In this month’s newsletter, the Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program announced the creation of a new TFS Process Template Certification Program to certify and promote high-quality process template partners. While we ship some of the most popular processes in TFS, we want to encourage and support the community especially with all the cool innovation in the software development space. The process template certification is designed to give TFS customers assurance that templates meet a trusted quality bar. And, to promote high-quality partners by providing a channel to distinguish their content. The certification itself exists under the umbrella of the VSIP program.

As a customer of TFS, what you’ll notice in a few months is that you’ll be able to distinguish process templates which we (TFS) have certified. They’ll all carry this logo:

 

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And we’re going to create a special section for them on the page where all the partner TFS Process Templates are showcased:

 

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The certification itself is awarded by the TFS product team. Valentina Keremidarska is the engineering head of the program today. She’s also the dev lead over the entire TFS Process area, including all our shipping templates.

Overall the certification is designed to ensure that the template:

  • Does “no harm” to your system and other deployments
  • Implements appropriate features
  • Planned and tested for high-quality server deployment
  • Appropriate training and customer support

 

If you’re really interested in the details, specifically we check for:

  • App Isolation
  • Compliance (privacy policy, geopolitical compliance, …)
  • Security
  • Appropriate Licensing
  • Appropriate content (WITs, Queries and Reports)
  • Compatibility with TFS server versions (compat check on install so you can’t accidentally install a template on the wrong server version)
  • Safe error-free install and uninstall
  • Full support for all TFS supported platforms and configurations
  • Meets appropriate performance benchmarks, especially reports
  • Reliability (preservation of all user data and all standard checks)

On the customer support side, companies that certify also provide:

  • Reference customers and case studies
  • Appropriate training
  • Support

 

If you’re a partner or interested in becoming a partner and interested in the certification, contact Terry Clancy (terrycl@microsoft.com) or Catherine Crim (ccrim@microsoft.com), they can connect you with more information. Certification is open to all VSIP partners.The full overview of the certification program and requirements is posted at www.mstoolspartners.com – in future you can always get the most recent version there.  If you are a VSIP member and do not have access to that site please email v-liwhit@microsoft.com to arrange access.

 

What I like about the program is I think you’ll be able to have a higher confidence in the tested quality of TFS partner templates, and hopefully that’ll give you a better selection. As always I love to hear feedback and suggestions for how we can improve.

Thanks,

Stephanie