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Blueprints Diary 2 : Getting Started – The Videos

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Mike Lehman has posted a set of screen-casts on Channel 9 that explain the process of authoring and composing blueprints, including how to use the WF process workflow, creating custom extensions, using T4 etc. Here is the list of videos and a short summary (the C9 abstract) of each and my comments wherever applicable.  I spent a useful afternoon last weekend watching every one of them

(1) Microsoft Blueprints 101 – The SimpleEdit Blueprint : In this screencast (10 minutes, 34 seconds), Michael Lehman demonstrates the essential features of the Microsoft Blueprints Manager by walking through the sample SimpleEdit Blueprint. Here Mike shows how to use the Blueprint to build another text editor.

(2) Authoring Blueprints – Introduction : In this screencast (6:05) Michael Lehman introduces Microsoft Blueprints. This shows how to build a Level 100 blueprint with only word based guidance and no code.

(3) Authoring Blueprints – Adding Project Templates : In this screencast (3:27) Michael Lehman describes creating Microsoft Blueprints using custom project templates. Mike only demonstrates the single project template here but the written guidance includes some information on how to use multi-project templates and links to the MSDN article on multi-project VSTemplates. In future versions of the Blueprints we may have a UI for simplifying the creation of multi-project templates. Although creating such a template is fairly simple, hand-editing the XML doesnt make for a great experience, but this is a Visual Studio feature not a Blueprints feature.

(4) Authoring Blueprints – Composing Blueprints : In this screencast (5:26), Michael Lehman demonstrates how to combine Blueprints together using composition to create composite Blueprints. The feature of linking blueprints is shown here.

(5) Authoring Blueprints – WF-Process Workflow: In this screencast (5:32), Michael Lehman demonstrates how to create structured process guidance using Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)

(6) Authoring Blueprints – Custom Command Extensions using WF: In this screencast (7:58), Michael Lehman demonstrates how to create custom Visual Studio automation command extensions using WF. Mike shows the addition of a menu item that appears on the “Project” item and it is possible to have more sophisticated and custom filters so that menus show up only for , say . C# files in a particular project and so on. Although there are a few manual steps to get them all linked up, i think its still much simpler than the GAT route.

(7) Authoring Blueprints – Creating custom Command Extensions in C# : In this screencast (5:35), Michael Lehman demonstrates how to create custom command extensions using C#

(8) Authoring Blueprints – Using T4 Templates : In this screencast (4:01), Michael Lehman demonstrates how to use T4 templates with Microsoft Blueprints. Only a very basic T4 template is shown which is sufficient for the purposes of the demonstration. For more information on T4, read Oleg Sych’s T4 tutorial series. 

(9) Authoring Blueprints – From sample application to Blueprint :  In this screencast (7:08), Michael Lehman demonstrates how the sample editor application was converted into the SimpleEdit Blueprint. This is quite useful and shows how we can convert our own working applications into Blueprints. Only some of the blueprint features are shown here but a larger reference blueprint will be made shortly to cover all the other features.

Case Studies

(1) Infosys Blueprints Screencast : Watch a demonstration (10:10) of the Infosys Blueprints on Channel 9. Follow along as Farrukh Nizami uses the Infosys Blueprints to build a layered web application that incorporates Silverlight, WCF and LINQ to SQL. I put in some comments on the Channel 9 post as well regarding the patterns used.

Creating Blueprints – Article

(1) Creating My First Blueprint: An Infosys blog article explaining the process of creating a blueprint in detail.

Hope you find the links above useful. There’s some good discussions going on at the codeplex site as well.

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Written by santoshbenjamin

November 25, 2008 at 2:13 PM

Posted in Blueprints, DSL, Factories

One Response

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  1. […] into great details about what Blueprints are as there are already a great number of blog posts on the subject that not only show the interesting things people are doing with the framework, but also the […]


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