Pretty cool stuff going at the Process Academy these days.
On Monday we released XpertBuildDoc, a Visual Studio 2005 Add-in that generates HTML Help documentation for C# and VB.Net projects. It is straightforward yet pretty slick graphical user interface and has many nifty features like multi-project selection and Visual Studio Console output. The story of why and how we came to release this product is a good example of the spirit of the team here and of what we stand for.
It all started when we needed to generate the documentation a custom release of our Enterprise XpertDoc API. The original version of our API was based on the DotNet Framework 1.1 and we very satisfied using the NDoc open source project. Unfortunately, NDoc will not support DotNet 2.0 framework on which our latest API release is based, so we needed to find an alternative.
Turns out that Microsoft had just released SandCastle, a command-line utility for documenting DotNet 2.0 projects. This still being an alpha release, we couldn’t find any wrapper to alleviate the inherent pain of a command-line interface.
Adversity being the mother of ingenuity, we rolled-up our sleeves and decided to (a) dream up exactly the tool we would have like to have readily available, (b) learn how to write Visual Studio 2005 Add-ins, (c) implement our “vision” as an Add-in and (d) make it available, free of charge, to the community of DotNet developers. All that in about… 2 business days! Now if that is not being an Agile company, I don’t know what is. :-)
Although we’re not expecting to build any kind of a business around this little tool, it was both a lot of
Many thanks to Yannic (and Louis-Philippe also) for another job well done!