In December 2004, Live Software Solutions started a small project called LiveTrace indented to provide a replacement for Sysinternals DebugView,
offering automatic indentation and analysis of method calls in addition to the capture of Win32 debug messages. Over the following year the concept of what LiveTrace was and the features it should provide
grew substantially, including many more analysis options and advanced features such as the addition of a fast custom messaging engine and a utility to automatically instrument compiled assemblies.
As the functionality of LiveTrace increased, so did the amount of information and configuration options that needed to be presented to the user. As the target audience were developers, an interface
similar to Microsoft’s Visual Studio offerings seemed to make most sense, but the drawback to this approach was that it was going to take considerable time to implement the required toolbar and docking
windows controls. To avoid having to drop features from LiveTrace, the decision was taken to purchase third party components.
The key features that were going to make a set of components acceptable for use in LiveTrace were runtime responsiveness, richness of features, ease of implementation and extensibility to meet our
specific needs. Several component vendors were initially investigated, but SandBar and SandDock from Divelements were
quickly singled out as being the best match for all our requirements. Both were easily integrated with LiveTrace - the design-time experience proved to be exceptional and the programmatic interfaces were
such that everything operated exactly as a user of Visual Studio would have expected it to.
In summary, Divelements provided a set of components that have allowed us to focus on adding LiveTrace features without having to worry about writing the UI infrastructure.
SandBar and SandDock were excellent value for money; new features have been added to them on a regular basis and on
the rare occasion we've needed it, the support service has been both prompt and effective.
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