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Policy and Providing the Distributed Application's Initial Structure

Visual Studio .NET 2003

Enterprise Templates quickly get you building distributed applications by providing a choice of customized architecture models that fit your company's application infrastructure.

The policy file of an application template describes the elements of a multiproject application and the technologies to build it. Policies can permit specific components, references, or controls and exclude others. They can shape elements and their properties and can customize the Visual Studio environment to meet the needs of team members and projects.

Opening an Enterprise Template project in Solution Explorer reveals the projects and items that populate it. These initial projects and items provide instructive comments, references, and paths. Policy files can also associate help topics with each item contained within the application to be built, and display the most appropriate help topics in the Dynamic Help window whenever an item is selected.

Policy and Reducing Development Issues

Enterprise Templates provide several ways to improve application development:

  • Eliminate architectural problems by providing technology guidance using proven application structure.
  • Simplify the developer experience to the most relevant integrated development environment (IDE) options.
  • Capture and recycle best development practices and policies.
  • Provide custom implementation guidance for specific projects.

Policy files are the key to getting these advantages. Establishing policy for all team members working on an application or project can become one of the most cost-effective strategies available to you.

Policy and the Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment

As developers work on assigned portions of an Enterprise Template application, development policies defined in the application template's policy file shape the integrated development environment (IDE). Policy dynamically affects the following IDE features:

  • Solution Explorer
  • Properties window
  • Dynamic Help window
  • Add New Item dialog box
  • Add New Project dialog box
  • Toolbox
  • Menu Items

Enterprise Template policies make it easier for developers to make correct choices by presenting only recommended choices or removing those that are inappropriate for the task at hand. For example, in the Add New Item dialog box, you can filter out the items that do not apply to a particular project (such as forms in a server-only project).

Enterprise Template policies also provide guidance to developers by organizing an application's component projects, providing filters and constraints on project elements, and displaying specific topic guidance concerning the component's role, interfaces, construction process, and required services. For more information, see Distributed Applications and Enterprise Template Policy.

See Also

Choosing the Right Template for Your Distributed Application | Authoring Policy Files in Template Description Language | Template Description Language Reference

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