Microsoft announced a new member of its Visual Studio Team System family geared toward database professionals, and the company also gave some more direction on the future of its development tools overall.
Microsoft on May 31 announced Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals, expanding Visual Studio 2005 Team System to include tools that let software development teams collaborate more effectively when creating reliable, data-driven applications, said Prashant Sridharan, group product manager for Visual Studio Team System.
The new product will be available as a CTP (Community Technology Preview) at Microsofts TechEd 2006 conference in Boston in mid-June and is expected to ship by the end of 2006.
Sridharan said the new component to Visual Studio 2005 Team System is the next milestone leading to the next major release of Visual Studio, which is code-named Orcas and will enable developers to better build applications that target SQL Server 2005, Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and the next generation of Web technologies.
"Visual Studio had been focused on individual developer productivity; we wanted to enhance team productivity," said S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft.
Somasegar said Microsoft created VSTS to address team productivity and established three primary roles that the product should target: developer, tester and architect.
"Now we want to add a fourth role, that of the database professional," Somasegar said. "And well continue to expand the focus" of the tool set, he said.
"One of the main issues in software development today is a lack of collaboration among members of a software development team and beyond," Somasegar said in a statement. "Our goal is to ensure that all members of the IT organization can gain more visibility into and greater predictability of the software development process.
"The expansion of Visual Studio Team System to include data tools, along with developer productivity innovations in the upcoming Visual Studio Orcas, demonstrates Microsofts commitment to providing tools that help individuals, teams and organizations derive greater efficiency when building solutions on the Microsoft platform."
Moreover, Microsoft said Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals meets the need for more advanced tools for managing database changes.
Database architects, developers, administrators and other database professionals can use the product to employ integrated change-management functionality to streamline changes to their databases, Microsoft said.
In addition, database professionals can use the new tool to drive better quality earlier in the development process through integrated database testing, including support for database unit tests, complex test authoring and automatic generation of test data.