Developer .NET UPDATE—brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network
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July 1, 2003--In this issue:
1. Editor’s Note
2. Developer .NET Perspectives
- Reverse Engineering the Community Starter Kit's Source Code
- Active Directory eBook Chapter 2 Published!
- Attention Visitors to http://www.sqlmag.com
- New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!
5. New and Improved
- Track Bugs and Manage Projects with One Application
6. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
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1. Editor’s Note
In an effort to deliver high-quality content in fewer email messages to your Inbox, we're changing the frequency of Developer .NET UPDATE. Starting with this issue, we'll send out Developer .NET UPDATE twice monthly. You'll receive this newsletter on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Thank you for reading Developer .NET UPDATE!
2. Developer .NET Perspectives
This week, I continue my discussion about how to understand, customize, and extend the Community Starter Kit, one of five sample ASP.NET implementations that Microsoft makes available on its ASP.NET Web site (http://www.asp.net). Last week, I provided a quick review of the Community Starter Kit's tables by reverse engineering the Community Starter Kit's database. This week, I show you how to reverse engineer the Community Starter Kit's source code.
Unlike reverse engineering a database, a process that is driven from within Microsoft Visio, reverse engineering the application code starts within Visual Studio .NET. By navigating to the folder in which you installed the Community Starter Kit--by default, C:\Program Files\ASP.NET Starter Kits\ASP.NET Community Starter Kit (VBVS)\CommunityStarterKit--you can open the communitystarterkitvbvs_v1_0.vbproj project file in Visual Studio .NET. This project file provides access to the Community Starter Kit's source code, which in this case, is an ASP.NET Web application implemented with Visual Basic .NET. After you open the project, go to the Project menu and select Visio UML, then Reverse Engineer. The Reverse Engineer option opens the Select Visio UML File dialog box.
In the Select Visio UML File dialog box, enter a name for the Visio (.vsd) file you're creating. For this example, I named the file CommunityObjects.vsd. Click Save to start the reverse-engineering process. Visual Studio .NET traverses your object structure, then populates the .vsd file with your project's details. For the Community Starter Kit, you might receive an error during this process; you can ignore this error message.
Next, Visio automatically starts and opens the new Unified Modeling Language (UML) project. The Visio UML project has three main windows. The focal point of the first main window is Page 1 of the static model diagram, which covers the majority of the project screen. (Similar to Microsoft Excel, in which you can have multiple sheets in a spreadsheet, Visio lets you have multiple pages in this display.) When you reverse engineer a Visual Studio .NET project, this area is initially blank. The Shapes display area is the second main window. This display area works similarly to Visual Studio .NET's Toolbox, although in this case, the display area contains shapes that you can use to design objects. The third window is Model Explorer, which contains information related to the objects in your system. In particular, the Static Model section contains the objects that you've reverse engineered from your project. Within this section, you'll find a reference to the Top Package, then a reference to CommunityStarterKitVBVS_V1_0. CommunityStarterKitVBVS_V1_0 that represents the project that you reverse engineered.
Before going any further in Visio, let's return to Visual Studio .NET and switch from viewing the project in Solution Explorer to viewing the project in the Class View. The Class View represents all the classes that are available in the project. You'll notice that the Community Starter Kit places all the objects in a hierarchy under "ASPNET-StarterKit-Communities." This hierarchy contains dozens of objects and groupings of objects. Every group from Admin to Services and all the objects from ActivityInfo to WebServiceBoxList are represented in this view. Notice that the structure in Visual Studio .NET's Class View is the same as the object hierarchy in Visio's UML representation. For example, in the Articles group, you'll find the same six objects in both Visual Studio .NET and Visio.
At this point, you might be wondering about the value of the reverse-engineered source code when the same information is already available in Visual Studio .NET. Unfortunately, Microsoft's reverse-engineering tool for source code is essentially a first-generation tool, and the tool's output is of limited value. Those developers working to develop a full UML model of an existing system can use this tool as a good starting point, but for most developers, the budget for developing such a UML model doesn't exist. However, Visio's UML representation hints at where Visual Studio .NET is headed--a topic that I'll discuss in the next issue.
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5. New and Improved
by Sue Cooper, email@example.com
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6. Contact Us
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