AXTools has been on my “favorite tool makers” list for a couple of years now, if not more (disclaimer: I got a free copy of this product so that I can review it). When I did VB6 development, they came out with one of the best add-ins for VB that I've ever used (and I'm a tool freak) - CodeSmart. To say the least, the tool was awesome and saved hours every day in productivity enhancements.I still use it today whenever I open up vb6.
Some of the most incredible features were :
- a code explorer - allowing you to see the methods and the files in the same tree
- a code workbench - allowing you to group shortcuts to the most frequently visited code items in your project
- Auto-text (what Whidbey calls code expansion nowadays)
- a slew of other ,mind boggling then, features that vb developers had to live without.
When Vs.Net came out I was not sure how well they would survive with all the new features that Vs.Net had implemented. some of them were highlighted as important features in vb6 but now you had them built in such as multi item clipboards and so on.
A little while later, AXTools came out with CodeSmart.Net. I'm glad to say that although it has less features, the most important features that I loved in Vb6 are now implemented in CodeSmart.Net for both Vb.Net and C#!
this is cool because this way I have to switch between File view and Class view in the vs.Net IDE. I can just use my physical file view to find what I need.
this is a lifesaver. You have no idea how much.
since the auto-text is fully configurable, it makes all the code expansion stuff I've read about in Whidbey look totally ridiculous. Why oh why should I implement such a complex XML file when I can do the same thing in less than 30 seconds by creating a new auto-text entry in CodeSmart?
there are some other nice features like code builders,advanced find and replace and so on but these are the three that I really can't live without. They alone are worth the price of admission.
AXTools could have done a lot more with CodeSmart.Net. If there's one thing that's missing it's refactoring support. That would be so easy to implement in such a good add-in and right now, it will be their biggest advantage over the competition (C# refactory only works on C#). AXTools should grow into a new market because the old one seems to be disappearing quickly. They can't rely on their old bag of tricks to save them forever. Invent yourself.
Get this add-in and save yourself lots of time using the three features I mentioned above. The rest is just added bonus.