Microsoft Maps Plans for Rosario

Microsoft is charting its future product course beyond "Orcas" in 2007.

Microsoft is charting its future product course beyond "Orcas" in 2007.

The next major release of the companys Visual Studio application development tool set is known by the code name Orcas, but Microsoft also is hard at work on a version of the tool set that will revise Visual Studio Team System, or VSTS, the companys team development system.

Sam Guckenheimer, group product planner for VSTS, said the follow-on release to Orcas is code-named Rosario, the name of a resort on Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands in Washington.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has a vision of an even-more-distant island for follow-on tooling to Orcas in a set of technologies code-named Hawaii—a name thats not yet attached to a release, Guckenheimer said.

The goal of Microsofts successive versions of its tools, including those that are team-oriented, is to better enable teams, at first, and then entire organizations to become more productive with the applications they build.

Orcas, due in 2007, is a release of the whole Visual Studio stack, including VSTS, that is tied to the Office System 2007 and Vista product release cycles, said Guckenheimer in Redmond, Wash.

The Rosario release of VSTS will follow Orcas, but "it will not be very different in terms of the Visual Studio Pro-level functionality," Guckenheimer said. "The emphasis will be moving forward on Team System." Rosario is the follow-on release to VSTS, which is code-named Burton. Orcas will include VSTS/Burton as part of its overall stack. Rosario will be an update to the Team System (VSTS/

Burton) component of the Orcas stack.

"The way to think about what were doing is that we went with Team System 2005 from where Visual Studio had been—which was 10 years of focusing on individual productivity, to growing to think about team productivity," Guckenheimer said. The teams include project managers, testers, architects and database professionals—all roles that VSTS currently does or soon will cover, he said.

And Microsoft continues to grow, thinking from team productivity to organizational productivity, he added. "We live in an organizational environment where, around that extended development team, there are project management offices, chief information officers, business analysts, operations staff and IT pros, support staff, compliance officers, and so forth," Gucken-heimer said.

Guckenheimer said he believes IT organizations need to run as much like a business as their parent companies do. "IT struggles with providing the same level of transparency and trustworthiness and customer satisfaction and availability," he said.

While Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server doesnt yet connect live with VSTS, Microsoft provides a bit of connection between VSTS and the data center, such as a Design for Operations starter kit that provides workflows between MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) and VSTS, Guckenheimer said.

Guckenheimer said that as Microsoft upgrades tools, it envisions three points on a triangle—the application life cycle, operations life cycle and PMO (project management office)—as parts of the organizational ecosystem and is working to tie them together.

"Think of that as the five- to 10-year vision," Guckenheimer said. "We have lots of work to do there. We have an application platform vision that takes us very far. What well be doing in Orcas and Rosario is starting to light those up. Youll see more integration flows with the data center and more integration flows with PMOs, and probably more between the data center and PMOs, too."

Hawaii is still in the incubation stages, but it will likely play a role in the continued integration of Microsofts tooling story.

Rosario will feature the enhancement of some roles associated with VSTS and will include things customers have been asking Microsoft to deliver, Guckenheimer said, such as improvements to VSTS ease of use.

For another example, Gucken-heimer said, "We do today a very competitive job for globally distributed development." But customers are pushing the company to deliver better support out of the box for workflows where multiple companies are involved, he said.

Guckenheimer said Microsoft is trying to make team development as productive as it has made individual development. "Its analogous to what the company did with Visual Basic in individual programming," Guckenheimer said. "What we hope to do with Team System is very similar—make it possible for any organization to collaborate on software and run multiple projects and get daily insight into the progress and pull quality upstream."

Island fever

Heres a list of Microsofts Visual Studio code names:

  • Whidbey Visual Studio 2005; named after an island in Puget Sound
  • Burton Visual Studio 2005 Team System; named after a snowboard manufacturer
  • Orcas The next major release of Visual Studio; named after one of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest
  • Rosario The next revision of VSTS; named after a resort on Orcas Island
  • Bodie Team Foundation Server SDK (software development kit); named after a lighthouse on Bodie Island, near Nags Head, N.C.
  • Currituck Team Foundation Work Item Tracking; named after a lighthouse on Currituck Beach in Corolla, N.C.
  • Hatteras Team Foundation Version Control; named after the Cape Hatteras lighthouse on Hatteras Island, N.C.
  • Ocracoke Team System Web & Load Testing; named after Ocracoke Island Light on Ocracoke Island, N.C.

Source: eWEEK reporting