Saturday, February 26, 2005

Nice Refactoring Tool

I heard about Velocitis Flywheel at last year's SD West. Flywheel is a plugin for VS .NET and supports C#, VB and ASP.NET. I gave their evaluation a try and liked it quite a bit. I recently decided to drop $250 of my hard-earned discretionary funds (my saved up "blow money" portion of our household budget) to purchase Flywheel. I think it's going to be a good tool for the studies and work I've got planned when my current job evaporates in another couple weeks. The greatest strength I found in Flywheel was its visualizations; UML-like graphics showing component and class relationships. Flywheel keeps visualizations synchronized with code and enables you to make changes either on the models or in the code. There are a host of analytical, development and refactoring tools. You can analyze a class, method or variable to find all its references throughout a solution, something helpful when trying to decypher legacy software. There are lots of other useful-appearing widgets including renaming, addition of various odds and ends, etc., etc. Flywheel isn't as fleshed out as Rational XDE Developer for .NET, but then it's a fraction of the cost. I'll post updates as I continue working more with the tool.

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