I’m very excited to announce we’ve just made available for testing the alpha bits of our Visual T4 Code Generator edition to existing customers of our Visual T4 Editor Professional edition.
We’ve been working hard during the past several months on extending the current codebase of our editor to incorporate lots of new features aimed at code generation so we could offer a very complete tool to compete in the market for code generators.
In case you are wondering what the heck T4 technology is please read this nice introduction by Scott Hanselman.
Let me give you a quick 1-2-3 on what our Visual T4 Code Generator is based on and some of the features we believe will make it a great (the best) code generation tool.
We have built this on top of Microsoft’s T4 transformation technology, meaning:
- The core transformation technology we use is developed, maintained and supported by Microsoft for the next foreseeable future.
- T4 is gaining adoption by different Microsoft teams (Entity Framework team, ASP.NET team, etc) and their new products will use T4, meaning you will only have to learn one code generation technology and you will feel “at home” when using Visual T4 products to work with both, the code templates from these teams and your own templates.
We can also proudly say that we’re fully integrated within Visual Studio, and we really mean integrated here, REALLY (not a definitive list but just a few that I’ve on top of my head now):
- Use of a single IDE (Visual Studio) no switching back and forth between Visual Studio and a boring custom IDE.
- No custom-buggy-parser for a custom-buggy IntelliSense experience; we offer you the same VS experience you are used to when writing C# code.
- Use a friendly DB-metadata browsing APIs to easily generate code from databases.
- Drag and drop a database or table from Server Explorer or a XSD/XML file from Solution Explorer and start writing code against it.
- Generate multiple output files from a single template, and easily add them to a solution or project by using our simple VS integration APIs.
- Play nicely with MS Build
- Use the Properties window to set the values for your template with a few clicks.
How does the Visual T4 Code Generator edition differentiate in features from the Visual T4 Editor Professional edition? Please read here to find out. Note the feature list is not final (we’re at alpha).
We’ve also posted a few videos featuring some of the features found in the alpha, if you’re curious enough, please find them here.
If you have any questions, feedback, etc, please let me know, we really value all feedback and we do take the time to respond.