Gosh! GAT/GAX is Golden!

Hot off the presses: the February 2008 release of the Guidance Automation Toolkit and Guidance Automation Extensions is now available. In addition to a number of new features, it's great to see that GAT/GAX has finally been allowed to graduate from Community Technology Preview to a "real" release.

Here's the official rundown of what's in the new release, courtesy of Grigori (with just a few fragments left over from my previous release notes 🙂

New In This Release

The February 2008 Release of the Guidance Automation Extensions and Guidance Automation Toolkit has the following improvements to the earlier release, the July 2007 Community Technology Preview:

  • Support for Visual Studio 2005 and/or Visual Studio 2008. This version of GAX will run on either version of Visual Studio. If you don’t have GAX installed, you can install GAX to support Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008 or both. The installer will automatically determine which versions of Visual Studio you have installed.
  • Updating GAX.
    • If you have a previous version of GAX installed on Visual Studio 2005, it will be updated to the February 2008 release of GAX. You are no longer required to uninstall GAX and the corresponding guidance packages.
    • Guidance packages that are registered with the previous version of GAX will automatically be registered with the current version of GAX (GAT, however, will require an update – see the information below).
  • Visual Studio side-by-side support. If you have Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008 running side-by-side, you can have GAX running against both versions. Guidance packages developed and registered through GAT for a specific version of Visual Studio (2005 or 2008) will only be available in that version. Guidance packages designed for Visual Studio 2005 and installed through an MSI will only be available in Visual Studio 2005. Installation of any guidance package through an MSI that does not explicitly prompt for the version of Visual Studio to install to, will install to Visual Studio 2005 by default.
  • Improved Uninstaller. During GAX uninstallation, you can click the Check Installed Packages button for the list of all registered guidance packages. If you proceed with GAX removal, the uninstaller will only attempt to automatically uninstall those guidance packages that were registered manually using GAT. If you have guidance packages that were installed through an MSI(s), you should not proceed with removing GAX. Instead, you should use the Add or Remove Programs tool to uninstall these guidance packages.

In addition, this release of GAX has the following fixes:

  • A blank error message was displayed if you attempted to uninstall GAX before uninstalling GAT or other registered packages when running Windows Vista.
  • A FileLoadException error was displayed if you used the Guidance Package Manager on Visual Studio 2008 Professional.
  • GAX and GAT would not properly validate and recognize custom Visual Studio project types when unfolding templates for custom project types registered only in the experimental hive.


Congrats to the entire team for another great looking release!

Comments (10)
  1. Link Listing – February 15, 2008

  2. MSBuild The custom MSBuild task cookbook [Via: bart ] ASP.NET Simplifying ASP.NET ListView Control…

  3. Greg says:


    Thank you for the GAX update (i.e. no longer having to uninstall GAX to upgrade) and the uninstall work. These are huge and go a LONG way toward improving the deployment story of GAX.

    Nice work guys!

  4. Garrett says:

    I have uninstalled SCSF, GAT, GAX, Ent Lib, CAB, and VS 2005.  I then installed VS 2008, CAB, Ent Lib, and GAX.  When I tried to install GAT, I got an access denied error.  If I try to install it again, I get a previous version already installed error, but no versions are installed.  I don’t know what I can do to get around this problem.  I had problems before with VS 2005 when upgrading to new versions.  I think the installation of SCSF and all of the supporting components should be simplified.

  5. Sheir Ali says:

    So is there a version of the WCSF that works with VS2008?

    Or once I install this Feb2008 release of GAX and GAT, then install the June2007 WCSF, it would show up in VS2008 as a solution template?

  6. Sheir Ali says:

    After installing the Feb2008 release of GAX and GAT; I tried to install the June2007 release of wCSF.

    The .msi failed with "Error 1001:Object reference not set to an instance of an object."

    This happens during the step where its "Installing WebClientFactoryPackage"

    My devbox only has VS2003 and VS2008 installed.

    I used the Orca MSI Editor to get the WCSF to run without giving the error about requiring VS2005.

    Anyone has a solution?

  7. Patterns and Practices has released the latest version of the Guidance Automation Extensions and Guidance

  8. Kishore says:


    I’m from a research team at Infosys and am writing a series of posts making a case for DSM and the Software Factory approach. Was just trying to give a new angle to the whole idea of "software reusability" based on that.. would like to hear your views on that.  Here’s the link.. http://infosysblogs.com/microsoft/2008/03/a_refactorability_approach_to.html#more

    Some of my older posts in the series are here.. http://infosysblogs.com/microsoft/software_factory


  9. Juan Blanco says:

    Regarding the error:

    The .msi failed with "Error 1001:Object reference not set to an instance of an object."

    This happens during the step where its "Installing WebClientFactoryPackage"

    Check that your antivirus is not blocking the windows installer (MSI). We have this problem with McAfee.

  10. Everything appeared to install fine (much better than last time I tried playing with this HOT technology. Unfortunately on trying to do the equivalent Hello World thing (I think). I created a Guidance Package as per the sample, but when I come to create a solution from that package I get a silly null service provider not allowed! Now noone said anything about setting a service provider so where should that be done in and amongst all the myriad of recipes wizards and all other clever guidance automation kind of stuff?

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