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Application Block Software Factory

Retired Content

This content is outdated and is no longer being maintained. It is provided as a courtesy for individuals who are still using these technologies. This page may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

The latest Enterprise Library information can be found at the Enterprise Library site.

The Enterprise Library Application Block Software Factory provides you with a set of proven practices for building Enterprise Library application blocks and providers. These practices are exposed through architectural overviews, How-to topics, and automated guidance packages. The Application Block Software Factory can be used as is or customized to better meet the needs of each organization or project. By using the Application Block Software Factory, architects and developers can build solutions that are more consistent and of higher quality with less effort, and can focus their efforts on solving business logic instead of implementing generic code.

Each of the Application Block Software Factory elements is a collection of recommended practices for developing Enterprise Library application blocks and providers.

Intended Audience

The Application Block Software Factory is intended for software architects and software developers who create Enterprise Library application blocks and providers. To benefit the most from this guidance, you should have an understanding of the following technologies:

  • Microsoft Visual C# or Visual Basic
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
  • Enterprise Library 3.1
  • Software Factories

System Requirements

To view and run the Application Block Software Factory in your development environment, you need the following software installed on your computers:

In addition, you may want to install the following software:

If you will be modifying the Application Block Software Factory guidance package, you must install the Guidance Automation Toolkit, June 2006 CTP or later, in addition to the Guidance Automation Extensions.

To run the Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) unit tests, you must have Visual Studio Team System version 2005 installed. For more information about VSTS, see Visual Studio Team System on MSDN.

Source Code and Binaries

The Enterprise Library includes both the source code and the binaries for the Application Block Software Factory. You can use the binaries if you have no plans to customize the Application Block Software Factory source code.

If you do plan to customize the source code, you will need to compile a new set of binaries that reflect your changes. For information on and modifying and installing guidance packages, see the documentation for the Guidance Automation Extensions and Guidance Automation Toolkit. For information on the Enterprise Library binaries, see Using the Enterprise Library Binaries.

Creating Application Blocks and Providers with the Application Block Software Factory

The Application Block Software Factory includes recipes that provide step-by-step guidance to create custom application blocks or providers. Figure 1 illustrates the decision paths you can take to perform these tasks. There are also other decision paths that vary slightly from those depicted here.

Application Block Software Factory Decision Paths

Figure 1
Application Block Software Factory decision paths.

An Enterprise Library application block consists of a run-time component and a design time component. The run-time component itself can be divided into those classes that are used to implement the application block’s functionality and the classes that are used to contain configuration information. The design-time time component displays this configuration information in the configuration tools. The Application Block Software Factory generates the connections between the run-time configuration information and the design-time classes.

Retired Content

This content is outdated and is no longer being maintained. It is provided as a courtesy for individuals who are still using these technologies. This page may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

The latest Enterprise Library information can be found at the Enterprise Library site.
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