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Doing a lot for very little…

10 Jul

Just when you thought it was safe… I drag you back into cXML validation! Hey – put down the torture devices…. it’s not what you think!  Remember a few posts back – we built a quicky validation tool?

imageWell had someone ask if I actually use that, and the truth is – no I don’t.  The actual tool that I use is the one shown here.  But all of this began as something very similar to the code you saw here.  There’s a lot more exception handling – and slew of features added into it since we / I use this for all kinds of cool eCommerce tests around work.  

As you can see the initial purpose of the tool remains the same, which is to validate cXML documents.  With this I can load the documents into the tool – and using any of the pre-populated addresses – it is capable of process an actual file, which is to imagesay round tripping where we begin with the PunchOut set up request and go all the way through the Purchase Order (OrderRequest) and even the POOM (PunchOutOrderMessage).

It was built completely on the free VB Express system from Microsoft so it cost literally nothing to build.  Were I to sell this – I’d probably charge around $500 to $1200 depending on the added features I’ve put in there and people would I have no doubt pay that for it.  (I know because I’ve been offered that much for it).  So there’s no reason that with a bit of ingenuity someone looking to really add to their portfolio or even just make a few dollars can’t do this. Which is kind of the point to the exercises that I put up here. 

With the economy currently in shambles for the tech industry there’s a lot of things you can do for very little cash that can reap some good rewards.   You don’t have to spend $$$ or have a lot of start up cash, software or hardware.  What you need is to sit down and say, “What tools need to be imagebuilt?”, “What do I need to do my job better?”. 

There is always a better mousetrap out there – and even if your budget is nil – all it takes is some very basic coding skills to make something that you, your department, your boss really needs.

Thats the root of it really using your skills to their best advantage.  If you happen to make a really great whatever so much the better.  And you’ll note I don’t use some exotic code – I use the very basic, very simple Visual Studio Express and a bit of code here and there to really  create a tool I need for my job.  This one was built because we didn’t have any test tools like this where I work.  Once again – you see a need – you build a tool.  The more you build the more indispensable you become.  Don’t wait for your job to out pace you  … out pace the job.  Create things.  Get messy.  Have fun.  It’s when we do this that we stand out form the crowd and get noticed.

Just some food for thought… take care until next week.

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Posted by on July 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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