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Managing Your Development Process with Visual Studio 2005 Team System

Visual Studio 2005
 

Microsoft Corporation

October 2005

Applies to:
   Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System
   Source code modeling

Summary: This article looks at Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System's features for modeling and verifying source code. (3 printed pages)

Contents

Introduction
A Blueprint to Success
Practical Modeling
Verifying Source Code
Conclusion

Introduction

The development process today is a black box that makes it is very difficult for decision makers to verify that business requirements are being met, ensure that source code adheres to organizational policy, and to make adjustments along the way.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System was designed to bring visibility and predictability to this process as a whole. Every aspect of the development process with Visual Studio 2005 Team System is instrumented efficiently and transparently. Every member of your organization can work naturally while Visual Studio 2005 Team System gathers the data required to give your leaders the high ground they need to guide the team and development process towards success.

A Blueprint to Success

Success is a process rather than an event. Visual Studio 2005 Team System provides a blueprint—a process template—that enables organizations to define what a successful project looks like and build upon that success with each subsequent effort.

Process templates in Visual Studio 2005 Team System allow leaders to define how work is categorized, audited, and reported. For example, most software development teams will record the bugs that are found during the development process. Process templates in Visual Studio 2005 Team System helps leaders define what data is captured in each bug, how the bug is visualized to team members, and what workflow is associated with each bug. These parameters can be modified as the development process progresses from one stage to another.

In most successful organizations, the development process starts with a design phase. Early success in this crucial stage makes the rest of the development process much more manageable.

Practical Modeling

Many problems in the software development process can be avoided by getting the development teams started with the right design. Visual Studio 2005 Team System takes a very practical approach to modeling software. The design surfaces in Visual Studio 2005 Team System target both industry specific domains, such as Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), as well as custom, organizationally specific domains.

Using an organizationally specific domain is a powerful mechanism for controlling the design parameters in the development process. For example, an airline corporation using Visual Studio 2005 Team System would be able to use elements like 'Gold Level Frequent Flyer,' 'Flight,' and 'Baggage' to design composite applications rather than using generic primitives like 'XML Web Service' that are open for misinterpretation.

In addition, Visual Studio 2005 Team System can verify that an application architecture is not rife with deployment or security errors that could either prevent successful deployment or, worse, introduce vulnerabilities into the data center. Using design-time validation and security validators, Visual Studio 2005 Team System can help ensure that solutions are designed from the onset for operations and quality.

A successful design is just a stepping stone towards a successful project. The best laid plans and designs can go to waste if the source code produced by a development process is misguided.

Verifying Source Code

Source code is the heart of any software development project. Today, that source code originates from a variety of places. The biggest challenges in managing any development process do not only involve the source code newly written in-house; they also involve the existing source code that has been acquired and the source code written by contingent vendors.

Visual Studio 2005 Team System provides a very flexible software change management system to help leaders ensure that this motley collection of source code meets corporate quality standards and adheres to corporate policy. Visual Studio 2005 Team System does so by allowing team leaders to specify policy that is automatically enforced each time a developer commits changes that they have made to the system. Visual Studio 2005 Team System provides a number of turn-key policies.

For example, team leaders can verify that source code has been properly tested before any changes are committed. They can also enforce that source code has been analyzed and is free of security vulnerabilities, performance issues, and design flaws. Finally, a policy exists to enable team leaders to mandate that all committed changes can be associated with work items to allow for auditing procedures.

The policy that is part of Visual Studio 2005 Team System can be easily customized and extended. For each committed change, a wide range of information is available. Everything from the identity of the developers, their role in the organization, the changes they are making, and the tests they ran are available for verification. A good example of a custom policy is one that verifies a given check-in is verified by another developer, perhaps one in a developer's immediate management chain. This "code review policy" can be authored by an organization and incorporated into the team's development processes. Moreover, since such policies are stored on the server, no costly deployment steps are required to distribute the rule to the team.

Conclusion

Visual Studio 2005 Team System uses a holistic approach to managing the development process. This approach minimizes extra overhead so team members can work creatively, yet gives team leaders the visibility they need to make timely adjustments that lead to success.

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