Posted by: sbelus | 28/01/2013

CodeFluent Entities – Developer Review (Part 1)

What is CodeFluent Entities? As vendor (Softluent.com) says: “CodeFluent Entities is a unique product integrated into Visual Studio 2008 SP1 / 2010 / 2012 which allows developers to generate database scripts (e.g. T-SQL, PL/SQL, MySQL, Pg/SQL), code (e.g. C#, VB), web services (e.g. WCF, JSON/REST) and UIs (e.g. Windows 8, ASP.NET, MVC, SharePoint, WPF)“. What CodeFluent is not? Definitely it’s not an ORM system, but let’s start from the beginning.

In general this technology should help us to create code faster as it generates  files with code, database scripts and schemas and more. CodeFluent Entities provides about 20 producers that can generate every part of the application. For example: SQL producer generates database schema and scripts, C# BOM Producer generates C# code with business entities (defined by user) together with methods that are interacting with database entries. Smart Client producer generates proxy entries and WCF contracts. As you can see you can build whole application with minimum effort. All you need to do is use designer and create entities and add some additional logic. You can also edit xml-based files outside the designer, which, in daily work, can be  more comfortable for software developers.

feature1-2(from softfluent.com)

In my opinion designer is very useful only at the beginning of the project and when there is not many entities. When project is becoming a larger then visualisation doesn’t look nice and using designer doesn’t have many benefits. Of course authors predicted that issue and they offer so called “surfaces”, that allows you grouping entities to have some logic in designing. I suppose that after a while you will probably go to edit xml files with data by your self. It can be faster when you get to know well the structure and attributes.

Generation of the code is continuously. That means you can edit model (entities and logic) then generate files and add your custom code. After that you can edit model again and generate files again and again. It’s important to make corrections in the model than making corrections in the generated files, because after another generation files will be overwritten by those generated from new model.

The theory looks great. How it is in real project? I will try to describe my impressions in the next post.

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Responses

  1. I’ve been playing around with CodeFluent Entities for about a month (have yet to form a solid opinion) and have just started using it with a real project. I like that they give developers a free license to the full version for personal use. I have always felt all software companies should do that. Looking forward to your next post.

  2. @Dave: I agree, free license for personal use should be standard. Thanks for your comment. Next post is available 🙂

  3. That’s good in order to certainly find a site in which the blogger knows what they’re referring to.


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