As Soma announced yesterday the first beta is available for Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Architects "Orcas".  Over the next couple of weeks we go much deeper into several of the features we added to Team Architect for Orcas.  You can download Orcas Beta 1 here, there are also VPC images available to give it a try. 


Summary of new Experiences/Features:

Top-down System Design

Top-down system design allows users to reason about the design of a business solution without having to be confronted with technology decisions. The tool user is able to progressively refine a high-level system design, designing new sub-systems and applications in the context of the system in which they are to be used. With a top-down design approach, the user can describe the structure and connectivity of the overall design using un-typed systems initially, deferring technology decisions until later. When appropriate, the user can implement the design using specific technologies by introducing specific application and endpoint types.

This feature promotes the System Diagram to the forefront of the architectural design process within Visual Studio Team System

Conform to WSDL


Conform to WSDL addresses the problems related to contract changes during the development lifecycle, by providing an automated means to update an existing Web service implementation so that that its skeleton (methods, method signatures and message classes) conforms to a specified WSDL contract. The developer is then required to make the associated changes to the business logic (and possibly the implementation logic), which generally cannot be known from the contract definition. This feature facilitates developers adopting a contract-driven approach to Web service development.

Web Application Projects

This feature will provide users of Team Architect the ability to generate and round-trip web application projects (WAP) through the same gestures that they would use to generate and round-trip web sites in the Visual Studio 2005 series of product. The UI (shape semantics on the diagram, properties, etc.) will be exactly the same. The only difference will be that the output is a web project with slightly different generated artifacts – a VS project file with "code behind" web pages/services.

Architectural Roles

The Architectural Roles feature enables an architect, while working on the high-level design of a system’s architecture using the System Designer, to introduce elements into the design that play a specific pre-defined architectural role(s) within architectural patterns.  For example a user can create roles specific to aspects of their application architecture, such as Smart Client, Entity Service, Workflow Service, Service Agent, etc.