Tech-Ed 2013 brought a heavy focus on the Application Lifecycle Management products and features Microsoft is bringing to the table. Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2012 and soon 2013 deliver features to help developers improve productivity and quality.
Microsoft has embraced a 3-4 month release cycle with updates for Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server (TFS). With such a quick turnaround for updates we’re often asked if you should “just wait” for the next release. There will always be a next one, at this point it’s a matter of “pick your time and go.”
Both Visual Studio and TFS 2013 previews will release during the Build conference on 6/26/2013. While these are officially “preview” products, TFS 2013 does include a go-live license. Microsoft did communicate that they are using it in their production environment. That being said no official release month has been announced (as of this writing).
TFS 2013 will introduce new agile planning tools to scale, supporting larger organizations:
- Work breakdown into hierarchical levels such as goals, initiatives, features, and stories
- Team hierarchies within the project, allowing individual teams to be agile on their own terms
- Product backlog management including drag and drop prioritization and tagging work items
- Kanban board extended to support teams and new features
For the developer, improved features help manage distributed teams, understand complex code, and test code to scale:
- Team room provides a collaboration space for the agile team. All activity such as builds, code reviews, changesets, developer chat, and code commenting rolls up to the team room. Sub-teamrooms can also be created that filter the activity on any number of parameters.
- Code information indicators provide server side “HUD” functionality inline with your code. You can see references, test status, who tested the code, TFS changes, and TFS authors. Look for this functionality to expand as updates to Visual Studio and TFS 2013 are released.
- The Visual Studio IDE is now connected. You will see a name indicator similar to Office 2013 functionality in the upper right corner. Being connected enables roaming settings, IDE options will follow you to any development workstation.
- GIT is embraced in Visual Studio and TFS 2013 on-premise. Without sacrificing ALM capabilities code can be linked and traced to work items and builds. The Visual Studio client can be used against any GIT repository and any GIT client can be used against the TFS hosted GIT repository. When creating a new team project you are given the option of choosing TFS or GIT for source control.
- Load testing is being introduced as a part of the Team Foundation Service. 2013 versions deliver a web and performance testing template that can be used by the TFS service to execute these tests. The template can also be converted to a coded UI test for greater flexibility such as data-driven testing.
New features supporting operations will also be in the 2013 releases including production incident management and troubleshooting. Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) now integrates with TFS. With SCOM monitoring an alert generates a work item in TFS. Developers can then troubleshoot reliability and performance events with intellitrace files that link through the build to the source code.
With the 2013 development platform releases and commitment to 3-4 month update cycle, Microsoft is meeting the continuous value challenges in support of evolving software development trends:
- continuous feedback
- continuous quality
- continuous delivery
- support heterogeneous development teams