The Visual Studio Team System session at TechEd·2004 was a great success. The team did a great job of working through an end-to-end scenario that showed all the new tools working together on a realistic application development. The scenario was based around a fictional eCommerce site that was about to be extended with some new features. It involved an Infrastructure Architect who used the (Whitehorse) tool that modeled the logical data center configuration. He added a new type of server that would host a Web service which could communicate with a new trading partner. Then the Solution Architect used the (Whitehorse) Application Connection Designer (this is the designer I called the Service Designer in previous postings!) to add some new Web services that would support the partner trading and other new features.

 

Enter the developer who fleshed out the new services, generated and ran tests using the Test Case features, checked code coverage for problems and ran the FxCop static analysis tool to look for security and other problems.

Once he was done, the Tester ran load tests using the profiler feature. The Tester identified a potential performance issue and passed the project back to the Developer. The Developer then added instrumentation to his code, tracked the problem down using the various counters and fixed the code.

 

All this activity was being monitored by the Project Manager, who had initially created the project tasks, and was tracking the work completed along the way using Microsoft Project, Excel and some reporting capabilities supported by a project data warehouse fronted by a SharePoint Portal.

 

The audience seemed to be really impressed. Events that got a special reaction included:

  • The Solution Architect validated his new Web service design against the configuration of the servers in the datacenter and detected a security setting mismatch (default security setting on the developer machine was not right for it’s intended deployment) which he was able to fix before it became a serious deployment error. The tool took him right to the correct policy entry in the configuration file!
  • The Tester and Developer were able to share the tests as they collaborated to fix the discovered performance problem.
  • The tight integration of all tools and the ease with which they could be used. For example, a spontaneous cheer went up when the Developer was able to setup instrumentation counters with just a few mouse clicks.
  • The work item database made sure all tasks were coordinated and acted on.
  • Third party tools such as Borland’s CaliberRM and Compuware’s Client testing tool were deeply integrated into the VSTS.

There was a lot of excitement from attendees I spoke to afterwards. There’s also been a lot of blogging activity after the session. This one even contains some photos of slides in the presentation, one of which shows the VSTS product architecture!