Architecture Tooling Guidance Version 2.1 (ABE) is Available

The architecture tooling guidance contains practical guidance for Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, common usage scenarios, hands on labs, and lessons learnt in-the-field from the communities, focused on modeling tools.

The guidance scenarios include understanding and reverse engineering an existing application or starting a new application from scratch. These are both common challenges that any development lead or architect faces. The intent is to present you with examples that show how these tools can support you in real world scenarios, and to provide you with practical guidance and checklists, instead of an in-depth tour of the product features.

This latest version contains a new Visual Studio Extension which includes guidance automation and hands-on labs, in addition to the existing guidance. See the download page on the companion Codeplex site for a series of short videos that introduce the new extension features.

The illustration shows the Visual Studio Extension in action. (1) The guidance is presented within Visual Studio, showing the menu (workflow) in the guidance workflow explorer and the associated guidance on the guidance browser. (2) Using the VS ALM Rangers Templates the extension automates the creation of solutions, based on the guidance.

A list of artefacts and changes made in this release:

Guidance Documentation Minor bug fixes.
Hands-on Lab Documentation Minor bug fixes.
HOL Packages Minor bug fixes.
Visual Studio Extension New extension, with guidance automation and HOL support.
Video New overview and how-to videos
Sample Source Code Refreshed to include new features

Where do I find the bits:


Known Issues

A special thanks to Ranger Francisco Fagas who invested many, many hours of his personal time to make this version a reality!  Also a special thanks to Ranger Robert MacLean who jumped in to help with testing and giving very candid feedback :)

By the way, what does the acronym ABE stand for? As with many other Rangers projects we are using Eagles as codenames and mascots and for this project the African Black Eagle has joined the proud ranks of raptors representing our projects  :)
Click for full size image … African Black Eagle, living at

What do you think of the new integrated style of the guidance, hands-on lab and guidance automation? Is the integrated development environment (IDE) approach a productive alternative to the classic document guidance?