News bits

I think it's time once again for some shorter news items. These are things that I hope will interest you, but that don't quite seem to require an entire blog entry on their own. I hope you find something useful in this collection.

AxTools have been making add-ins to improve Microsoft's IDEs for quite a while now. They just this week announced the release of CodeSmart 2005 for Visual Studio .NET. I haven't tried this version yet, but I've been a happy user of their previous version. New features this time around include an improved Code Explorer window, a new Flow Explorer to show the logical structure of code, a new Designer Explorer that shows the hierarchy of controls, and hotkey management. $249 for a single-user license.

FMS has been making add-ins and tools for Microsoft Access (and other products) practically since Access was announced. They've just posted a preview release of their latest, Total Visual Agent 2003. This is an upgrade to a product that's been around for a while; it exists to perform routine maintenance (like compacts, data extraction, and batch file execution) for Jet databases. New features include Access 2003 compatibility and a new Windows NT Service version.

4D has released a free program, 4D Meetings. Built with their own 4GL tool, this is a cross-platform (Windows and Mac) program for anyone who has to manage lots of meetings. It features tracking of meetings, agendas, tasks, and participants. Everything is cross-linked, customizable, and e-mail enabled (there's a slick interface for composing your own form e-mails that draw information from the underlying database). It also features synchronization with systems like Outlook on the PC side and iCal on the Mac. Other features include spell-checking, a reporting engine, and the ability to attach files to meetings. Pretty impressive for the price.

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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