NHibernate Designer 2: Roadmap

Nhibernate Designer for VS2010The NHibernate Designer has been out for a wee while now and we’ve received some great feedback from developers who use it. With that in mind and with recent requests we wanted to share our roadmap for what we are imaginatively calling NHibernate Designer 2!

File-per-class generation
Currently the NHibernate Designer outputs all of the generated classes into one file. Even though this is code generated and shouldn’t be edited we got strong feedback from developers that they preferred a file per class approach. NHibernate Designer 2 will include the option to generate a file per class if desired.

Set up NHibernate configuration in more detail
NHibernate Designer already gives developers a starting point for their NHibernate configuration (right click the design surface -> getting started). To help new users get started quicker we’re overhauling this much loved feature to include the ability to visually configure how you would like NHibernate configured and then generate the appropriate configuration block! It can’t get easier than that.

Migrations support
We’re looking at porting the Visual Studio integrated migrations framework from LightSpeed into the NHibernate Designer. This provides for schema migrations that can be created and executed from within Visual Studio, creation of migration SQL scripts and also includes command line tools for running migrations on servers without Visual Studio installed. The LightSpeed migration engine includes support for several database engines (SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, etc).

Migrations can be created based on your model changes within Visual Studio, giving you a big leg up in creating your migrations.

We’ve also had feedback asking about third party migration frameworks. Is this important to you? Why? Leave a comment and let us know!

More chocolate sprinkles
Other ideas we’re tossing around include the ability to execute queries from within Visual Studio, model checking (validation and ‘lint’-type advice), and filtered views a la LightSpeed. If you like the sound of any of these then do let us know — your feedback helps us to prioritise features and decide where to make the cut!

We want to hear from you
This post as highlighted some of the key improvements we’re adding to the NHibernate Designer for version 2. There are plenty of other tweaks and improvements that will be included. Much of the current roadmap has come from user feedback — thank you to those who have provided it to date! And if you haven’t told us about your fondest wish then leave a comment to let us know — it’s not too late! (Heck, it’s never too late. Even after we ship it, it still won’t be too late.)

2 Responses to “NHibernate Designer 2: Roadmap”

  • Is the file-per-class generation something that could be done with the lightspeed models as well? It would be useful for analyzing entity changes from source control.

  • Regarding 3rd party migration frameworks: Projects like DBup (http://code.google.com/p/dbup/) just execute sequentially numbered sql scripts. So there is really nothing _that_ special that needs to be done.

  • Leave a Reply

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