Since 1994, Microsoft has had an application development methodology called the Microsoft Solution Framework. While it's been available through Microsoft Consulting Services and in various MCSD trainings, we've never shipped it in a product. In Visual Studio Team System, we are including a new version of MSF with several important updates.
First, we are releasing multiple flavors of MSF. One process can't work for every project - so we're restructuring MSF with a base definition layer and a series of instantations. In the first release, we will have two:
Second, methodologies can drive the tools. We are introducing “methodology templates“ to the toolset. At project inception, you can select one of the methodology templates stored on your VS Team System server. This template describes:
Thus, you can shape the behavior of the tools so that all team members can easily follow the prescribed methodology.
But, don't fear. We aren't shoving this down your throat. The templates are all editable. You can create your own or elect to not use one at all. We're already working with a number of third parties who plan to create their own methodology templates and I expect that there will be lots of them available from industrious individuals who want to show their own techniques. In my talks with customers so far, I expect everyone will end up editing these templates for their own use.
So with VS Team System, we'll let you use “our process, your process or no process“.