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The Architecture Tool Space Keeps Growing

The tool space for software architecture has been growing. There are new tools and continuous improvement in the existing ones.

Framework Design Studio

Last month Krzysztof Cwalina from Microsoft released the Framework Design Studio at MSDN Code Gallery.

The tool allows comparing two versions of an assembly to identify API differences: API additions and removals. Comparing versions of APIs comes very handy during API design process. Often you want to ensure that things did not get removed accidentally (which can cause incompatibilities), and as APIs grow, you want to review the addition without having to re-review APIs that were already reviewed. The tool, called Framework Design Studio (FDS) supports these scenarios. - from Krzysztof's blog post


Lattix keeps improving its Architecture Management System composed of two tools:

The Lattix tools can be used in the following environments:

The site has lots of resources on its getting started section that can be used to evaluate the tools:

  • Download a trial version of Lattix LDM
  • Take the tour
  • See a live Demonstration
  • Assess your software
  • Try a JumpStart project

The latest release (Lattix 4.1) was released on April 21, 2008.


NDepend, from fellow C# MVP Patrick Smacchia, targets only the .NET Framework (stay tuned for more) is also in continuous development. Its UI is more familiar for Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Office users than Lattix's UI and a really cool feature:

The site has lots of videos (both on the Home page and Getting Started page) and documentation on all the concepts used by the tool.

The latest release (NDepend 2.8.1) was released on April 26, 2008.

ApexSQL Enforce

ApexSQL Enforce, from ApexSQL, targets SQL Server databases allows to:

  • Ensure adherence to design standards in "real time"
  • Facilitate upgrades to new versions of SQL Server by identifying potential conversion problems before the database is ported
  • Automatically reverse or fix detected violations using generated "FixSQL" scripts
  • Enforce Naming conventions and ensure that SQL reserved words and special characters are not used

The site has lots of product information:

The latest release (2008.02) was released on Marsh 26, 2008.

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