“First-time Experience” with Arch Tools

[NOTE: This post is part of a blog series, the start of which is here.]


Ok, you’ve downloaded the Beta 2 bits of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.

Now you want to explorer the new Modeling and Visualization tools. This post will help you make those first couple of steps.

1) Launch Visual Studio

Notice the new top-level menu item called “Architecture”:


With no solution open, selecting the menu item simply results in the following:



2) Select “New Diagram…”

After a couple of seconds, a dialog box appears, which looks like this:


This dialog makes it very easy to see all the diagrammatic capabilities that are new in 2010. You see the ability to create a total of five different UML diagrams, a Layer Diagram option, and last but not least, the Directed Graph Document.

I’ll go into detail on all these later, but for now, just accept all the defaults and hit the OK button.

Now, because you do not have any solution open, you will see the following dialog:


( You’ll see the same dialog even if you have a solution open, but no Modeling projects exist in the solution ).


Unfortunately, a little bug slipped through the cracks that I want to point out so you don’t waste your time logging a bug that has already been fixed.

If you hit the cancel button at this point, you’ll see this dialog:


You can hit the OK button and no harm will be done, but not quite the experience we’re looking for. ;)

Take the defaults and hit the OK button. You should see something similar to what you see in the image below ( minus my red annotations of course ):


At this point, your ready to start adding items to the class diagram to your hearts content. This is a pretty common first couple of steps that you will take as you start using VS 2010 Ultimate to model your problem domain using the various UML diagrams.

The steps above are very similar if you have an existing solution already open, but I do want to point out a couple of differences. The steps below are quite common when you are looking to the tool to help you understand an existing code base.

3) Open an existing solution

Just open any solution you’ve got within reach. I’m going to open up the old standby, Petshop 4.0. ( This will result in the current solution being closed, but don’t worry about that. )

Once your solution is opened, you’ll see some new additions to the “Architecture” menu item:


Go ahead and try one of the menu items out. I selected the “Generate Dependency Graph->By Assembly” menu item, which resulted in a graph that looks like this:


Don’t worry about the details on this yet. We’ll be diving into those details in future posts. For now, we’re just kicking tires.

One last thing to point out before calling this post done.

4) Open up a source file

In my case, I’m going to open up the Order.cs file in the OracleDAL project.

Find a decent size method in your class, right click in the text editor, anywhere within the method and select …

5) Generate Sequence Diagram

You’ll see this dialog:


Just take the defaults and hit OK. In my case, a diagram is generated that looks like this:


Again, I’m not going to go into any more detail on this than I have just done. I just wanted to point out a few very common ways into some of the new features in the product.

As I pointed out in this previous post, I’ve got a lot of topics I’m going to nail down for you. I don’t have any specific order that I’m committed to following, so if you have some preferences of which topics I do first, please let me know!


NOTE: This post is part of a blog series, the start of which is here.