Does anybody use the Class Designer much in Visual Studio?

I have downloaded the Modeling Power Toys for 2005 and have been impressed with what I've seen so far. The MSDN Class Designer Blog doesn't seem to have been updated for a while but it still looks quite useful.

Is the Class Designer a quick way to build the basic application or should I just work out on paper and then start coding?


+4  A: 

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: No, not at all. There's a reason it hasn't been updated.

[EDIT] @ MrBrutal - Sorry - do you mean to generate code or just represent a design? Because I took your question as to generate code for you.


I have tried it out couple of times, mainly for viewing existing classes. If it would show all the relationships, it would be more usefull. Now it only shows inheritation.


I find it useful sometimes, more often for documentation afterwards.

It's a new little utility, but I don't think you get the full functionality in VS Pro - I think you need Architect's Edition.

+1  A: 

I've used it a couple of times to get some decent looking class diagrams to put in presentations/blogposts etc. But thats about it...

Any suggestions on other simple UML/class diagram tools that is easy to use and create some nice looking diagrams? Must be able to generate diagrams from .NET code.

Jonas Follesø

@ IainMH - I meant to do a little of both really. I'm starting to design the next version of the customer/order system we use in house and was hoping this would be a nice way to get started.

I never intended to code via this tool, but I thought the documentation aspect would be great for during and after the project.

It looks like your all agreeing that it's use is limited I shall wait for the answers for Tuoski new question in anticipation.


David A Gibson

The comments here suggest that few people find the class designer useful.

Amusing to note that Microsoft designed the class designer to be a useful replacement to useless UML (UML diagrams being untrustworthy once they lose synchronisation with source code).

The trouble with class diagrams is that they tell us what we already know.

Phil Bachmann

I only use the class designer to display my existing classes, but I don't use it the other way, e.g., design your classes there then let it generate the code.

Jon Limjap
+4  A: 

As a visualization tool, it's ok, but generally I find the object browser does fine for most stuff I care about.

As a code generation tool, it's a terrible idea.

The whole idea that we will design all our code structure first, then fill in the blanks with small bits of implementation is fundamentally broken.

The only time you actually know what the code structure should look like, is if you've done the exact same thing before - however then you can just use your previous code, and you don't need to draw up any new code in any kind of designer.

If you decide ahead of time to use a particular class structure before you've actually tried to solve the problem, there is a 100% chance that you will pick the wrong design, and shoot yourself in the foot.

Orion Edwards