I had an opportunity to spend a couple of weeks in New Zealand recently.  It is a very pretty place with lots of natural beauty and interesting outdoor activities.  It reminded me of the Pacific Northwest a lot.  In that context, it was interesting to note that Airways New Zealand is a Visual Studio 2005 customer.  They provide services for their home country’s aviation system and abroad.  They use Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio Team System to enhance their Staff Utilization Management System (SUMS).  This is just one of many examples that a company is taking a bet for their mission critical application needs on Visual Studio 2005.

 

During the second half of last year, we unveiled a number of significant advances in the Microsoft Application Platform space – LINQ for data-enabled applications, advances in application workflow and service orientation with Windows Communication Foundation and Windows WorkFlow, new platform and tooling technologies for richer Web and Client experiences with ATLAS, Windows Presentation Foundation, Cider, Microsoft Expression, new application customization technology with VSTA.  A lot of these have been made available as a CTP drop for our customers to get early access to these and be able to give us feedback.   

 

Last year was a ‘foundational’ year that today ushers in a new era of software development and a world of opportunities for developers that also extends to other members of the software development team and creative designers.  So, here is how I sum up that opportunity:

 

  1. Increased business differentiation through user experiences -- WinFX is the next generation development framework for Windows, comprising .NET FX 2.0, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Presentation Foundation and Windows Workflow.  Combined with Microsoft Expression tools and the tools support in VS 2005 and moving forward with Orcas, we have the opportunity to set a new bar for the rapid development of differentiated applications that are more connected, easier to use, resilient and have richer user experience. 
  2. Individual and team empowerment - with the forthcoming availability of Team Foundation Server for Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) in March, Microsoft is embracing the extended software development team.  With the introduction of Visual Studio 2005 Team System, we bring a solution that marries creativity and agility with discipline and visibility.  

As I discuss in my VSLive keynote today, Team Foundation Server is the cornerstone of the Visual Studio 2005 Team System.  As a collaboration platform, it offers a completely new source code control system, issue tracking, project management and reporting in a single, integrated data store.  Team Foundation Server is designed to provide a single collaboration point for developers, testers, project managers and architects.   The Visual Studio Team System offers role-based tools for Architects, Testers, Developers, Designers and Managers. This means greater predictability, higher team productivity and reduced complexity. For developers, this means that in addition to having a highly productive development experience, they can ensure that their goals are aligned with their team goals, they can work collaboratively with their team members, they can have visibility and control over the activities that they manage and influence, they can have a better understanding of requirements and frankly be able to add more value where it counts.  

  1. Discipline with Agility -- Microsoft has always understood productivity and has favored pragmatic approaches to enable technology adoption. Heavy process and poor tools integration has thus far been an inhibitor to driving more disciplined approaches to software development and can lead to security vunerabilities. We make sure that the processes that managers want don’t weigh down the individual developer. Microsoft does this by making process 'invisible yet ever present' to deliver software initiatives more securely, efficiently and predictably.  Specifically, VSTS and the Microsoft Solution Framework (MSF) can improve an organization’s development capability and maturity through the availability of the CMMI (Capability Maturity Model) methodology template which is available with VSTS out of the box.  Furthermore, the creation of modular guidance such as the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle ensures that security guidance is integrated into MSF Agile and VSTS making security a seamless part of the development experience by delivering our guidance directly to the developer’s desktop.   

Namaste!