n 11 November 2008 the seminar on using Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite was organized by I-Time company. It’s the first time such kind of seminar for developers has been organized in Omsk. The schedule of the seminar was very busy: the contents of two days were delivered within 8 hours. The seminar was led by Alexandre Yakovlev – a leading specialist of MS Team System at Luxoft company.
The following modules were presented: Work Items (a kind of task tracking system by Microsoft), development processes templates (creation, editing), Version Control System, Testing Framework, Continuous Integration System, Reporting Services.
Alexandre had to answer our numerous questions, since Team System 2008 carries out the latest practices of software development, which causes a lively interest, the largest part of these practices is being already used in our company, but so far we haven’t seen the means providing so effective integration and flexible configurability. It came out that hardly anything else is necessary apart from this environment. All inclusive. No exaggeration. MS realized all the necessary development instrumentality and equipped the workstation for all the project participants: the developer, the tester, the manager, the DB developer, the analyst, the architect.
The system is used in the whole development process, it is aware of all the tasks, all the source code. It can show how many lines of code were written for any feature realization, how much time was spent. It can draw any progress charts using any metrics: defects density, number of alterations, old defects reopening, test covering, new features realization speed and defects closure and so on – just anything. It can even evaluate for how long the project will approximately last from certain point on. All this became possible thanks to mere integration. MS tried to get maximum benefit, uniting all development tools together. And I think this goal was reached.
A pleasant surprise was that the platform is totally opened for being extended, every part is built on web-services and has an open well-documented object model. Among other factors, a part of project development can be done on *nix systems. This will not be a really powerful integration since client software in *nix is not using all the options of Team Foundation Server. The main thing is Source Control support and Work Items Tracking is already realized in the plug-in for Eclipse from Teamprise company (http://www.teamprise.com/products/plugin/).
Fortunately, our company have been integrating and optimizing different approaches, development methodologies for several years already. We usually try to hold to Agile, since particularity of projects is such that Agile is ultimately effective here for both the team and the developer. An amusing thing came out: our development process correspond to IBM OpenUP specification, even though it was developed independently.
At Fixed Price projects we are already using an approach which is closer to CMMI.
An accumulated experience allowed us to particularly appreciate all TFS advantages. That’s why the seminar was very useful, it clarified many questions and allowed us to widen our understanding of software development processes and all the infrastructure connected.
We are utterly grateful to I-Time company for the seminar organized, and Alexandre Yakovlev in particular for his deep knowledge of Team Suit and for the wonderful training.
.Net developer, Project Manager
ISS Art, LLC