# Tuesday, August 09, 2011

People often ask me what Visual Studio Ultimate offers that other versions do not. There's a handy chart on the Microsoft site:

The only problem is, if you don't know what "Architecture and Modeling" includes, it's easy to think there's probably nothing useful in there. So I was pleased to see a blog post by Susan Ibach from Microsoft Canada showing how easy it is to generate a sequence diagram from code, and how that can help you understand code you've inherited from a predecessor. That's one of the diagramming tools included in Visual Studio Ultimate.

Right click in some code, select Generate Sequence Diagram, set some options (does getting a property count? What about calls to methods of String or other .NET Framework classes?) and presto, you have a sequence diagram.

This sort of thing can save you a tremendous amount of time, and that means it can save your organization money. That's why some people buy Visual Studio Ultimate, after all. Having access to a tool like this is one of the ways I can "hit the ground running" when I join a project. If you need to do the same, make sure you're not ignoring a capability you already have.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011 1:14:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [3]
Monday, September 05, 2011 2:28:12 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I agree the arch tooling is a great help, and can allow you to "hit the ground running" when people join a project, I question the choice of the sequence diagram for that?

I find the dependancy diagram more useful as it provides a good high level (that can be adjusted down to methods if needed) view of the land. It is not possible to generate sequence diagrams for every method and review them, that will take a life time and if I can't understand a method by reading it then there is some serious code smell there.

That is me though, how do you use the sequence diagram more effectively?
Monday, September 05, 2011 8:02:36 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Interesting, I didn't know that VS could do that. I always figured that the historical debugging was the main reason to buy Ultimate, but we haven't invested in it, since it's a huge upgrade cost above the Premium version that's included as part of the partner program.

If you're just looking to generate sequence diagrams though, check out http://www.websequencediagrams.com/. It's a free online tool that generates diagrams from simple markup. It's not as convenient as seeding it directly from code, but it's still quicker than trying to create diagrams in Word.
Chris Bardon
Monday, September 12, 2011 5:16:08 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Won't it be nice when we can generate sequence diagrams for C++ code too? Sigh...
Comments are closed.