What do you think of the EntLib 5.0 configuration tool?

Hello again! It’s been a while, I know. I’ve been busy over the last few months with several projects, some of them software related, and one of them human – my son Jesse was born on 26 February 2010. Fun times!

Meanwhile, back in Redmond, the p&p team has been busy working on Enterprise Library 5.0 – see Grigori’s announcement for details on the beta. There’s a ton of new stuff in this release, but there’s one big new feature that hasn’t received a lot of attention that I’m keen to hear your perspectives on. The change is the biggest overhaul to the configuration tool since Enterprise Library was launched.

If you haven’t yet grabbed the EntLib 5.0 beta, here’s a “before” and “after” shot of the config tool:

image Enterprise Library 4.1 config tool

image Enterprise Library 5.0 (beta 1) config tool

The tool has been rebuilt from the ground up in response to some feedback and usability studies from the previous version of the tool. But is this a step in the right direction? I’d love to hear what you think. If you’ve downloaded EntLib 5.0 and tried out the tool, please share your thoughts on:

  1. First impressions. Is the tool easy to understand? Easy to find what you’re looking for? Easy to read existing configuration? Pretty?
  2. Ease of use for real life tasks. Rather than make up your own tasks, here are a few sample scenarios you might want to try:
    1. Configure the data access block with a SQL Server connection called “Audit” that points to a database called “Audit” on a server called “DB”
    2. Configure the logging block so that any log entries in the “Audit” category are written to both the Event Log and the Audit database (see above)
    3. Configure the validation block with a ruleset called “Email Address” that uses an appropriate regular expression for e-mail addresses
    4. Configure the policy injection block such that any calls to classes in the “MyCompany.Security” namespace are logged before and after the call using the “Audit” category (see above)
  3. Comparison with the old config tool. What do you like better in the new tool? What did you like better in the old tool? How do you rate your level of expertise using the old tool?

Keep in mind that I no longer work in the p&p team, so I can’t say how any of this feedback will be used (although I’m sure the team is listening!). However since I’ve invested so much time in Enterprise Library, both in leading the team and using the product on real projects I’m very interested to hear what you all think of the tool’s new direction.