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A review of CodeLogic for C# 2.0 and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Beta 2

Focused CodeLogic diagrams code and constructs

CodeLogic for C# 2.0
Cost: $295
Logic Explorers
Media, Pa.
www.logicexplorers.com
Rating: 5 out of 5

CodeLogic is a product that does just a few things -- but it does them exceedingly well. It comes in versions for Java and C# (with support for Visual Studio .NET). In either case, there’s a standalone version as well as the IDE plug-ins. I took a look at the C# version.

The point of CodeLogic is to take source code and generate diagrams. Specifically, it will take any C# project and come up with three separate diagrams on demand: a standard UML Class diagram, a standard UML sequence diagram, and CodeLogic’s own flow diagram. The latter lets you see how code fits together, with a graphical representation of branching and looping constructs.

Diagram generation is definitely fast, even after making changes to the code; it’s not an operation you can completely ignore, but it only interrupts your work for a few seconds. Compared to trying to reverse engineer the UML in other ways, it’s spectacularly fast. And you can customize the diagrams to a certain extent.

Navigation between the diagrams and the code is easy and feels natural. You can right-click in code to go to the appropriate diagram. You can do the same in a diagram to go to the corresponding source code. Filtering and searching capabilities make it easy to narrow things down to the parts of the source code that concern you. You can also export things to Visio, Rational or several different graphics formats.

I can see two immediate uses for this tool. First, if you need to produce UML documentation but you’re not keen on UML as a design technique, you could use CodeLogic to produce the documentation from the code. While some will view this as cheating, it does mean the docs will match the code exactly. Second, the flow diagram will be amazingly valuable the next time you get stuck with a big code-base that someone else didn’t bother to document properly. Being able to trace the logic of the code graphically is a great way to start to figure out what’s going on.

‘Express’ DB server impresses with features, price

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Beta 2
Cost: Free
Microsoft Corp.
Redmond, Wash.
www.microsoft.com
Rating: 4 out of 5

It was an open secret that Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 and SQL Server 2005 Beta 2 were set to debut this summer. What most of us didn’t know was that Microsoft would release “Express” versions for testing at the same time. In particular, the release of SQL Server 2005 Express, the successor to MSDE, came as a surprise to most observers.

One of the nicest things about SQL Server Express is what’s been left out: The query governor from MSDE, which added arbitrary slowdowns when you had more than five active connections, is gone. This makes SQL Server Express a much more useful tool. In particular, many database-backed Web sites should be able to get by with this version of SQL Server and not pay a dime in licensing fees. The maximum size of databases is also doubled to 4GB. Maximum memory, however, is halved to 1GB. Still, the majority of small- and medium-sized sites won’t have a problem with this.

You also get nearly all of the features of the full, paid versions of SQL Server 2005. The major missing features include Reporting Services, Notification Services, Analysis Services, Full text search, DTS and OLAP features. If you want to use these higher-end features, you need to move up to a non-free version of the product.

What you do get is pretty impressive. In addition to the features of SQL Server 2000, the 2005 revisions add thorough XML support, support for using the .NET Common Language Runtime integrated with T-SQL, a new set of management objects, and the ability to act as a client in both replication and messaging scenarios.

The SQL Express page at MSDN will get you to the download, and to a bunch of extra information.

I didn’t have any trouble getting Beta 2 up and running on a test box, and in the tests I’ve made so far there don’t seem to be any major bugs. Of course, you need to exercise due beta caution. But if you’d like to look at the next generation of SQL Server, and you didn’t get into the beta for the full product, this is a great place to start.

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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