Everything you want to know about Visual Studio ALM and Farming
Brian Harry is a Microsoft Technical Fellow working as the Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server. Learn more about Brian.
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As you can tell from the cadence of releases and information coming out, TFS 2005 is getting pretty close to shipping. We've entered what we call "escrow". That means we think we've fixed everything we need to fix and are performing our final full test pass to ensure that there haven't been any new bugs introduced recently or any critical things we have missed.
With V1 now mostly behind us we're starting to look ahead to what comes next. We're collecting the lists of everything we wished we had been able to V1 and all of the suggestions that we've gotten from customers - forums, email, MSDN Product Feedback Center, etc. We're also taking a high level look at what the core value proposition(s) for our next release should be and what timeframe we should be targeting. In V1 our core value proposition was integration. We set out to build, from the ground up, a set of lifecycle tools that are well integrated - thus enabling people from many different roles to work together and have access to a broad array of information that is indexed and corrolated to allow better communication among the team and management and more predictabilty for the schedule.
What next? There are many questions we need to answer and we want your input.
Scenario/value proposition - What should be fundementally be trying to be the best at? Clearly our commitment to being the best and most integrated lifecycle tool set isn't going away - but what else? What are the biggest challenges you face? Is it distributed development? Project/dependency management? Connecting development to operations? Something else?
Features - What features are we missing that you really wish we had. What could we add that would enable to to do your work faster and work better together with the people around you? Should we focus on performance and scale or more on ease of use?
Timeframe - When do you want another release? No, next week isn't an answer :) What I'm really asking is this - do you want a short product cycle with a few targeted features or a longer product cycle with a larger increment to the value? What are your thoughts on how we should balance this for the next release?
Anything else - Is there anything else you think we should be doing the next release?
We value your input very much. We want to incorporate it at the very beginning of our planning. Please feel free to respond in whatever way works best for you. Respond to this blog post. Send me email at email@example.com. Post on the Team Foundation Server forum on http://forums.microsoft.com. Whatever works for you. I'm eager to hear what you think.