Why isn't Enterprise Library included in VS

Topics: General discussion
Jun 20, 2009 at 3:06 AM

Please forgive my ignorance, and don't take offense in my question... I was in a meeting with a consultant and I mentioned the application was built with a framework that enforces the use of best practices because it uses the Enterprise Library, yadda, yadda, yadda... at the end of the meeting the consultant came to me and privately asked me: "If Enterprise Library is so good, why Microsoft didn't include it in Visual Studio? Think about it!" Instead of thinking I decided to ask you, the experts. Please provide some good arguments I can use in the next meeting.

Thank you,


Jun 20, 2009 at 8:17 AM

Enterprise Library is one part of the Patterns and Practices group releases.  If you read the P&P site, it states

Our goal is to help software development teams be more successful with the Microsoft application platform. We do this by delivering guidance that:

  • Helps to simplify the Microsoft application platform.
  • Provides solution guidance to common problems.
  • Helps development teams grow their skills and learn.

They produce very high quality components, Unity, Documentation Tools, Web Client Software Factory, Composite WPF and Silverlight, etc.  These projects are guidance not framework components. (although some non P&P projects like MEF will become core in the framework in the future). The P&P team do no perscribe that you use their tools; they give you the tools to help your projects be more successful.  As products and technology mature, P&P is more agile to suggest alternatives than the core CLR team.  The P&P products are released with different licenses that core .NET components.  Components shipped with Visual Studio need to be licensed and supported differently than P&P releases. This does not imply the quality of code from P&P is substandard.

I wonder if the consultant you were talking to is biased towards NHibernate (a very good solution as well) or non Microsoft products.  His comment sounds like he is jaded. I find it humorous how easy people find to it to criticize and attack Microsoft.

Phil Bolduc

Vancouver, BC

PS I would have to question the statement that by using Enterprise Library it enforces best practices. I can use Enterprise Library and still have an application that is subjectable to SQL injection...