Need a working .csproj file for generation

  • Jason

    Jason - 2007-05-09

    I am having problems trying to create the proper project file so I can generate DDL.

    Following the instructions that were posted in the documentation structure.
    Visual Studio doesn't like <Project>
    The alternative doesn't seem right. <Project xmlns="">

    Can someone send/post a known good file?

    These are samples of error and warnings if the project loads (<project> does not load)

    Custom tool warning: No BuildItemGroup was found for this ORM file. Use the ORMGeneratorSettings dialog to add items to the group, or clear the CustomTool property.    C:\MyORM\ORMModel1.orm    MyORM Model

    The OutputPath property is not set for this project.  Please check to make sure that you have specified a valid Configuration/Platform combination.  Configuration='Debug'  Platform='AnyCPU'    MyORM Model

    I am running 2007-01CTP am willing to upgrade to 2007-03CTP if that is a safe upgrade and known to resolve this issue.



    • Kevin M. Owen

      Kevin M. Owen - 2007-05-09

      Please accept our apologies; those instructions are very out of date. You no longer need to edit the project file by hand to get our generators working. Instead, you can just make a regular project (C# or VB), and add an ORM model to it. When you click on the file for that ORM model in the Solution Explorer, you should see an entry for "ORMGeneratorSettings" in the Properties window. Selecting that entry and clicking the button towards the right of the value portion will open a dialog that allows you to select what you would like generated.

      Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions.

    • Brian Nalewajek

      Brian Nalewajek - 2007-05-10

      Check out the documentation bundle in the download tab.  These contain tutorial labs.  I've forgotten if they go through the new project procedures for VS, or not.  In any case, they are good intros to using fairly up to date releases of the NORMA tool. 

      Unless things have changed.  You should choose only a regular application or console project - not a data or web application.  Also make sure you are using VS 2005 Standard or above - won't work with Express editions.  BRN..

    • Jason

      Jason - 2007-05-10


      Thanks for the fast response last night.... it was perfect timing.  Awesome.


      I hadn't noticed the documentation downloads before.... so I will be sure to check them out.


      Currently using NORMA to design a startup nonprofit so we are beginning to put the tool through the paces.

      I've been lurking on this board for a while, now that I am playing, I'll start to contribute.

      Thanks for your help and contribution to this project, much appreciated.

      take care,


    • Brian Nalewajek

      Brian Nalewajek - 2007-05-10

      Hi Jason,

        It's just a thought, but if you put together the summary of objectives, organization and something like a work flow you anticipate for your non-profit, I'd think some here would be willing to work with you (as kind of a case study for the NORMA tool).

        As the tool is still in CTP phase, a NP startup, of limited scope, could be a good candidate - not having the same level of pressure that an ongoing commercial venture would have.

        The ability to exchange and view NORMA files and documents is limited on this site, but that's something that needs to be addressed anyway.

        I'd encourage you to do the update to the latest NORMA CTP.  The system requirements are at the same level, but there are some enhancements.  The update process is spelled out in the readme, or release notes.  Basically, you need to remove the older versions of NORMA, PLiX and DSL Tools, before installing the new versions.  The files that have the model data you created already should be ready to use when you bring up VS after the update.

        If you haven't yet, check out the file folder on your system where NORMA was installed.  You might see some useful stuff there, that you don't see just by looking at the installed tool.  BRN..

    • Jason

      Jason - 2007-05-21


      We certainly will consider that for future versions.  We are just at a milestone with our contact db design, so we need to finish what we started.  What we haven't started to model is donations.... that will probably be our next project.

      I did follow your recommendation...the upgrade to the lastest CTP went smooth and the solution opened.  So that is good news.
      Only note: readme should note to install plix first and tell ya the setup program will install the DSL tools but not plix.

      As mentioned, I have a few recommendations to make at some point but need to find my notes and read previous posts first.

      Thanks for your interest. 

      Enough of me/us for now... what's your connection to this project?


    • Brian Nalewajek

      Brian Nalewajek - 2007-05-22

      Hi Jason,

        I'm just an innocent bystander!  I've been a fan of the theory behind the NORMA framework (Dr. Halpin's fact based modeling, which isn't the only form of Object Role Modeling, but what we are talking about when we talk of ORM theory).  I had a couple of the tools developed to utilize ORM methodology; Infomodeler which became VisioModeler, which became the basis for the Visio and Visual Studio for Enterprise Architects toolsets.  I like the theory behind it, so I was happy to see a new and open source tool being developed by Dr. Halpin and others at Neumont.  I'd love to have a full featured production tool as an ORM2 compliant replacement for the earlier tools, but that's not (to my understanding), the direct and immediate goal of the NORMA project.  Still, the tool is improving with each iteration, and there's already quite a lot that can be done with it.  The extensible framework part of the project has even more potential.  So, I'm not part of the team, but enjoy getting to test out the tool, and have a chance to comment and ask questions about its development.  The only stuff I work with myself is MS; SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio on MS WS2K3.  Though I got into programming quite a while back, I'm not much interested in writing code.  I'm more interested in information systems design issues.  If there's an OO camp, and a Relational Data Model camp; I'm in the later.  The OO stuff is important, but I think 'they' address IS problems with a different mindset.  The thing about ORM is that some people in each camp (and some with a foot in each), can see the value in it.

        BTW, if you have some general comments or questions about ORM or NORMA, try the Open Discussion Forum.  If you look through that, you'll see a Yahoo Group List notice that Clifford Heath started partly as an extension to the discussions here.  BRN..

    • Jason

      Jason - 2007-05-22


      You're right there appears to be a lot that can be done with this tool already, but at some point there needs to be a production tool of some sorts.  We switched over from Visio EA to NORMA.

      I am a ORM fan as well due to the influence of Prof. Everest at the University of Minnesota.

      We have similar interests as I am fascinated by ORM and the software development process (contextual design, SEI, etc), although I am having to dive into programming more for my  small business.  (Any experience with SQL Server Compact Edition?) For my career I am getting more into IT audit issues for a bit. And for the nonprofit, more into NORMA.  (Which is good!)  I am more in the Relational /Data warehouse camp... I can't quite think OO that well.

      I guess we did get off topic on this post!  Anyways, nice to meet you.  and I am trying to get caught up on these boards!

      Take care and feel free to drop a line sometime.

      Thanks for the warm welcome.


      • Brian Nalewajek

        Brian Nalewajek - 2007-05-22

        Hi Jason,

          The architects on the NORMA tool team have very strong OO programming backgrounds, but obviously know ORM and database design issues as well.

          Clifford Heath (the fellow that started the Yahoo Group: Information_Modeling), is working on a Ruby on Rails framework using the fact based nature of ORM for application development.  He just finished a visit with Dr. Halpin; but I haven't heard from him yet on how that may have effected his plans.

          Ken Evens is developing a website (while working on his masters), in support of the 'ORM Foundation'  He co-authored a book on VEA with Dr. Halpin.  Ken suggests that the OO approach is misguided.  I guess you could put him in the data centric camp.

          Of course, you probably have, or should, check out the material available on

          Can't say which venue/medium will emerge as the best clearing house and idea exchange for ORM and related topics - try them yourself. 

          No experience with SQL Server CE.  Also, I wouldn't rate myself as a real DBA either (just enough to handle my own implementations).  I'm more interested in the design issues.  DBAs that know their stuff can run rings around my attempts at optimization, security, maintenance, recoverability and availablity.  What I do care about are integrated information system solutions that correctly cover the Universe of Discourse.  I take issue with anyone that would compromise data integrity in a LOB DB, just to squeeze out some extra performance - there are always safer alternatives.  In practical terms, I can't data model without a stable ORM tool - things just get too complicated and complex to model domains of any substantial degree without one; and I haven't seen another methodology that address the issues as well as ORM.

          Yup, time for a new thread.  BRN..


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