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.
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.
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.