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Sep 12, 2011

Announcing TransformTool

I've spent some of my spare time on a hobby project lately. I've been missing a tool that could help me easily encode or decode various pieces of information. When you're studying web applications you often come across values in cookies, URL parameters or forms that are encoded in one way or another. They might even be encoded multiple times with the same encoding function. It has been somewhat cumbersome to fiddle about with such pieces of information, that is until now!

I've created TransformTool, that lets you easily apply a series of encoding/decoding operations to an input. Just have a look at this example:

The input is the string:
I wonder what the Base64 encoded MD5 hash of this string's UTF-8 representation would look like?
Well, here's the answer:

By simply double-clicking the relevant functions, they are applied to the input as a series of transformations. Cool eh? TransformTool also has some cool undocumented features, I'll try to put together an educational video to show them off.

You'll find the tool on codeplex: http://transformtool.codeplex.com

TransformTool is published as a ClickOnce application. That makes it very easy to install the application on Windows, but note that it requires .Net. But no worries, just go to codeplex and click download, and you should be prompted to install any missing prerequisites (you might need to use Internet Explorer for the very first install). TransformTool will be installed locally, and will be available offline. Just note that the publisher's name is used to create the folder name in the start menu. I'm the publisher, so the folder will be named "Andre N. Klingsheim."

There are many good reasons to build TransformTool as a ClickOnce .Net application. I'll give the rationale on the blog and in the documentation section for TransformTool when I find the time to do some writing again. In short, the installation is painless, and security is well taken care of since TransformTool is installed without even the most basic privileges (no access to network/file system etc).

There are a few GUI quirks that needs to be worked out. After all, it is ten years since I last built a WinForms app. So bear with me.

But, go to http://transformtool.codeplex.com and take my new tool for a spin. Let me know how it goes! :)


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