Monday, August 2, 2010

DexSense: IntelliSense for Microsoft Dexterity

In past weeks I posted an article explaining how Microsoft Dexterity could benefit from IntelliSense technology and enter a request for the community to vote on the Microsoft Connect product suggestion 570553 so the feature could be considered by Microsoft for introduction into a future release of Microsoft Dexterity. You can find the link to those articles, as follows:

Dexterity and IntelliSense
Dexterity and IntelliSense: It's time to vote!

A couple weeks later, the answer came from the Community after Tim Gordon, a software developer and consultant with Alpine Limited saw the post referencing my articles over at Developing for Dynamics GP. Tim contacted David Musgrave, who then copied me after the first couple exchanges they had. Tim had been working on a very rudimentary prototype of IntelliSense for Dexterity. His Visual Studio IntelliSense application sits in the Windows system tray "listening" for a Dexterity process. When Dexterity becomes available, the application attaches to the process. Tim's initial implementation used text files to store pre-loaded table and forms resources, but after a couple more exchanges with David and myself, Tim changed the implementation to use the Continuum Library with Dexterity and is now able to read resources in real time.

Over time, the exchanges grew from simple requests to more complex ones, each new request building on the previous implementations. This is how DexSense took on a life of it's own. After a good number of hours working with Tim, you can now reap the benefits of our collective effort by downloading the DexSense application here. The following is a list of current features:

  • Support for Microsoft Dexterity versions 9, 10, 11
  • IntelliSense support for tables, forms, reports, and scripts (functions and procedures) resources
  • Ability to toggle between physical table names and technical table names during intellisense, for example, get table RM20101 would translate automatically to get table RM_OPEN.
  • Predefined Dex constructs, if...then...else
  • Intellisense for get statement

As with all version 1 products, there's still long ways to go, but you have to start somewhere and the current build (DexSense 1.6) has sure started out with a huge leap forward. If you are one of those who love to criticize, make sure you do so constructively and after installing and working with the application for at least a couple weeks.

To enter your comments and/or suggestions, click on Tim's picture above.

Also, be sure to read David Musgrave's article on the subject:

IntelliSense for Dexterity - Ask and You Shall Receive

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC


Kumar said...

This is cool.... :)

Mariano Gomez said...

I encourage you to download DexSense and try it out.