Reference Assistant – Commercial (with free 30 day trial) Visual Studio Add-in to help cure IoC reference headaches
“The product I have been working on, Reference Assistant, was released a few weeks ago. Reference Assistant is an extension for Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 (and soon 2010). In short, the goal of the product is cut down the time spent debugging runtime errors due to missing dependencies or errors in configuration.
Here are a few highlights of the capabilities in version 1.0:
- Configuration files for Spring.net, Windsor, and Unity can be parsed and displayed visually in a tool window. Missing or incorrectly spelled types are pointed out (project reference paths are searched for required dependencies).
- Navigation to object definitions in supported IoC/DI configuration files
- Any dependencies detected in configuration files can be automatically copied to the project output directory upon successful build.
- Reference Paths can be setup automatically using rules setup in preferences.
- Version conflicts between dependencies are displayed visually and in a tool window.
- Generate a report of all required assemblies for a project’s deployment, including dependencies defined in IoC framework configuration files.
- Extensions can be written to support custom file formats or configuration types.
For more detail in addition to the product pages, we have written a blog post walking through the functionality available in Reference Assistant for Spring.net XML configuration.
“Friend of the Blog” Darren Stokes, of Visual Studio Links fame (yes, Daren, Fame!.. Is Visual Studio Links is cool and a must read link blog for Visual Studio developers, so just accept the adulation… ;) has recently released this cool sounding Visual Studio Add-in to help resolve reference pain and suffering. I don’t yet use Spring, Windsor, Unity (yeah, I know, I’m lame… um… shut up? ;) but I can still see how this add-in could come in real handy.