What do Hotmail.com and March Madness have to do with each other? Well they both generate HUGE amounts of Web traffic. Hotmail boasts over 260 million customers, and March is known as the busiest month for virtually every sports-related Web site, owed to the millions of people who create and host their March Madness basketball tournament brackets.
Building Web sites which scale to the requirements of each of these Web scenarios obviously poses some unique challenges, not only in the way the site is built, but also in the way the site is tested. I am pleased to announce the availability of two brand new case studies profiling how two teams used the testing capabilities of Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Testers to ensure that their Web properties would be ready to scale to the traffic requirements when they went online. Granted, very few of us ever need to worry about the traffic numbers that these sites do. But the techniques detailed in these papers can be taken and applied to even the most modest of Web sites to help tweak and tune for maximum site performance.
You will need Microsoft Word to view these case studies, or you can download a free Word 2003 viewer from here.
I also want to recognize Keith Kline, Rajeev Shukla, Aaron Burcham, and Eric Lee for all of their contributions to these papers.
As an evangelist for Visual Studio Team System one of the most common questions I get from customers evaluating our tools is, "Does Microsoft use Visual Studio Team System?" Until recently, my answer was always along the lines of "Well, a LOT of teams at Microsoft are using it with great success. Including nearly 1000 people in the Developer Division. But as with any technology migration, it will take a while for huge teams working on huge software projects like Office and Windows to begin to adopt Team Foundation Server."
But today I learned that the Windows division has started to adopt Team Foundation Server! Some of the feature teams in the Windows division have begun to make use of work items for tracking features and tasks. This is just the first step along the way towards a wholesale migration of Team Foundation Server by the Windows team. Additionally, I'm not sure if anybody else has blogged this yet, but the Office team has also been using Team Foundation Server for work item tracking as well and is on their way towards adopting more and more functionality along the way.
A big part of the reason these teams are betting on Team Foundation Server is because of the way it has helped other teams at Microsoft gain transparency into the health and velocity of their software projects. By taking all of the artifacts of a software projects (requirements, tasks, source code, bugs, etc.) and linking these together and storing them in a data warehouse you can really begin to generate compelling reports which allow for a very high level of transparency. If all of this sounds interesting to you, be sure to read Sam's book.
Sudhir Hasbe has been posting some really good information on his blog about configuring Team Foundation Server 2008. You may remember Sudhir from the Channel 9 interview I filmed with him a few months back. Sudhir and the feature team he works with are passionate about making Team Foundation Server easier to configure and administer, which is good news for the rest of us!
If you want to try out the betas of Team Foundation Server 2008 you have the option of downloading and installing the setup bits yourself, or just grabbing a pre-configuring VPC. Everything can be found here.
If you've played with the beta of Team Foundation Server 2008 (formerly code-named "Orcas") then you may have noticed that the process templates are versioned MSF v4.2. I wondered what was different about MSF v4.2 vs. MSF v4.1 so I asked Sanjeev Garg on the patterns and practices team. Sanjeev explained that there really aren't any noticable differences in v4.2. Mainly the changes are some behind-the-scenes bug fixes and better support for localization.
Oh, and in case you're still using MSF v4.0 and you're wondering where MSF v4.1 came from, this was the new set of MSF guidance which was introduced when Team Edition for Database Professionals shipped at the end of last year. It adds two new roles to the process guidance, one for Database Developers and one for Database Administrators, along with the corresponding workstreams for those additional roles. Note that MSF v4.1 introduces changes in the process guidance only, it doesn't change your work items or other artifacts. You can find out more about upgrading from MSF v4.0 to MSF v4.1 here.