP (or simply "1.3" to their mates). While I would have personally liked to see a more substantial list of changes, this looks like a solid update with the most significant feature being support for Visual Studio 2008 (Orcas). I'll definitely be installing this, although I'm sure you can forgive me for waiting until after my upcoming Tech.Ed demos!
Here's what Grigori has to say about this release (which I've noticed to be eerily similar to previous announcements by me 🙂
New in this release
It is a minor update to the previous February 2007 CTP, and includes the following fixes and improvements:
- Support for both Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008 Betas 1 and 2 (Orcas)
- Improved installer (using The Windows Installer XML (WiX))
- Support for Registration as Normal User (RANU) and experimental hive
- Enhanced support for installing Visual Basic templates
Do I need to upgrade?
Upgrade is recommended but not required as there are no critical fixes. If you wish to design and run guidance packages on VS2008, this version of GAX/GAT must be installed.
How do I upgrade?
If you are running previous releases of GAX, you must
1) unregister all existing guidance packages (including GAT),
2) uninstall previous version of GAX
3) install the new version of GAX
4) reinstall the guidance packages.
This is far from ideal installation experience, but improving it is not trivial and was beyond the scope of this release.
Will existing guidance packages and software factories still work with this release?
Yes, if you run them on Visual Studio 2005.
However, any current guidance packages built against February 2007 CTP under Visual Studio 2005 (including all software factories provided by Microsoft patterns & practices on the date of this release - Web Client Software Factory, Smart Client Software Factory, Mobile Client Software Factory, and Web Service Software Factory) will NOT work on Orcas. Should you plan to design and run your own factories/guidance packages on Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2, those will need to be specifically designed as such.
What kind of enhanced support is there for installing Visual Basic templates?
We have modified the GAX installation classes so they will not try registering VB templates at installation time if VB is not installed on the box. Previous versions of GAX did try this, and if no VB was in the box the entire installation failed. Now the installation will not fail and VB templates will simply not be shown.
Why is this still branded a CTP?
Like the previous releases, this new release is still labeled a Community Technology Preview. This is because the deliverables are still unsupported. Keep in mind that both GAX and GAT are only designed to run on development machines, not production servers. That said, we've gone through the same quality gates with GAT and GAX as we do with any other p&p release, and we are confident we have a high quality release.
Where do I get more information or post questions?
On the community forum: http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/showforum.aspx?forumid=78&siteid=1
Congrats to the team for getting another release out the door - I know that even a point release requires a lot of hard work from a lot of people.