Version 3.0.3 of Professional Validation and More was used
for this review (and 3.0.1 for the VS 2003 portion). It is currently priced at
$200/server for the complete suite, although individual portions of the suite
may be purchased for less than that a la carte. See the Pricing and
Licensing section for more details. Free 30-day trial downloads are
available, as are site, redistribution, and source code licenses.
After running the .msi installer file and clicking through
the usual setup wizard, the first thing you'll want to do is open the
Installation Guide PDF from the Start-Programs-Professional Validation and More
menu. You will find that unlike many simple components, installation of VAM
requires a few more steps. To quote the Installation Guide:
Many custom controls are
installed more quickly than Professional Validation And More ("VAM"). That's
because you only have an assembly to put in the \bin folder and add to the
Visual Studio.net or Web Matrix Toolbox. VAM provides more design time and
runtime files to save you development time, such as client-side scripts,
images, and style sheets. Some will be installed into each web application.
Others will be installed into each development computer.
Basically, Peter has developed enhancements to the VS 2003
design mode which are installed with the VAM product via the ASP.NET Design
Mode Extender (ADME). Installing this piece allows the VAM package to behave
correctly during development, and is quite straightforward and
well-documented. VS 2005 does not require this step.
Incidentally, while you're looking up the Installation
Guide, you'll see there are a number of other PDF documents in the Start Menu
folder for VAM. One thing Peter Blum's products excel at, in my experience, is
documentation. If you actually take a little time to read the various Users
Guide and Tutorial documents, your experience with his products should be very
Wrapping Up Installation VS.NET 2003
After installing ADME in VS.NET 2003, I launch VS.NET and
create a new test web application, VAMTest. Creating the web in VS.NET
prompts me with an ADME dialog which lets me set some application specific
paths used by the VAM controls. The defaults are fine for my purposes. Next I
add the controls to my VS.NET toolbox following the instructions in the
Installation Guide. To quote the last step: "A large number of controls are
added." Indeed. I count 49.
Finally, copy the contents of the
once-more-appropriately-named folder "Copy To Web Application Folder" to your
you guessed it web application folder. In this case, that's c:\inetpub\wwwroot\VAMTest.
This just drops a folder called "VAM" into your web application root. Add your
license(s) to the Licenses folder under VAM. Then use VS.NET's Add Reference
dialog to reference the VAM assemblies and you're ready to start using the
Wrapping Up Installation VS.NET 2005
After installing VAM (and skipping the ADME step), I launch
VS.NET 2005 and create a new Web Site. I add the controls to the toolbox using
the instructions in the documentation, copy the "Copy To Web Application
Folder" VAM folder to my application, and drop my license file into the
/VAM/Licenses/ folder. Voila! Drag a few controls on the page and things
The installation documents, in particular the Installation
Guide, have everything you need to get started. If you're not sure at any
point, try reading the guide. You'll probably find the answer.