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Review: Logidex .NET Library

Logidex .NET Library
lab.msdn.microsoft.com/logiclibrary/logiclibrary.aspx

LogicLibrary
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
(412) 471-4710
www.logiclibrary.com

I've written about LogicLibrary and their Logidex product before. Now LogicLibrary has teamed up with MSDN to give you a free version of the Software Development Asset management tool running as an integrated Visual Studio .NET add-in. After a 10MB or so download and a trouble-free setup, you'll find a bunch of new windows in your Visual Studio .NET.

Start with the main Logidex Explorer window and connect over the Internet back to the repository of information at MSDN. Now go to the Search Result window and start a new asset search. Trying the search string "log*", for example, brought back 176 assets, including namespaces, patterns, and other information. The Exception Management Application Block looks interesting, so I double-click to retrieve its details into the Information window.

In the Information window, I can read about the asset, and then click over to a list of its artifacts. These include a list of requirements, a usage guide, and sample code. I can easily download any of these artifacts to my machine to explore further.

The final piece is the Reference Models window. A reference model provides a sort of clickable picture of a group of assets - for example, the major Framework classes, or patterns based on tiers. Drilling into the picture with your mouse ultimately results in an asset search.

The initial implementation of Logidex .NET for MSDN includes the major Framework namespaces, the Pet Shop reference application, and stuff from the Patterns & Practices site. Overall, I'd rate this a good start, but not yet essential. For this to be really useful to the working developer, the metadata needs to be more fine-grained; ideally, right down to the class level (at the moment, there is no asset finer than a namespace from the FCL, and the information window simply takes you to the appropriate URL in the help). LogicLibrary is using this as a way to get people interested in classifying their own assets for re-use, but I hope they've got an ongoing commitment to work with MSDN as well.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.

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