Generating the business objects from the DB is always a very tedious tasks and the solutions available always pose a number of limitations. I’ve started exploring PLINQO that looks like a very powerful and customizable solution, based on CodeSmith templates, that builds and improves on LINQ to SQL.
PLINQO is free but you need to have CodeSmith Professional installed on your machine to use it.
You can learn more about PLINQ at http://plinqo.com
The code generation can be embedded into the build, although it doesn’t make much sense to me to regenerate all the classes every time you compile.No comments
I could test a Beta of Windows 7 and Direct Access 2.2.4 works smoothly.No comments
Direct Access 2, the universal word and text expander software, is available for download at Nagarsoft.
The new version contains a number of changes that improved the following aspects:
Better integration with your work environment: Direct Access 2 offers a redesigned user interface to reduce the amount of clicks and operations you need to do to manage your libraries. Commands properties are now displayed in the main window so that you can easily add and change them without needing to open extra windows.
Clipboard History: store and retrieve the last pieces of text copied into the clipboard by CTRL+SHIFT+V
Support for rich text and pictures in Autotext and email: you can include rich formatted text in autotext and email (the latter option works only if you use Microsoft Outlook to send emails). You can now store and insert your most frequently used pieces of text in any application inno time.
Commands sharing: one great benefit of building a commands library is being able to share it with other people or different PCs (used by the same person). You can now do it easily, without the need of a server by just a simple file sharing.
Better control: easily customize the way Direct Access responds to your preferences: quickly enable and disable group of commands, change the way abbreviations are triggered, ignore commands detection in certain applications. You can also define if the abbreviation is triggered when you press the SHIFT key (or any confirmation key) or when you type a delimiter character (like SPACE, ENTER): this new option integrates better into your workflow for typos correction.
Commands library for autocorrections in 7 languages: we built an extensive collection of command packs and a dictionary of autocorrections (in 7 languages) to automatically correct spelling and typos in any application. More commands will be available very soon.No comments
I’m glad to announce the availability to our customers to Direct Access 2.0 BETA.
Direct Access 2.0 has been completely redesigned for increased usability and seamless integration with other applications.
Here’s a sample of the new features:
- Quickly add/modify and remove your commands using shortcuts
- Launch command from the group menu which is displayed as you type
- Clipboard history to quickly store and retrieve the last used text clippings
- Enable/Disable group of commands
- More powerful macros
- Ability to execute autotext from inside other autotext
You can look at some screenshots of Direct Access, at the Direct Access Beta page
Customers will receive an email with the link to download the beta version. Your feedback is very appreciated.No comments
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Hurry up, the offer is valid today only, 4th February.No comments
Direct Access allows you for launching commands from anywhere, even when there no text input.
If you are not careful, this could create some unwanted interactions with other application, sending them keystrokes that may have unexpected consequences.
Here’s a simple macro, created with Autohotkey, that solves this problem, allowing you to select the taskbar before typing an abbreviation: keystrokes are then sent to the taskbar preventing unwanted interactions with other applications.
How to use focustaskbar
Run the focustaskbar.exe. An icon will appear on the taskbar. When you are ready to type an abbreviation to launch an application or open a website (no meaning to use it for Autotext when you want Direct Access to send keystrokes to the active application), type the WIN+C key combination. The script will intercept it and focus the taskbar. You can then type the abbreviation knowing that it won’t have any side effect.
The script assumes that the taskbar is aligned at the bottom of the screen. It that’s not the case for you, you can easily modify the script; similarly you can also change the key combination.
The script contains just one line: #c::MouseClick, left, 4000,4000
that says: when you detect a WIN+C key combination, send a left mouse click at coordinates (4000, 4000). If your taskbar is not attached to the bottom of the screen, you can easily change the mouse click location accordingly.
So, to be on the safe side, whenever you type an abbreviation for launching applications, type WIN+C followed by your abbreviation.
Working with text substitution is a bit difficult to get started at first but, once you get used to it, you’ll discovered the huge time saving it allows dealing with repetitive text entries. Here are some tips to get started with text substitution.
Choose abbreviations that are easy to remember
Abbreviations have an advantage over key combinations: they are easier to remember (if you choose them wisely). My suggestion is to use the first letter of the first word of the sentence you want to type. For example, if you frequently type, “Thanks for your help.”, tha can be a good abbreviation. You may also choose the initial letter of each word but this can be challenging if the phrase is long.
Another advantage of using the first letters of the first word is that the confirmation tooltip will appear while you are typing (as the abbreviation is part of the phrase you want to type) allowing you to quickly enter the phrase pressing SHIFT.
Add phrases as you go
You don’t need to setup your environment at the beginning but you can add your phrases incrementally as you work with other applications.
Let’s say you notice that you are using the some phrase over and over answering your customer emails or entering your website. Just select the text and press CTRL+SHIFT+W. Direct Access opens the ‘Add New Autotext’ window with the selected piece of text. It’s just a matter of adding the abbreviation and that piece of information will be available in any program.
Create an universal autocorrect and spell checker
Are you always misspelling a word? Create a new Autotext in Direct Access that enters the correct word and has the misspelled word as the abbreviation. You can also use it to expand words and acronyms. You can also import all your auto-corrections from Microsoft Word and use them in any application.
Group your phrases by context
Define a group for similar phrases and assign an abbreviation to it. When invoked, Direct Access will show a menu with all the contained commands so that you can easily choose the desired phrase from a list. For example, you can define a group support with abbreviation supp which contains all the customer support phrases you normally use. Type supp and Direct Access will show a list of phrase which you can easily insert into an email, document or webpage.
Easily change and tweak your abbreviations
If you want to change an abbreviation for a command that you have just executed, simply press CTRL+SHIFT+E in any application. Direct Access will open the Edit window of the last executed command allowing you to modify it.
Likewise, you can add or remove the confirmation to multiple commands and add suffix and prefix to your favorite abbreviations to adapt the way Direct Access works to your personal taste. For example, you may like adding the “..” suffix to the commands with no confirmation to avoid accidental triggering.
I’m pleased to announce the release of Direct Access 1.6. I wish to thank all the people who provided suggestions and comments during the beta period. Your feedback is very appreciated and helps us shaping Direct Access so that it suits your needs better and better.
Direct Access 1.6 includes more than 20 new features (you can read a full list of changes at http://www.nagarsoft.com/versionhistory.aspx), but I would like to point your attention to the following ones:
- Quickly confirm a command using the SHIFT key: you can now use SHIFT to confirm a command when you see the confirmation tooltip. It’s really quick and convenient just pressing SHIFT instead of reaching for F12 or any other key.
- Easily share and create commands with the Create Commands Wizard: a new Wizard simplifies the process of importing commands from command packs or creating commands from the desktop, quickstart or documents folders. It simplifies the process of exporting the commands from a PC and importing it to another one detecting and overwriting existing commands on the target machine.
- Automate applications with the Send special keys macro: this was a major request and now it’s there. You can send key combinations to other applications to do basic automation and fill forms. If you are doing repetitive operations through menus Direct Access can help controlling the target application using keyboard shortcuts.
- New sendtext engine: the new engine works at a much lower level and is more reliable in sending text to any application. On top of that, it detects the lengths of the text to copy and can decide if typing the text directly or use the clipboard. This ensures that the text is always inserted quickly and precisely. Direct Access can now ignore soft keys: these are virtual keystrokes generated by other macro tools (like Macro Scheduler). This prevents any interference with your pre-existent scripts.
- How much time are you saving with Direct Access? Find it out with the new usage statistics: with the usage statistics you can actually see how much time you are saving with Direct Access. I encourage you to enable sharing usage statistics: the data are completely anonymous and they help us understand how you use Direct Access to serve you better.
Direct Access 1.6 includes also a number of minor interface tweaks and a consistent number of bug fixes. A screenshot tour of Direct Access is available at http://www.nagarsoft.com/Screenshots.aspx
The lastest version of Direct Access is available for download here.No comments