Microsoft to Focus on Collaboration, ALM in Visual Studio vNext

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-05-16 Print this article Print

title=The Need for Better Collaboration} 

Sander's post delves into the issue of ALM and the need for collaboration. He said: "Our vision for ALM can be broken down into three main themes:

  • Accelerating agile adoption - you can find great existing support today with more to come.

He added that when Microsoft asked people what the biggest problem they faced in successfully delivering software, they identified the need for better collaboration. We know that building software takes a team of people including developers, testers, architects, project planners, and more.

Zander added that out of the observation that its customers wanted more collaboration, "we created the strategy for our ALM offering which focuses on helping people collaborate in very tightly integrated ways:

  • Collaboration - focus on the flow of value between team members no matter what role.

  • Actionable Feedback - when feedback is required between team members, it should be in a form which is directly applicable to solving the problem at hand.  For example when a tester communicates a defect to development it should include videos, screen shots, configuration information, and even an IntelliTrace log making it easier to find and fix the root problem.

  • Diverse Work Styles - provide the best possible tool for each team member whether that is the Visual Studio IDE, the web browser, SharePoint, Office, or dedicated tooling.

  • Transparent Agile Processes - Enable all of the above to work on a "single source of truth" from engineering tasks through project status.  TFS provides this core that brings together all team members and their tools."

Moreover, Zander noted that there are a number of scenarios that span the next version of Visual Studio for ALM. These scenarios improve the creation, maintenance and support of software solutions by focusing on improving the workflow across the entire team as well as across the entire lifecycle.

As such, Zander said Microsoft Visual Studio vNext will support:

  • Agile Planning Tools - create transparency across the planning process and full team participation through solutions like the new backlog and task board.

  • Lightweight Requirements - a natural way to capture and receive feedback on requirements early in the process.

  • Stakeholder Feedback - working code which matches the expectations of stakeholders.

  • Continuous Testing - unit test coverage ensures quality in the final product.

  • Agile Quality Assurance - increased code quality with code review support, enhanced unit testing frameworks and new exploratory testing support.

  • Enhanced User Experience - more time -in the zone', through improved experiences for day-to-day tasks.

  • Aligning Development with Operations - increased connections and insight between the operations and development teams lowering the time it takes to fix a bug in production.

Meanwhile, in a separate TechEd related announcement for developers, Microsoft announced a new Java software development kit (SDK) for TFS.


Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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