The Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF™) is a proven set of principles and best practices to help guide software development projects. It incorporates guidance from a wide variety of sources inside the Microsoft product groups; customers; consultants; and partners. MSF deeply integrates with Team System, manifesting itself as process guidance within the Team Portal and through automation via work items and work products. In addition, it is highly customizable and will scale to any development environment. Team System is the first product to be bundled with the Microsoft Solutions Framework. It includes two default process instances:
MSF for Agile Software Development
MSF for CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) Process Improvement
Third-party process templates are being developed by many Microsoft partners as we speak, including global system integrators, ISVs, and service providers. Your custom in-house processes (usually a combination of an established development process and policies, processes, and conventions used within your own company) can also be integrated into Team Foundation Server. That means you can work within a recognizable framework, making it super easy for your team to adapt to Team System.
This chapter will survey a high-level overview of both Agile and CMMI process methodologies, after which we will drill down into MSF components shared by both methodologies — providing you with practical information and a "real-world" context.
This chapter is part one of a two-part series. Once you have a firm grasp of the Microsoft Solutions Framework, you can then move on to part two (Chapter 22, "Process Templates"), which details how to customize processes to make them work within your company's development environment.
Please note that the content of this chapter is based on Build 100 of the MSF processes which ships in Team Foundation Server RTM. Keep in mind that MSF is constantly being refined. If you want the latest information on the Microsoft Solutions Framework, please refer to the official Visual Studio Team System Workshop website found at the following address: http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/teamsystem/msf/.