Stuart Kent - Building developer tools at Microsoft - @sjhkent

December, 2008

  • stuart kent's blog

    Back with Team Architect


    As Cameron blogged in Visual Studio Team System 2010 Architecture: Prologue, the DSL Tools team have recently moved back to Team Architect from the Visual Studio Platform team. We’ve been working increasingly closely with Team Architect since they renewed their focus on building VS modeling tools integrated using the DSL Tools. By moving back to that team we’ll be better placed to focus on three goals:

    1. Evolve the platform to deliver a better experience for users of tools developed on that platform, including seamless integration with other tools used for software development (particularly those in Visual Studio), and rich productivity features for example around linking and transforming models. The experiences Team Architect have in mind will place strong demands on the platform; we can work closely with the teams building those experiences to make sure we get the platform right.
    2. Evolve the authoring tools in the platform to make teams building tools using it more productive. This goes for teams inside Microsoft as much as for customers outside.
    3. Provide a seamless experience for customization of the tools that we ship, from lightweight extensions of UML, through to patterns of integration and transformations layered on those tools, through to the creation of whole new DSLs which can be used in isolation or un harmony with the other tools.

    We expect to make progress on all three goals in VS2010.

    That said, our sojourn with the VS Platform Team was time well spent. We understand a lot better the technologies and the direction of the core VS platform and, just as importantly, know the people in that team a lot better. DSL Tools is layered on top of that platform and, already in VS2010, we’ll be taking advantage of the integration of the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) into the heart of VS (see e.g. this post) and the technologies underpinning the Extension Manager.

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