Visual Studio Team System

Moving along, an ambitious product is coming out of the developer division at Microsoft: Visual Studio Team System (VSTS). I have mentioned it several times in the previous chapters and would like to provide a more involved overview of the product here. Just as a lot of great information on MSBuild is available on the Internet, there is even more on this new tools platform. Following are my two favorite places to look for up-to-date information (you should add these two sites to your favorites list):

  • The homepage for VSTS.

  • Soma's blog, the VP of the developer division whom I used to work for in the old NT days.

VSTS is a suite of extensible life-cycle tools that helps software teams collaborate to reduce the complexity of delivering modern service-oriented solutions. VSTS expands significantly on Microsoft's demonstrated successes in delivering highly productive tools by offering businesses tightly integrated and extensible life-cycle tools to increase the predictability of their software development process. With VSTS, organizations can do the following:

  • Reduce the complexity of delivering modern service-oriented solutions that are designed for operations

  • Facilitate collaboration among all members of a software team, speeding up development time and ensuring the predictability and reliability of the development process

  • Customize and extend the team system with their own internal tools and process frameworks, or choose from more than 450 supplemental products from more than 190 partners

VSTS consists of the following:

  • Visual Studio Team Foundation, which is an extensible team collaboration server that enables all members of the extended IT team to effortlessly manage and track the progress and health of projects

  • Visual Studio Team Architect, made up of visual designers who enable architects, operations managers, and developers to design service-oriented solutions that can be validated against their operational environments

  • Visual Studio Team Developer, which is a set of advanced development tools that enable teams to build reliable, mission-critical services and applications

  • Visual Studio Team Test, which is a set of advanced load-testing tools that enable teams to verify the performance of applications prior to deployment

  • Visual Studio Team Suite, which is a bundle of Visual Studio Team Architect Edition, Visual Studio Team Developer Edition, and Visual Studio Team Test Edition

  • MSF, proven process guidance, prescriptive architectural guidance, and solution accelerators that assist organizations in improving the predictability and reliability of delivering mission-critical solutions

I have been to several talks on VSTS, and at each one of them, I see Figure 18.1 or a fancy PowerPoint version of it. It is a great layout of what the product is. The boxes in the figure are self-contained, meaning that you do not need to purchase the other boxes for it to run. I am often asked if VSTS works with other development tools, such as Rational or PVCS. The answer is yes, but you don't get the optimal effect of the integration that VSTS provides. The source code control tool or bug tracker that you use falls into the Visual Studio Team Foundation (VSTF) box at the bottom of the figure. If you want to use the tools provided by VSTS, you must not mix tools by different manufacturers. If you are interested only in the testing tools of VSTS, it does not matter which VSTF tools you use. Also, when boxes stretch over two or more products, it means those tools are included in the covered products.

Figure 18.1. VSTS overview.

This just skims the surface of the development tools that Microsoft is releasing. For the details, I recommend spending a lot of time at the two previously mentioned VSTS sites. Those links have the most current information available.

Because this is a build book, I would like to dive deeper into the details of one of the boxes shown in Figure 18.1 the Build Automation box. This tool is called Visual Studio Team Build (VSTB).

The Build Master(c) Microsoft's Software Configuration Management Best Practices
The Build Master: Microsofts Software Configuration Management Best Practices
ISBN: 0321332059
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 186

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