Ayende @ Rahien

My name is Oren Eini
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What is Uber Prof’s competitive advantage?

time to read 2 min | 224 words

Originally posted at 11/25/2010

In a recent post, I discussed the notion of competitive advantage and how you should play around them. In this post, I am going to focus on Uber Prof. Just to clarify, when I am talking about Uber Prof, I am talking about NHibernate Profiler, Entity Framework Profiler, Linq to SQL Profiler, Hibernate Profiler and LLBLGen Profiler. Uber Prof is just a handle for me to use to talk about each of those.

So, what is the major competitive advantage that I see in the Uber Prof line of products?

Put very simply, they focus very heavily on the developer’s point of view.

Other profilers will give you the SQL that is being executed, but Uber Prof will show you the SQL and:

  • Format that SQL in a way that make it easy to read.
  • Group the SQL statements into sessions. Which let the developer look at what is going on in the natural boundary.
  • Associate each query with the exact line of code that executed it.
  • Provide the developer with guidance about improving their code.

There are other stuff, of course, but those are the core features that make Uber Prof into what it is.


Patrick Smacchia

Other profilers will give you the SQL that is being executed, but Uber Prof will show you the SQL and .XXX

In other words, the competitive advantage of your tool is that it is polished and super user-friendly. Polishing Uber Prof certainly represents more than 60% of your development effort (right?), and the more you invest in it, the more it makes the tool apart of the competition.

Ayende Rahien


I don't think so. UX is something different.

I am talking about the actual core concepts of the product

Jarrett Meyer

Hands down, NHProf is written with developers in mind. It's written for those who understand the concept of the ISession, select N + 1, can help with mappings, and all the other things that go along with ORM development. It's one of those tools that can help make a good developer great.

SQL Profiler is written for DBA's, and they are... a different breed of technophile. It's about knowing your target audience. SQL Profiler isn't written for devs.

Patrick Smacchia

One of the core concept might be 'developer oriented ergonomy '. Call it a set features, or I call it a set of ergonomy-candies, we agree that this is what make the competitive advantage of a product. I put many of these in NDepend and users keep asking for more:

  • code source definitions opening in VS or in a text editor

  • duplex collaboration with .NET Reflector

  • candies to make seamless integration with CI tool such as CC.NET, MSBuild, NAnt, TeamCity...

  • easy plugin to most text files compare tools

  • assemblies location gathering from VS sln and proj files

  • browsing of recent VS sln and proj files (MRU, Most Recent Used)

  • MRU on NDepend projects file as well

  • assemblies metadata display even before any analysis

  • .ndproj attachment to VS .sln

  • drag&drop from Wnd Explorer supported on most panel

  • intelligent context-sensitive help updated live

  • colored description of code elements hovered or selected

  • possible rebasing of source files corresponding to assemblies analyzed

  • VS look&feel for most logistic panels (start page, error list, project properties...)

  • previous/next selected code elements browsing

  • CQL query results presented in a customizable hierarchy

  • CQL query results showing query targeted code element(s) (if any)

  • possibility to choose between showing namespaces as a flat list or as a hierarchy



What does an NDepend feature list (or list of ergonomy candies?!?) have to do with Uber Prof's competitive advantage? Oh wait, nothing. Nevermind.

Patrick Smacchia

@Rich, it is pretty relevant to the discussion of what to put in a developer oriented application to get a competitive advantage. Oh wait, everything. Nevermind.


Nah, I don't believe it is. It is pretty relevant to you promoting your application and using it as a shining example of modern development wonder every chance you get though.

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