DevPartner Studio 9.1

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I've complained about DevPartner Studio enough in the past (here, here, here, etc.) that I thought I should write a positive blog posting since my recent experiences have been very positive.

Some time ago I reported a bug in the BoundsChecker part of the product which meant that it hung sometimes in multi-threaded code. I managed to get a reasonably straight forward reproduction and raised an issue with them. It took a while but this is now fixed in 9.1 and this alone makes the product much more usable for me - having your diagnostic tool hang is never that useful!

However 9.1 is good for me in several other ways; it runs on x64, it runs on Windows 7 and it seems considerably faster than previous versions.

I'm not sure if the last one is just my perception due to the fact that I'm finally running it on my main development box rather than on an older box. Either way it's now something that I CAN run on the servers that I'm developing and get reasonably real results out of any tests that I care to run to exercise the server. In the past it's always been too slow to run my servers under these kinds of tools as the overhead of the API interception and whatever made the servers run unreasonably slowly.

Being able to run the tool all the time rather than just when I decide to do a special run of it on my test harnesses is much better and makes it much more useful to me. Now, if only there cost effective way to have it run on my build machines and report failures to me automatically - right now there's no point in working out a solution to the second problem as I'd have to purchase full licenses for each of my build machines and that isn't going to happen... This is unfortunate as I think the place for these kinds of tools is in the automatic build tool chain. If it were to run as part of my test suite then I would catch issues with it that much faster; the usage would switch from being reactive to being proactive...

Now, of course, I'll find some really annoying bugs as soon as I start to turn on more of the features (the API validation part always seems to be out of date or incorrect in some key API that I use all the time - (it's a real shame that the config for this isn't supplied as user editable XML files or something!)).

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