Developers Revisit Governance Goals

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2006-04-17 Print this article Print

Case Study: The release of major new tools, including Microsoft's VSTS, speaks to a shift in what developers want.

The long-awaited debut of Microsofts Visual Studio Team Server, released in March, came just in time to fill the companys hand and let it lay down VSTS as a nominee in this years sixth annual eWEEK Excellence Awards. Named in April as an Excellence Awards finalist in the Application Development category, VSTS is part of an important shift in the focus of development tool makers from the "what and how" to the "who and why" of developers contributions. Click here to read more about the finalists in the sixth annual eWEEK Excellence Awards.
Microsoft hopes that VSTS will make development support a higher-volume technology, but even developers with no Microsoft ties should consider the message being telegraphed by VSTS and by other tool making efforts such as the Eclipse Application Lifecycle Framework.
It has been a long time since any provider of development technology has pitched an optimizing compiler, or even a symbolic debugger, for review by eWEEK Labs. The leverage of tools such as these, at the lowest levels of the code stack, is recognized by developers today as a source of diminishing returns. Whats wanted now—by developers, other stakeholders in quality assurance and business-unit leaders—are tools that tighten the feedback loop controlling which goals are met, as well as how new technology will relate to present and future enterprise processes and information assets. Ziff Davis Media eSeminars invite: Join us at 2 p.m. ET April 18 to find out how to help your software development teams and improve efficiency. Borland Software, for example, burned its boats and set off into life-cycle-process territory with its shift from in-house development environments to the Eclipse platform early this year. Lesser-known companies, such as VersionOne, are likewise looking to make their mark by improving processes rather than twiddling bits. eWEEK Labs and News, therefore, are taking this opportunity to look at issues of IT governance affecting developers, as raised by IBM Rational Vice President Lee Nackman and Sun Microsystems Tools Development Manager Robin Smith, and to offer brief examinations of Microsofts VSTS and this weeks release of VersionOnes V1: Agile Enterprise—with an eye toward their contributions to todays top development goals. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.
Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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