By Wyatt Barnett

New Toys: Sandcastle CTP & July Atlas CTP

By Wyatt Barnett

New this week from Microsoft:

  1. Sandcastle is Microsoft’s newly released tool to compile the Xml comments from your .NET 2.0 code into usable .CHM files. Apparently it is a tweaked version of the tool used to generate the MSDN documentation for Visual Studio 2005. You can download the CTP directly from Microsoft. For more information, the best place to start is the Sandcastle team blog, especially the tutorial and the FAQ.

    As of right now there is no UI for the tool, but some enterprising individuals have created a Sandcastle batch file builder tool that and a MsBuild script to help integrate Sandcastle into your development cycle.

  2. The Atlas team has released another CTP of the Asp.NET “Atlas” framework. This CTP is creatively called the ASP.NET “Atlas” July 2006 CTP and can be downloaded here. There are no significant new features but rather a slew of bug fixes, hinting that the preview phase is coming to a close.

    While on the subject of Atlas, I should probably mention the new series Atlas “How do I?” videos. They are quite good at getting one up and running with the tools. In addition, many more ASP.NET videos are available on the ASP.NET site.

Enjoy the new toys.

  • Just a simple question. Is Atlas implementation is different from tools like dojo? Or, they are equivalent?

  • wwb_99


    I am not particularly familiar with dojo, but from their webpage, Atlas is like dojo and a whole lot more. It has a number of client-side components which are functionally equivalent to dojo. These client-side are there for some very slick server-side integration. Basically one can ajax-enable an ASP.NET application by adding some atlas controls and without making significant changes to the back-end code. And never writing a single line of javascript.

  • Atlas and Dojo offer similar kinds of functionality. It’s probably worth mentioning that Atlas doesn’t require the use of ASP.NET on the server-side – you can use it as a client-side library with any server-side language. Shanku Niyogi has an Atlas PHP sample

  • Stephan Smetsers


    I have picked your email address from the internet because I have noticed that
    in some way you (or people you know) are related to Microsofts Sandcastle product.

    Documentation Compilers For Managed Class Libraries
    Enabling managed class library developers throughout the world to easily create accurate,
    informative documentation with a common look and feel.

    I have been using Microsofts Sandcastle for some time now and it’s xml-schemas
    have driven me nuts…. so I made a small userinterface for Sandcastle.

    The program is freeware and includes the following features:
    – Support for online MSDN-links.
    – Documenting of specified namespaces instead of entire assemblies.
    – Multiple outputtypes (website and/or .CHM-file).
    – Custom copyright line.
    – Custom company logo.
    – Custom product information.

    View my website for more information and a download-link:

    View generated output using SandcastleGUI:

    Kind regards,

    Stephan Smetsers

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