Roadmap for SAF 1.4

It’s 6am and I am bored, so I thought I would give you a quick heads up on what’s coming in the next version of SAF (due by the end August). Here’s the Feature list :

DSL with Diagram capabilities inside Visual Studio 2008.

This is probably been the most exciting one for the release. We have been spending a few months working on a way to create SAF Macros visually via a VS 2008 designer window. This will give you the following advantages :

  • You don’t need to know the Schema for a SAF Macro (which happens to be a Spring IOC Container)
  • It’s much easier to see what a Macro will do. (a “picture paints a thousand words” or Xml Elements in our case!)
  • It’s nice to demo – much nicer than showing you how to create a Macro in Xml anyway.

Usage will be very simple and will happen like this :

  1. Load a new VS2008 Project –(more than likely a WSP Builder project).
  2. From the menu, choose “Add new SAF Macro”
  3. …Designer loads…
  4. Select one or more Actions and drag onto the design surface
  5. Configure the parameters for each of the Actions
  6. Connect the Actions to set up a processing order.
  7. Save and deploy.

Underneath, the SAF Diagram will be converted to a Macro Xml message, which can then be chucked into SAF for processing.

MSBuild Adapter

The Adapter has been knocking around in our code base for a few releases now, but, hasn’t really been road tested in a working scenario yet. Luckily, I have a wonderful opportunity to do this on a large SharePoint Project I am working with. The main idea is to integrate SAF into MSBuild (and hence, Visual Studio too). If you team this up with the DSL above (and WSP Builder), then the possibilities for tight integration are awesome.

Unit / Integration (“Uni-gration”) Testing for all Actions

We already have excellent test coverage for the SAF Engine and its Adapters. The last tests we need to author are for about 5 (or so) Actions. All of the existing Action tests have been done as SharePoint “integration” tests, which means that we start with a virgin WSS / MOSS site on the same machine as VS and then run Action for real in SharePoint. We tried various mocking approaches, but in our experience, SharePoint has so many quirks that “Uni-gration” is the only way to gain real confidence that it will work!

Documentation and Screencasts

Yeah I know – we have sucked on this so far! There are only so many hours (blah, blah), but, I do understand that the easiest way to gain mass adoption is to document and demo. All I can say is – it’s coming!!! I need to get used to Camtasia first though!

Useful Links :

SAF on Codeplex :

My Twitter : MarkQJones