Thursday, 22 January 2009

Project site for FDO Toolbox Add-Ins

One of the goals of the FDO Toolbox rewrite was easy and flexible extensibility.

As a result of this goal, I have set up another project site solely dedicated to the development of add-ins for FDO Toolbox.

Currently things are quite bare at the moment (only a subset of the FDO Toolbox trunk and a skeleton MapGuide Add-In project are in there), but things will be hopefully picking up soon.

FDO Toolbox Add-Ins (Google Code)

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

FDO Toolbox v0.7.0

After two months of re-writes and re-designs (and a whole lot of new development). I have finally pumped out a new release of FDO Toolbox that until now was nothing more than words and screenshots!

A (big) summary of the changes include:
  • Everything has been rewritten from the ground up. The foundation is now based on SharpDevelop Core, providing a framework for easy extensibility.
  • Re-Designed/Improved Data Preview control. Null values are now displayed as
  • Re-Designed/Improved Schema Editor. This can now also function in standalone mode, meaning you can edit a serialized xml feature schema independent of any open FDO connections.
  • The Generic connect/create data store controls now have helper macros (eg. "Insert Current Directory") to make filling in the connection parameters much quicker.
  • Re-Designed Express Module
  • You can create connections with configuration file support. This is used to configure non-feature classes as feature classes (eg. Defining a non-feature class as a point-feature class by specifying a X and Y column). The configuration files still have to be created/edited manually.
  • The new ETL framework (based on Rhino ETL) is fully implemented. This is much more flexible than how things were done previously. Bulk Copy and Joins are now using this framework. You will probably (definitely) have to re-create your saved Bulk Copy and Join tasks as the xml schemas for these files have changed.
  • Database Join operations now have batch support (if the target connection supports it)
  • FDO Toolbox now uses FDO 3.4.0 (beta 1). FDO 3.4 is not binary compatible with FDO 3.3, so if you are using providers that do not come with the standard FDO distribution, they must be built for 3.4, otherwise they will not work with this release of FDO Toolbox. If this is the case, perhaps the author(s) of the provider(s) in question could be persuaded to start migrating their providers ;-) Also FDO 3.4 requires you have the Visual C++ 2008 runtime library installed.
  • Express module now supports connecting to common ODBC formats (MS Access, Excel, SQL Server, Text files)
  • Express module now supports connecting to common OGR formats (currently: MapInfo, CSV and ESRI Personal Geodatabase)
  • Much more!
Also starting with this release, FDO Toolbox is now packaged with NSIS technology allowing for a better installation user experience. Also, no more lite releases. From now on, every release will have FDO bundled with it.

So without further ado, come and get it!

P.S. The (near) exponential growth of FDO Toolbox between versions means that I may well have missed some small things that were in previous releases. If this is the case, do not hesitate to file a bug report. Actually, do not hesitate to file an bug report on anything! I can't be the only one filing bug reports all the time! :-)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Who want's to be a (virtual) millionaire?

The value of my personal hobby project according to Ohloh:

I guess that's the price for being so charitable :-)