Friday, April 28, 2006

Check out Visual Forms from Jeremy North

Finally I had the time and chance to check out the new Visual Forms Expert Jeremy North has written. Since he does not have (yet) a demo available, I thought you might want to read an independent opinion on this tool. Well, most know that I am not much into visual application development, yet there is one large VCL application, I am currently supporting at BMW. And this one just seems perfect for checking out Visual Forms.

So, I have installed this new tool into Delphi. The installer makes that really easy and already shows something else brewing on Jeremy's computer. Take a closer look at the version selection box ;-)

Visual Forms Installer

Within the BDS you can now access the Visual Forms using CTRL+SHIFT+F12, note the relation to the normal form selector window. For projects, where you have not Visual Forms before, you will see an empty list. You have to refresh the list once before using it. The expert will open all forms and make snapshots of them and caching them for its view. This cache is persisted between your BDS sessions. All settings can be adjusted from within the IDE.

Once you have set up Visual Forms for your project, which takes just one click and less than a minute, even for projects with 30 forms, like mine, you can select your forms visually.

Visual Forms Window (large)

Pretty soon you will dock the Visual Forms window into your BDS default working layout and make sure, that you'll always have easy visual access to those forms. I have put it in the right lower corner bundled with the Tool Palette and this is where it will be from now on.

Visual Forms docked into my Layout

So Jeremy, please add support for project groups. Currently when working with project groups, only the forms of the selected project are listed. How about all at once ;-)

Thank you for this great addition to our beloved IDE!


Anonymous BeBored said...

Just bought it and love it...

12:43 PM  

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