Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Useful Tools for 2006

Here is an annotated list of tools that will likely become more prominent in 2006. In the quest to build more functionality faster, tools like this can help.

VMWare Workstation is a great concept. Use one machine but create a bunch of virtual machines that resemble your target deployment environments. This could work for testing code on the client side, server side and everything in between. It's also useful for training.

Windows Workflow Foundation answers the need for .NET infrastructure to support workflow development. Most of the front-office apps we build (and even some of the middle-office apps) usually support some sort of workflow support between users to accomplish some task. Historically, toolkits to support workflow development have been light to non-existent so having infrastructure like this can help speed development. An article on this technology can be found here.

ER/Datagen for generating test data permutations from an ERWin data model. Interesting concept whose time has yet to come. This ties in nicely to my previous blog entries about Data Integration testing.

Microsoft support for Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) is starting to get some good press. DSLs open up opportunities to give end-users a controlled programming environment like Microsoft's VBA. How "controlled" is up to you, but the value proposition for domain specific languages in front-office trading applications is clearly visible in Kapital. Finetix and Kapital go way back so we're aware of its value described here. An interesting article on DSLs is here.