An interview of Rick LaPlante (GM of VS Team System) appears in today's eWeek: Microsoft's VSTS Goal: Creating a Mass Market for Enterprise Tools. What exactly are the goals of Visual Studio Team System? Here are a few telling quotes from a great, albeit lengthy, interview:
“...when you take people out of their … almost a stream-of-consciousness workflow, then you increase the risk that they don't do it or they don't do it well.” “And we [Microsoft's enterprise tools team] came up with the notion that we call the friction-free flow of data.“
“But the second one is our goal is to create a mass market for enterprise tools. I'll assert that [a mass market for enterprise tools] is an oxymoron. There isn't a mass market for an enterprise tool. The data that we have is the largest independent vendor of enterprise tools is homebuilt. So, we need to get people aware of the value, of the importance, and in fact of the ease of use.“
“Quite frankly, IBM's going to do interesting stuff based on what we're doing—there's no doubt. And a lot of people are going to react to our entry into the market, and in the end it just drives tremendous customer value. [...] “So in November when we first brought the partners in for the first time, two things were pretty interesting about that. The first one was, we were a year and a half from shipping and we were fully disclosing what we were building to everyone, including IBM. IBM was there; they're a very good VSIP [Visual Studio Industry Partner] partner.“ SourceGear was there too. Wait a second, this is Microsoft we're talking about, right?
“we started very early on with the strategy of not really building a set of tools, but building a platform. That resonated well with us because we get platforms. We understand how to be a platform; it's what we do.“ Whew, it is Microsoft!
And then it gets very interesting...So I think the existing partners all have some interesting opportunities with the Team System. But I also think that the ecosystem will evolve in ways we've never even thought of. For instance, I've had several people talking about building-process guidance. Because our tooling is completely configurable via an XML document that configures what we call a methodology template that can fundamentally change the behavior of the tooling.“