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Has anyone used the Composite UI app Blocks?

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  • User profile image
    phreaks

    Looking over the documentation, looks good, but the examples are somewhat shoddy.

    Has anyone used this block in any of their apps?
    How did it work out for you, what are some of the big advantages, if any?

    I am looking specifically at the SmartParts and WindowWorkspace features.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=7B9BA1A7-DD6D-4144-8AC6-DF88223AEE19&displaylang=en&hash=KM3LSF

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    Yes. Using it with great success.

    Check out what patterns & practices has done with it:

    Smart Client Software Factory

    They've stuffed the GAX/GAT with recipies to automate producing SmartParts. It's the bomb. The CAB is a bit modified for the better, too.

    Imho, SCSF is the best way to use the Composite UI Application Block (CAB).

  • User profile image
    phreaks

    JohnAskew wrote:
    Yes. Using it with great success.

    Check out what patterns & practices has done with it:

    Smart Client Software Factory

    They've stuffed the GAX/GAT with recipies to automate producing SmartParts. It's the bomb. The CAB is a bit modified for the better, too.

    Imho, SCSF is the best way to use the Composite UI Application Block (CAB).



    Hmm, quick question hopefully you can answer.

    It appears that the SCSF is dependent on the January 2006 Enterprise Application Blocks.

    I have an existing framework that uses the 2005 Ent App Blocks and that framework is included in this project as a project reference.

    Can I have references to both App Blocks in 1 Solution?
    No projects would reference both, as only my Framework Project directly references the Jan 2005 Ent App Blocks.

    -- MySolution
       * [Project] - MyFramework
             * [Ref] Jan 2005 Ent App Bloacks
       * [Project] - MyUiApp
           *[Ref] MyLibrary
       * [Project] MyLibrary
             *[Project Ref]  - MyFramework

  • User profile image
    phreaks

    One more question, what the hell is GAX?

    I get the error msg, "Incorrect or missing GAX version" when I attempt to install the SCSF

    EDIT:
    Nevermind, I found them. Strangely they are not marked as pre-requisites for SCSF, but apparantly they should be.

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnpag2/html/scsflp.asp

    This is the best installation how-to I've seen so far for SCSF.

    If you can get the 'big picture' of what SCSF is and how it works, then the details are a bit more academic.

    SCSF uses GAX/GAT to produce a CAB solution framework.

    Now if only all these acronyms would introduce themselves...

    SCSF is an example of what GAX/GAT are, and it produces CAB. 

    SCSF can be modified to add recipies for whatever stuff your Enterprise dictates that a CAB should have codified (automated).

    SCSF comes with two reference implementations (solutions)  that p&p came up with as a proof of concept and to pass on good receipes for us.

    We can use SCSF to produce CAB solutions.

  • User profile image
    phreaks

    JohnAskew wrote:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnpag2/html/scsflp.asp

    This is the best installation how-to I've seen so far for SCSF.

    If you can get the 'big picture' of what SCSF is and how it works, then the details are a bit more academic.

    SCSF uses GAX/GAT to produce a CAB solution framework.

    Now if only all these acronyms would introduce themselves...

    SCSF is an example of what GAX/GAT are, and it produces CAB. 

    SCSF can be modified to add recipies for whatever stuff your Enterprise dictates that a CAB should have codified (automated).

    SCSF comes with two reference implementations (solutions)  that p&p came up with as a proof of concept and to pass on good receipes for us.

    We can use SCSF to produce CAB solutions.



    EDIT: Got it alll sorted out now, thnx for the clarifications.

    //Really appreciatte your feedback. It has been very valuable.
    thnx Big Smile

  • User profile image
    harumscarum

    I downloaded this a few months ago and worked through some of the labs for research. I have to say the hands on labs I went through were extremely well written.

    John, do you use this block in a production environment?

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    I've put one into production this past spring; a seed of an application suite, you could say. It will grow when and as needed.

    I may have another chance to use it in production soon enough on a larger scale.

    I have other personal uses for it as well. It's really quite well done. I think the term "Software Factory" is well stated, this has all that potential.

    The CAB's origins are from a project that Microsoft did for Dell, where they wrote an Enterprise worthy architecture using all the latest technologies. The CAB is said to have "fallen out" of that work.

    I tell people to consider it the MFC of .NET 2.0.

    SCSF-CAB is an application framework that uses the Enterprise Library 2.0 that's being touted in MSDN Events. Imho, it takes the place of rich client MDI type architectures. The new Event Broker simplifies everything and makes you never want to think about MDI applications again.

    SCSF automates using the CAB, makes it feasible for you and me. We get to use a mature architecture off the shelf, totally scalable.

    Big picture 1     Big picture 2

  • User profile image
    komminane

    Big picture 1     Big picture 2


    the both diagrams are really good ,

    thanks for it

  • User profile image
    footballism

       I am waiting for the CAB for WPF for a long time, C'mon guys, let it out:P

    Sheva

  • User profile image
    phreaks

    JohnAskew wrote:
    I've put one into production this past spring; a seed of an application suite, you could say. It will grow when and as needed.

    I may have another chance to use it in production soon enough on a larger scale.

    I have other personal uses for it as well. It's really quite well done. I think the term "Software Factory" is well stated, this has all that potential.

    The CAB's origins are from a project that Microsoft did for Dell, where they wrote an Enterprise worthy architecture using all the latest technologies. The CAB is said to have "fallen out" of that work.

    I tell people to consider it the MFC of .NET 2.0.

    SCSF-CAB is an application framework that uses the Enterprise Library 2.0 that's being touted in MSDN Events. Imho, it takes the place of rich client MDI type architectures. The new Event Broker simplifies everything and makes you never want to think about MDI applications again.

    SCSF automates using the CAB, makes it feasible for you and me. We get to use a mature architecture off the shelf, totally scalable.

    Big picture 1     Big picture 2


    Perhaps you could put together a screen cast that would help us all understand how to use these?

    You could even cast your kids as different blocks...

    I have been somewhat struggling to find good and understandable documentation....

    //Codedom has been destroyed by the GC

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    Designing with CAB & SCSF

    Various resources listing

    Codeplex site


    Think of CAB as a plug-in application shell.

    Smart Parts are GUI components loaded from a plug-in (module).

    Modules can be discovered and loaded at run-time, based on rules you code like roles for users. Deployment is open-ended, then. There are articles on using ClickOnce with CAB solutions too.

    Software Factory, via GAT/GAX, generates the code for CAB and generates base-code for modules, etc. These are GAX recipies... which are extendible and editable. Factories exist for other solution types as you will find.

    David Platt offers a course on using this technology.


    I think it is worth the time required to use CAB/SCSF; the latest iteration is adding support for Offline "occasionally connected smart clients" and for WPF SmartParts and Workspaces hosted in CAB. 

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    A Microsoft Press book by David Platt is to be released in July 2007!

    Amazon 
    Programming Microsoft Composite UI Application Block and Smart Client Software Factory (Pro - Developer)
     

    Training in MA

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    I would like to add that you should consider a rewrite of that D5 app with CAB/SCSF, without the crazy Delphi->C# conversion utility idea... my .02

  • User profile image
    phreaks

    JohnAskew wrote:
    A Microsoft Press book by David Platt is to be released in July 2007!

    Amazon 
    Programming Microsoft Composite UI Application Block and Smart Client Software Factory (Pro - Developer)
     

    Training in MA


    Cool! great find, and in my neck of the woods to boot.

    In fact, I used to work in that very building not so long ago Perplexed

    So what happened to Codedom?

    I am still trying to house all the damn CodeDom refugees that are overrunning my nation now.  Mad

  • User profile image
    phreaks

    JohnAskew wrote:
    I would like to add that you should consider a rewrite of that D5 app with CAB/SCSF, without the crazy Delphi->C# conversion utility idea... my .02


    Well, here is the problem.

    1) I am not a great Delphi guy.
    2) The app was written in 1996 and is very complicated to follow
    3) There is no documentation
    4) I just started here, so I hardly know the app yet.
    5) Embedded inline assembly Sad

    Ultimately, I do want to rewrite it in C#; but in the meantime, there are bugs that need to be addressed and sorting through this ancient code is an intensive process.

  • User profile image
    Tensor

    phreaks wrote:
    
    JohnAskew wrote:
    A Microsoft Press book by David Platt is to be released in July 2007!

    Amazon 
    Programming Microsoft Composite UI Application Block and Smart Client Software Factory (Pro - Developer)
     

    Training in MA


    Cool! great find, and in my neck of the woods to boot.

    In fact, I used to work in that very building not so long ago

    So what happened to Codedom?

    I am still trying to house all the damn CodeDom refugees that are overrunning my nation now. 



    Plus the lack of decent hydrogen cars.

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