Archive for category Team System

Efficient Software Development with Visual Studio Team System 2008

I was recently asked to do some research and give a presentation about using Visual Studio Team System 2008. I thought I’d experiment with and post it here.

[slideshare id 225505&doc=efficient-software-development-with-visual-studio-team-system-1200133974226602-2&w=400]

The presentation was for a large corporation, and will possibly not come across as being very useful for an online presentation. I have been working on it for a while though, and I think it’s worth publishing, if only as an introduction.

I’ve used competitive products to Team System for a long time, mainly open source:

  • SubVersion for source version control
  • CruiseControl.Net as a build server
  • NAnt for build scripts
  • MbUnit for testing
  • NCover for seeing my testing code coverage
  • VersionOne for project planning, task management, tracking and reporting
  • BugTracker for bug tracking
  • A Wiki for project documentation and guidelines

I wasn’t all-too impressed with the standard of Visual Studio Team Suite 2005, but I am a little bit happier with the 2008 version. It took a while to get it installed so that I could test it, and there were lots of seemingly undocumented points which hindered my progress, but once I’d got it up-and-running, I didn’t find it that bad. (I did have to install it on  virtual machine, and run it on my laptop.)

I think the best thing about Team System is that all the things I need to do are now integrated into one place. I didn’t have to go make changes to a dozen XML files in order to get a build server working. I didn’t have to install a Wiki for the project documentation. Using Team System would also avoid resistance to using the products, as I’ve faced before trying to get other team members to use such tools. Everything would just be there, out-of-the-box, and no one would argue about using them.

What I didn’t like about Team System are some of the subtle details which don’t work as they should do. I did a basic test of multiple check-outs, using the new features, but it didn’t work. The Unit Tests that I generated were confusing and were buggy.

The biggest problem though is the price. It’s darn expensive. I wouldn’t be able to afford Team System if I was just a small development shop. However, for a large corporation, it really could make sense.

I actually wonder if there’s room for a better competitor (Rational is possibly the only serious contender, and I find their software pretty naff). It actually wouldn’t to be too hard for some Python hackers somewhere. 🙂

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