Monday, 29 September 2008

Pivotal Visual Studio Plugin

I thought that I would share with you all something I have been working on for quite a while, in between work and family stuff.

It is a addin for Visual Studio 2005 & 2008 which aids in building .NET appserver rules, available here

The addin places a new toolwindow into the VS ide, listing all the tables within a Pivotal BM. From here, you can drag and drop fields, queries and tables into your code, as well as generating full constants and appserver scripts. On installation, there will be a new option, Pivotal CRM Addin under the View / Other windows menu. You will have to connect to the appropriate database on first run, as well as load the configuration file.

It has the following features in this first release.
  1. Drag and drop fields, queries and tables from addin into current project code, including mulitple select.
  2. Create full appserver rule definition, or constants class
  3. Detailing of Active Forms, Tabs, Segments and fields, including properties etc.
  4. Jump between foreign key field and it's linking field
  5. Jump to the field definition for an active form field
  6. XML configuration of constant and class generation
  7. Support for Microsoft SQL Server & Oracle databases.
The project is released under the Apache license which allows everyone to use and modify for their own purposes. What I would like is to you to have a play with it, and suggest improvements (and bugs) on the codeplex project page. What would be great if someone out there is willing to help me improve it. The codeplex page has limited documentation at the moment, but I (and hopefully you) will improve this over time.

I want to expand it to be more useful to Sedna projects, but I have not got my head around the XML that a form generates yet, but someone might be able to help with that.

Think I should also mention that this is no way endorsed or developed by CDC Software or it's subsidiaries. Pivotal and other trademarks are owned by CDC Software.

Let me know what you think, and whether it is worth expanding on.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

5.9 SP3 Available

Just been on and see that Business Server & Rich Client 5.9 SP3 is available.

Whilst these service packs don't really add much for me, it got me thinking about other versions. Taking a look at

Product Support Roadmap

anything below 5.9 is now out of Mainstream support, with 5.7 finishing in May 2008 (a little later for the French & Japanese versions). 5.9 will come out of mainstream support in July 2010, so I assume that there will be a further service pack before then.

For all 5.7 and below customers - what is the next step? Upgrade to 5.9 to eek out a few more years (and have the difficulties involved with the License Server)? Take the plunge with Sedna? - God help you if you are a WAM client.

For all 5.9 customers, you have less than 2 years to get your systems over to Sedna, and with these lean times for IT projects I am not sure many will. The expense in converting is a real incentive to look at other products.

Pivotal - make our lives easier, and take some of the burden in getting on Sedna. Maybe reduce support costs if the client migrates, free consultancy etc. The only way you are going to get enough people on Sedna is to either make the pain of migration go away or give customers some incentive to inflict the pain on themselves.