Team System was designed to mitigate or eliminate many of these challenges. There are three founding principles behind Team System: productivity, integration, and extensibility.
Team System increases productivity in the following ways:
Collaboration. Team Foundation Server centralizes all team collaboration. Work items, source code, and builds are all managed from the Team Portal. All the reporting is also centralized, which makes it easy for project leads to track the overall progress of the project regardless of where the metrics are coming from.
Complexity. The process and the project plan can be integrated and enforced from within your project in Team System. In addition, the architecture tools reduce the complexity of the service- oriented applications by providing visual designers that simplify the designs.
Integration is improved in the following ways:
Integrated tools facilitate communication between departments. More important, they remove information gaps. Most of the Team System tools report back to the Team Foundation Server.
Many versions of Visual Studio share the same tools. For example, the Unit Testing tool is available in both the Developer and Tester editions of Team System. The tools have been designed to transition and work smoothly between editions.
Team System increases the visibility of a project. Project leads can easily view metrics on the Team Portal and can proactively address problems by identifying patterns and trends.
Team System achieves extensibility through these three avenues:
Visual Studio Industry Partner Program. Over 190 partners are participating in an initiative to provide 450 new products that interface with Team System.
Team Foundation Core Services API. Most of Team System platform is exposed to the developer, providing many opportunities for extensibility. The Team Foundation Core Services are still under development and are specifically targeted for developers and vendors who are planning to integrate with the platform.
Meta Data Framework. This provides a way for partners to develop model-based designers and add-ins for Team System and Visual Studio.