Microsoft TechEd 2013: Visual Studio 2013, TFS 2013 Bust Out

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-06-03 Print this article Print

Meanwhile, on the ALM front, Harry said Microsoft is continuing to extend its Agile project management capabilities. In VS 2012 Microsoft introduced a set of Scrum-oriented Agile project management features. It then built off of that in Update 1 and Update 2 with Kanban support.

"And now coming into Visual Studio 2013 the big thing we're trying to add is support for enterprise agile, which is how do we scale agile to an enterprise organization to enable lots of Scrum teams to work together and enable management to be able to think about a coarser granularity of things like business initiatives and investments while allowing the development team to work at the user story and task and sprint level," Harry said. "To be able to roll all that up, get traceability from the core business goals down to the work that's down in the dev team.

"We've got a lot of those capabilities today through Project Server, and we have a lot of enterprises that use Project Server as their portfolio management solution," he said. "But for teams that are trying to really embrace Agile methodologies more holistically throughout an organization, they're struggling with the best way to aggregate all of these different Agile teams and still make sense out of, 'What is my development organization doing?' That's really what our Agile portfolio management investment's about."

Harry said there is a major importance to focusing on being able to keep up with the pace of change in the business and being agile and doing production diagnostics, load testing and more. But one piece that's very important in making that process go faster is you've got to be able to build, test and then release your software, he said.

This is often one of the biggest problems developers face, he noted. They have to wait for some sort of IT infrastructure department to provision hardware and work with the IT group to figure out what steps they're going to use to deploy the software. This is the realm of DevOps. DevOps is about responding to the Agile movement, Harry said. Developers got more agile with the advent of Agile methods, but no corresponding change happened on the IT side. While the dev team started cranking work out faster, the operations team was unable to consume software at the rate the dev team was able to produce it. The whole DevOps movement is to figure out how to solve this impedance mismatch, Harry said.

"So we are announcing that we have reached an agreement to acquire a product called InRelease from InCycle Software," Harry said. "InRelease is a release management tool targeted at enterprises that is designed to help this problem. It has a bunch of capabilities, including the ability to track all your releases. And any enterprise has got dozens of software projects going on at any time in different stages—development, integration testing, preproduction, production—sometimes multiple versions of the same thing are in different phases of release. So it's got a release portfolio management capability to help you track what releases you're working on and what stages you're in.

"It's also got a release planning capability that helps you find release paths to production— to pass from dev to test to preproduction to production," he said. "What are the automated steps, what are the approval criteria? It manages the workflow around that movement of code through the phases. And lastly it has an automation piece that allows me to find my automated workflows for deployment."


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