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CodeSmith Insight Overview

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CodeSmith Insight is a very nice tool that’s currently in Beta targeted and collecting feedback from your users… to provide you with “Insight” to your customers needs.

I’ve been beta testing this for about 1 week now and have been very impressed. I’ll put some of my findings here as well as some tips for using CodeSmith Insight.

Where is CodeSmith Going?

Flying near the Microsoft flame is always a challenge. As I saw Microsoft putting energy toward their T4 templates and features such as the Entity Framework I wondered what CodeSmith Tools would do. I’ve used their CodeSmith Generator for years now. It’s a very powerful template based code generation tool. As I’ve watched the Entity Framework as well as LINQ to SQL develop over the past several years I wondered what CodeSmith Tools would do to reinvent themselves. I recently found the answer when I got a Beta invitation for Insight.

Of course CodeSmith faces the same challenge many companies face when the company name and the product name are the same. If you look on their website (at the time of this posting) for their products you see that CodeSmith Professional 5.2 and CodeSmith Standard 5.2 are available. Of course that’s the code generator.

They too saw the decreased need for code generation tools and have been looking for new ways to have value to the Microsoft development community. And they’ve certainly found a way.

What Is CodeSmith Insight?

CodeSmith Insight (Insight) is a tool for gaining insights to your customers (or in my case… users) needs. CodeSmith is leveraging the latest cloud computing technology from Microsoft to produce… A product? No… and SDK (Software Development Kit)?  No… a Service? No… all three!

CodeSmith has leveraged the latest technologies to provide the ability for your software to easily collect information from your users. With very little effort – less than 15 minutes – I was able to have my website collect crash reports for me! It doesn’t track user information and thus doesn’t violate any privacy yet allows me to see crashes and manage them with rich information so that I can correct the issue.

That’s really the tip of the iceberg, but a very important tip.

Right now I use Insight for a Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 2 application I’m developing, but I plan to use it for other applications in the future too.

I’ll place some tips here as I work with CodeSmith Insight over the coming weeks.

Way to go CodeSmith!

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