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Nevron Diagram for .NET: Opening the Box

I'm not primarily a Windows Form developer so, when I review one of the standard toolpacks, I always worry whether I'm doing them justice: Is Infragistics' package significantly better than Telerik's package? I mean, these packages are huge and have been around for years. I've used the Infragistics package pretty extensively so I have a pretty good idea where the bodies are buried for that package -- can I speak with authority about ComponentOne's package?

So it's a relief to look at a more... unique... tool like Nevron's Diagram for .NET -- I don't really need to worry about comparing to equivalent products. And also, the description for this tool hooked me:

"Nevron Diagram for .NET can be used by .NET developers to display sophisticated graphs, flowcharts, networks, maps, UML and general purpose diagrams."

What that description leaves out is that the resulting diagrams are interactive. I had visions of users interacting with flowcharts and floor layouts or diagrams of relationships. Creating real visual applications. I was intrigued.

When I got in touch with Nevron about reviewing Diagram for .NET they gave me a license to download their whole Nevron .NET Vision Suite. That suite is big -- I have a fiber optic connection running right to my house and the package took minutes to download. It even took a couple of minutes to copy it over to the virtual machine that I use for testing. And another five or six minutes to install.

I mean, there's a lot in here.

Even then, I didn't quite realize how much was included until I opened a Windows Form project and looked at my toolbox. In the dictionary, beside the word "ginormous" they have a picture of my toolbox after I installed the .NET Vision suite. Looking for Diagram for .NET, I started at the top of the Nevron tab scrolled... and scrolled... and scrolled. I did get to the tab with Diagram for .NET before I gave up.

I'm glad that I just committed to reviewing Diagram for .NET. Doing the whole package would be daunting.

Actually, I'm daunted anyway. With most controls, I know how to start getting to know the control: Drag it onto the form, review the properties window, go to the events list (in C#) or the code editor (in VB) to review the event model, and finish by typing in the name of the control and hitting the period to get the IntelliSense dropdown list. By the time I've done all that, I've got a pretty good start on figuring out the control.

But the Nevron Diagram Winform tab has nine new controls on it. So, right now, that tab has got me buffaloed. I'm going to have to read the documentation.

By the way: Diagram for .NET also supports ASP.NET -- I'm just not looking at that part of the product for this review. Good thing, too.

Figure 1. First Look. This is the tab created to hold the controls that make up Nevron's Diagram for .NET tool.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 04/29/2010 at 1:16 PM

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