Neumont ORM Architect for Visual Studio 2008-02CTP released!

The February 2008 Community Technology Preview of Neumont Object-Role Modeling Architect for Visual Studio is now available through

Additional information and documentation about the changes and new features is available in the readme.txt included in the .zip file and the posted release notes, which are duplicated below.

The drop includes modifications through changeset 1238 and corresponds to the latest release of 'Information Modeling and Relational Databases'

(Second Edition by Terry Halpin and Tony Morgan, March 2008). The following notable items have changed since the 2007-11 CTP drop:

1) There is now one Fact Editor window instead of two. The following new features are enable:
a) Before the Fact Editor was very aggressive about replacing existing readings and reading orders, and there was no way to enter secondary reading

except after the / on a binary. You can now select one or more roles from the same FactType (use the Control key for multiple roles) and enter or

modify secondary reading orders.
b) Selecting one or more ObjectTypes will now prepopulate the Fact Editor with those object types. Use Ctrl-click to extend the selection then

activate the tool window (see #2). This makes it much easier to enter a new FactType between two existing ObjectTypes.
c) There are some known issues with the IntelliSense dropdowns in the FactEditor, but some things are working fine. To select an item, either

double-click, or hit tab (NOT Enter), or type a closing delimiter character (like a ')' to select a completed reference mode.

2) All ORM tool windows can now be activated using the keyboard. The commands are two-chord commands starting with the Ctrl-W and followed by

Ctrl-WINDOWCHAR. To see the list of window characters, use the context menu key to open the designer context menu, then type W to open the tool window

list, then look at the accelerator keys for each window. These keys correspond to the WINDOWCHAR values. For example, Ctrl-W,Ctrl-F (note that you do

not need to lift the control key in between) takes you to the Fact Editor tool window, Ctrl-W,Ctrl-V will take you to the Verbalization Browser, etc.

3) The displayed reference mode notation has change. A . (period) is prepended to popular reference modes and a : is appended to unit-based reference

modes. These changes correspond to the notation introduced in the new book. We will eventually expand the : notation to formally recognized units of

comparable dimension (length, for example). Entering either of these notations will automatically introduce a new recognized reference mode pattern to

the model. You can see the reference modes you've added in the 'ORM Reference Mode Editor' tool window.

4) A solid subtyping line now indicates that the subtyping relationship leads to the preferred identifier directly or indirectly (over other

supertypes). The old notation marked a primary supertype even if the subtype had an explicit preferred identifier. If multiple paths now lead to the

preferred identifier then all paths will be solid. The old 'IsPrimary' notion will be updated when the .orm file is loaded. The new property name is

'PreferredIdentifier', which is accessed by selecting one of the non-preferred subtype relationships.

5) Individual Object Type names can now be overridden using the Abbreviations dialog available in the Properties window for the Name Generation

Settings expansion of the model browser. The farther you go down the generation tree, the more targeted the application of the name changes. For

example, you can change 'Employee' to 'Emp' for any relational usage or for columns only. Note that we know the column names still need a lot of work,

especially in subtyping and composite identification situations. We will attempt to address most of these issues before the next setup drop.

6) A handful of other tweaks:
a) The reading editor and other dropdowns now appear fully on the screen
b) The old gesture to connect a subtype was click the connector on the toolbox, click the subtype, click the supertype. This gesture still works, but

you can also drag the subtype onto the supertype as well.
c) Model notes can now be connected to external constraints
d) Derived FactTypes that are marked 'Derived' are not mapped (except for subtypes). Mark them as 'Derived and Stored' to map them.

Posted by Matthew Curland 2008-03-04

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