Tech II vs AutoTap or other tools?

What exactly does GM's Tech II do?
I have a 2001 Trans Am that's well on it's way to being modified, and computer programming won't be far off. I also want to do datalogging
from drag strip runs, etc... as well as in 5 years when I'm trying to fix stuff I can diagnose it. (I already have the shop manual. :)
I'm wondering if I would be fine with AutoTap and/or one of the other products out there to do downloading and programming or if there are certain things that only a Tech II can do. (I don't even want to know how much one costs.)
FWIW, my next vehicle will probably be a used 99-02ish fullsize truck in about another 2 years, so being able to service more than one GM vehicle is definitely a probability.
Ray -- 80 Trans Am 01 Trans Am Ram Air - 12.36@113 (Nitrous, Drag Radials, !CAGS, !DRLs) real email "myname"@rollingviolation.com (I hate spam)
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There will be certain functions, like programming keyless entry transmitters, full access to all non-powertrain modules like ABS, airbag, body computer, maybe the crankshaft variation learn procedure for if you change the ECM, etc. that only the Tech 2 will be able to do. I'm not sure, but I don't think the Tech 2 can program the ECM by itself, for that I think you need a Service Programming System PC hooked up to it. And that system is certainly NOT set up to allow uploading a custom program, only for calibration updates from GM. For custom programming you would need an aftermarket device, like one of those "Power Programmer" things..
I'm pretty sure the Tech 2 tools are several thousand bucks, as well..
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Robert Hancock Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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