Scott Hanselman

MIcrosoft Best Practices Analyzer Tools

November 23, '06 Comments [0] Posted in ASP.NET | Programming | Reviews | Tools
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It'd be nice if there was some project inside (or outside) Microsoft to unify all "Best Practices" knowledge under one tool. Perhaps one of these tools is the beginning of that?

Two years ago, Microsoft released the well-thought-of SQL Server Best Practices Analzyer, in June the BizTalk Server Best Practices Analyzer, and in July one for Exchange.

Now it looks like the "Best Practices Engine" is being abstract into this project at CodePlex called the Microsoft Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) and I think it's just a fantastic idea. It appears to be a clean up of the ASP.NET Analyzer from June.

It comes with a sample plugin that analyzes ASP.NET 2.0 applications. I pointed it at one of mine and it found a few problems with solutions that were right on on the money.

This is starting to look like a list of all Microsoft's Paint programs.

I really hope that this is the beginning of an integration into an "Enterprise Application Best Practices Analyzer," perhaps headed up by the Patterns and Practices team? I'd like one tool I can point to a system and say "is this cool?"

Thinking in the vein of Brian Windheim's statement that "the number of non-software artifacts in any project should approach zero," it seems to me that there's less usefulness in creating amazing documents (but still ultimately just prose) like this one on ASP.NET Security Best Practices if, in my words, "a Word Document has no teeth." Making a great document like that into a plugin for an engine like the BPA makes the manifestation of its intent an order of magnitude more useful.

If the BPA, all derivitives, and the patterns & practives Guidance Explorer were combined, I think the resulting tool would be truly amazing.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.