What are VSTS and TFS
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|What are VSTS and TFS|
Glossary Item Box
What are VSTS and Team Foundation Server?
Developing amid increasing complexity
Applications development has always been an intricate mixture of art and science. Increasingly applications are becoming progressively more complex. This complexity frequently results in specialization, which in turn tends to lead to fragmentation of business and implementation knowledge as developers and other share holders increasingly trend toward working in isolation. This isolation leads to knowledge ‘silos' which increase the possibility of bugs, integration headache, and slipped dates.
Visual Studio Team System
In analyzing customer needs, Microsoft discovered that one key component to success for top producing teams was that they were able to break out of ‘silo' mode and communicate. One of the key goals of Visual Studio 2005 Team System (VSTS), therefore, is to facilitate communication through deep integration of extensible features and functionality that provides tools to support managers, architects, testers, project managers, build and documentation teams, and, of course, developers.
Visual Studio Team Editions
In addition to improving communication, another goal in the creation of Visual Studio Team System was to provide tools that addressed the specialized needs of architects, developers, and testers. Accordingly, Visual Studio Team Architect Edition, Visual Studio Team Developer Edition, and Visual Studio Team Tester Edition each represent a targeted version of Visual Studio that enables individuals to harness their strengths, while contributing to the overall success of team projects. Team system therefore caters to individual needs and strengths while ensuring improved communication – providing a powerful solution that helps improve the rate of success of among development teams.
The new offerings found in Visual Studio Team System help team members break communication barriers by integrating process guidance directly into Visual Studio. Providing developers with a single, integrated, solution that lets them complete process related tasks without switching to a myriad of external systems and interfaces helps keep developers focused, and reduces the chance of them failing to update key process metrics. Because key metrics are more likely to be up to date, project managers and other team members are more likely to spot problem areas before they slip, or grow out of control – which helps control and reduce complexity, and results in a greater likelihood of success.
Team Foundation Server
One of the key components of Visual Studio Team System is the Team Foundation Server which acts as the central point of contact for project and process management. Team Foundation is built upon a SQL Server 2005 backend with a middle tier comprised of ASP.NET and Windows SharePoint Services that both provide complex, yet flexible, interactivity and serve a variety of clients including Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, browsers, and a number of command line tools. Visual Studio, the most important client of Team Foundation Server actually allows connectivity to the server via a specialized client, implemented as a VsPackage, that allows for deeply integrated communication with the server.
Non Developers and Visual Studio Team System
Managers, analysts, and other share holders in various roles will also need access to team resources. For team members without Visual Studio, communication is still facilitated by Team Foundation Server, which allows for complete interaction with work items through applications like Microsoft Project, Excel, and even third party applications. This allows project managers and other non-developers to interact with developers to help improve communication. All team members are also granted access to the Team Project Site. Implemented as a customized Sharepoint Portal site for each team project, the Team Project Site facilitates team communications and provides valuable metrics such as code churn, testing coverage, milestones, bug rates, and other valuable information that helps keep developers and non developers aware of overall project standing and status.