DevExpress Updates CodeRush Productivity Toolset

Developer Express Inc.’s CodeRush 2.5 comes bundled with refactoring toolset.

Las Vegas-based software development toolmaker Developer Express Inc. has released the latest version of its CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET productivity add-on. CodeRush 2.5 comes bundled with the company's Refactor Pro 2.5 tools and a number of enhancements.

CodeRush is 100 percent managed code that integrates tightly with the Visual Studio .NET IDE. All the CodeRush features are implemented as plug-ins using Visual Studio's form designer and property browser. These plug-ins provide developers with new ways to look at code, generate it, navigate through it and create their own extensions to the development environment, according to DevExpress. It works for both C# and Visual Basic .NET.

Refactor Pro 2.5 is a refactoring toolset for Visual Studio that currently provides more than 100 refactorings, which target Visual C# 3.0 and Visual Basic 9 features such as lambda expressions, implicit types, auto-implemented properties and XML literals. This release includes the first refactorings for Visual Studio 2008 beta 2, DevExpress claims.

Strong Improvements
The list of enhancements in CodeRush 2.5 for .NET includes a number of visualization and navigation tools and an enhanced template engine. The template engine was a big selling point for Andrew Connell, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based Microsoft MVP specializing in the .NET Framework and the Office Server System. Connell has been using CodeRush for three years, and he says using the templates is "like coding in shorthand."

"I'm in love with any tool that frees me to do things that are more challenging," he tells RDN. "I know how to build a method and a class, but when I have to do it over and over again, it slows down the process of expressing what's in my head."

He's also a fan of the new navigation features, the product's extensibility and its visualization features. "There are lots of little glyphs-visual cues that give you an idea of what your code is doing, instantly and intuitively, without making you read the code," he says.

The product's cross-language compliance was also a plus: "I live in C#, but it's much easier to code in VB because I can use the same templates and the resulting code will be in the language I'm in."

Not for Novices
He would not, however, recommend the product for beginners: "As an instructor, I firmly believe that you don't want to start out relying on tools that hide what's going on under the covers."

One area Connell would like to see improved in the next version is custom plug-in development support. "Even after three years, it's still a challenge for me to sit down and write a plug-in. ... The good news is, [the company] is fully aware of it, and they've got a killer community. I've found that their team members typically respond to online messages within an hour."
-John K. Waters

ColdFusion 8 Features .NET Integration

-John K. Waters

ColdFusion 8.0 from Adobe Systems Inc. gets a .NET infusion

The latest version of Adobe Systems Inc.'s ColdFusion Web dev environment-long a staple among Java developers-features increased tooling and support for .NET-based projects.

ColdFusion 8 combines an app server with a rapid application dev environment designed to integrate databases and Web pages. It employs its own scripting language, the ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML), and uses tag-based syntax like HTML.

.NET Integration Makes a Splash
This release introduces a slew of new features, but the loudest buzz is being generated by its .NET integration. As a Java-based solution, ColdFusion has long allowed developers to invoke Java objects natively; the new version adds the ability to invoke .NET objects natively.

ColdFusion 8 also includes a new Server Monitor feature, which lets developers identify bottlenecks and tune the server for better performance. It supports seamless integration of ColdFusion apps with other Adobe technologies such as Flex, PDF, Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) and Adobe LiveCycle. Also, this release uses AJAX-based components to allow developers to design and deploy applications by integrating complex environments into intuitive interfaces.

This release also provides expanded support for the leading Java EE application servers, including IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic and JBoss.

"ColdFusion is a classic example of a niche tool," says Gartner Inc. analyst Mark Driver. "The existing market is very entrenched, and it plateaued several years ago. But there's a lot of code written in ColdFusion [CFML], and companies don't have a good reason to rewrite it. Plus, many organizations have a lot of ColdFusion skills in-house, and they don't want to retrain their people."

Opportunity in Open Source
Looking into the product's future, Driver has a suggestion for Adobe: open source it.

"No one has told me that there are any plans to do it, but I wouldn't be shocked if, in the next year or so, we see Adobe open source a significant portion of ColdFusion," he says. "It worked well with Flash, and I think it would be a good move for the company to get the proprietary stench off the product, to compete more strongly with technologies like PHP and Ruby on Rails."

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at

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