Visual Basic

TMS Developer's Framework

Since 1995 all TMS applications have been built using three interlocking, key building blocks. Collectively these building blocks are known as the "TMS Developer's Framework" (TDF):

  • VB Vogue

  • Application Template

  • Vogue Tools

Each building block can be purchased separately or as a set of complementary components that constitute the "Framework." Each element of the TDF is briefly explained below.

VB Vogue

VB Vogue is TMS's Visual Basic "Developer's Discipline" and Coding Standards reference document. It currently numbers around 70 pages.

VB Vogue is much more than a set of traditional coding standards. As well as defining naming conventions and coding style guidelines, it also includes sections on Year 2000 "readiness," component versioning, guidance on data access methods and structured exception handling techniques-to name but a few. Throughout, it is VB Vogue's aim to give clear explanations and justifications for any advice or rules that it mandates. During VB Vogue's development TMS made a conscious decision that it be much more than an informational reference book. Our key objective was to ensure it was also instructional and educational. The result: a valuable asset for any development team.

Vogue Tools

From the descriptions of VB Vogue and App Template, the user will see that the application of either involves taking actions that will directly manipulate code or form definitions. For example, to fully use the DateBox control a developer must replace all TextBox controls used to capture dates with DateBox controls. Obviously, this will result in a drawn out, laborious, and mostly manual alteration of the project's code. Also, as we saw, VB Vogue mandates that exception handlers be added to every routine in a project-again, a tedious manual process would result. Such necessary tedium typically dictates that these critical alterations and additions to the code base are simply not carried out, or that they are applied piecemeal throughout the project. Obviously, both situations are unacceptable and need rectifying.

Vogue Tools are designed to ease any pain involved in applying such rigorous development practices as outlined in VB Vogue and in the updating of existing code, to use, say, the DateBox control. For example, to assist a developer in using the DateBox control, Vogue Tools contains a "lex"-built tool that can be used to replace date-containing TextBox controls with DateBox controls. Typical processing time for an entire project (depending on size) is around 10 seconds. As a further example, to add the necessary exception handling template code to a routine, Vogue Tools contains an IDE Add-In that can do just that with one button click. The current Vogue Tools are listed here:

  • Line Number Wizard
  • Error Handler Inserter
  • Lex DateBox Parser
  • Egrep32