VSTS Chat – Expert Answers

Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Welcome to all – the Visual Studio Team System chat will be starting @ 4pm IST.
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Good afternoon everyone SMILEY :)
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Welcome to the MSDN Expert Chat on Visual Studio Team System
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Today, we have with us the Product Team members of VSTS
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): to discuss with you the various aspects our Microsoft’s life cycle tools.
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Please welcome – Amit, Akash, Khushboo and Rob SMILEY :)
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Team – please introduce yourself
Amit_MS (Expert): Hi, I am Amit, Program Manager in DevTools division working on team build, VSTS work item tracking converters and VSTS source control converters.
Khushboo_MS (Expert): Hi, I am Khushboo Sharan, Program Manager in the VSTS team and my focus area is the Build server in VSTS called Team Build
Akash_MS (Expert): Hello My name is Akash Maheshwari, I am Program Manager for converter tools for Visual Studio Team System Source Control;;
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Well – Rob seems to be a bit busy
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Lets get started
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): So, we have experts to discuss with you the source control, build system and work item tracking in VSTS
Amit_MS (Expert): As I hope you’re already aware, Visual Studio Team System is an extensible life-cycle tools platform that significantly expands the Visual Studio product line and helps software teams collaborate to reduce the complexity of delivering modern service-oriented solutions. Team System includes a comprehensive set of proven process frameworks, best practices, prescriptive architecture guidance, and integrated life-cycle tools that enable IT organizations to successfully deliver custom solutions on the Windows platform. The Team System website is located at http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/teamsystem
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): So go ahead – and post your questions.
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Amit – while questions come, why dont you give an overview of what you work on in the team ?
Amit_MS (Expert): Balaji, you had a question
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Akash/Amit – would u take up Balaji’s question ?
Amit_MS (Expert): Please refer to my earlier brief description and I would recommend that you go through the mentioned site to get a better idea about VSTS in general.
Akash_MS (Expert): Yes VSTS Source Control allows user to do multiple Check out;;
Akash_MS (Expert):

Q: we always felt that the multiple checkout of vss problem in our environment is there anything done for inproving that

A: Yes VSTS Source Control allows user to do multiple Check out;;

Amit_MS (Expert):

Q: Where can I find a list of changes from the previous CTP to the Dec CTP? (i.e. implemented feature changes, reports, etc)

A: Every CTP release has documentation that details out the features present in the release and what is working/not working. CTP is just a point release. At Beta time we would have a document that would detail the differences with previous Beta. Is there a particular feature you want to know about?
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Let me introduce Keith – he is the Product Unit Manager in the VSTS team
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): and is joining is from Redmon, just like Rob. Thanks Keith for joining in as well SMILEY :)
Khushboo_MS (Expert): Yes Team System is a full cycle tool. It includes tools for source control, work item tracking, build, testing frameworks and provides a tight integration among the various tools
Amit_MS (Expert):

Q: Is there any guidelines to start working with Team System on an experimental basis so that non developers like Project Managers, Analysts and Testers get to have a feel of working of Team System.

A: We have different SKUs for people considered non developers. We have a SKU specifically for architects, project managers and QA. ELead team has a suite of features targeted towards project managers. We come out with CTP and Beta releases that are generally available for public download. You can start with those releases.
Akash_MS (Expert):

Q: Will PMs be able to create a new VSTS project, add team members and basically control the dev cycles solely from within MS Project? Or will they need to install / use Visual Studio? (in both the Dec CTP and Beta 2 releases)

A: No you cannot add team members from MS Project;; You need to install and use Visual Studio.
Khushboo_MS (Expert):

Q: Is reporting slated to make it in the Beta 2 release? Is the Beta 2 release in the February / March time frame?

A: Yes reporting will be there in beta 2. However it is not in the Dec CTP
Akash_MS (Expert):

Q: Does the scope include integration with Project Server for component development as tasks

A: In V1 of VSTS we are integrateing it with Project Server;;
Akash_MS (Expert):

Q: Does the scope include integration with Project Server for component development as tasks

A: I am sorry in V1 of VSTS we are not integrating with Project Server;;
Khushboo_MS (Expert):

Q: Will we be able to use either the sampling or instrumentation profile methods from within a VPC in Dec CTP? Beta 2? Gold Bits?

A: Some features of VSTS (code profiling) will never work inside a VPC.

Khushboo_MS (Expert):

Q: does it support Analysis and Design? any discipline not suportted?

A: Yes we will be supporting requirement analysis and design. We have Team Architect SKU which will have Class Designers, Logical Data Center Deisgner, System Designer, Application designer
Akash_MS (Expert):

Q: Sorry to harp on the same question… Is there a list of capabilities / features in the MS Project integration with Team System? I’m concerned that a PM won’t be able to do much except create work items for an existing project, and maybe attach documents

A: Using Micorosft Project Plan the project manager can create/edit/see the workitems in it;;
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): While we are discussing this, Khushboo – could you discuss the enhancements in the new build system, BigBuild ?
Khushboo_MS (Expert):

Q: Per Khusboo – Team system is a full cycle tool and integrates with various tools – so will that mean a single point of entry for a particular data like efforts, defects etc.

A: Rajesh, data like defects task etc will be stored in a single work item database which can be accessed through Excel, MSProject, VS. So primarily any of this can be your entry point. The Work Item tool in VSTS integrates with Excel and MSProject
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): People – please post your questions by selecting the “Submit a question” radio button and then clicking the “Send” button.
Amit_MS (Expert):

Q: Hi, Can you explain some of the core automated testing features that will help to test the application rigourously.

A: Our unit testing features provide the ability to test pieces of your code much as NUnit and other unit test frameworks do. In addition, we provide great IDE integration, integrated debugging support, and support for additional types of tests through the Team Test and Team Suite SKUs. The test SKU will have lot of test types such as unit testing, load testing, static analysis, profiling, code coverage. We are also working on data bound testing. The testing is fully integrated within VSTS IDE and testers will be able to create/run selected tests from within IDE.
Khushboo_MS (Expert): Team Build (code name BigBuild) provides an easy and flexible Build System which integrates with other tools of VSTS like Source Control, Testing tools, Work Item tracking tool, Reporting etc.
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Khushboo – could you discuss the enhancements in BigBuild with our attendees? Its one of the frequently asked queries…
Amit_MS (Expert): Steven, there would be a document with CTP, online or within the DVD, which will detail what all features we currently have planned for release and the staus of those features in CTP. Status such as working/not working/semi working.
Khushboo_MS (Expert): It provides an easy way to configure the build and also provides rich reports about the health of the build
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): And what converters are we planning for VSTS, Amit/Akash ?
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Keith – can you point the attendees to some resources on VSTS – newsgroups, blogs, webs, that can help them know more about the product ?
Akash_MS (Expert): We are implementing converters from Visual Source Safe , Clearcase to VSTS Source Control and converters from Clearquest and XML/CSV to VSTS Workitem tracking tooll
Khushboo_MS (Expert):

Q: What is the difference between BigBuild and MSBuild? (Sorry for the newbie question, but I haven’t used any of the integrated build functionality yet.)

A: Team Build (code name Big Build) uses MSBuild as the underlying build engine. It integrates your entire build process starting from syncing sources to the build machine, running tests, static analysis, automates email generation on build completion, automatic filing of bugs etc. Hence an integrated build lab out of the box. You can use the underlying MSBuild scripts to customise these build steps to suit your needs
Khushboo_MS (Expert): Steven if there are some other things that you would like to see in your build system, we would love to hear about it
Akash_MS (Expert): What other Source COntrol tools you are using?;
Akash_MS (Expert): What other Workitem tracking tools you are using for which you may require converter tools?;

Khushboo_MS (Expert):

Q: Khushboo: Thanks for the GREAT answer! Now that is functionality I just cannot wait to see! πŸ™‚ Will BigBuild be the way that check-in policies are implemented?

A: Hey Thanks Steven SMILEY :). Typically checkin policies will be defined in the source control. Is that what you are asking for? BigBuild will have reports which talk about the general health of the build which includes the associated changesets and work items which went into the checkin included in this build
Amit_MS (Expert): The SKU for developers has some exciting new features such as class designer, code coverage, static analysis, profiling. The SKU for testers will have testing features such as test authroring, test execution, test result publication, but creation etc.
Amit_MS (Expert): We also have a server component with VSTS, team foundation server. Team foundation server provides services to integrate software life cycle tools such as work item tracking, source control, reporting, project share point, team build.
Amit_MS (Expert): We hope with VSTS people will have one stop solution for all the tools and the advantage would be that all the data would be integrated in one tool. People can still use tools such as Excel and Microsoft Project to manage parts of the project, but all that data can be pushed to VSTS system and available for everyone through VSTS
Khushboo_MS (Expert):

Q: Policies: I was wondering about Big Build, since I’d like to be able to create a check-in policy that forces code to pass static analysis before being checked in. Plus all check-in code will need (in my world) to pass the entire unit test harness.

A: checkin policies can be defined at the methodology and source control level.Big Build as of now comes into the picture once the check in is already done. The flow starts when BigBuild syncs the sources from the source control and pulls it down to the build machine. The tests and static analysis tools are run after the build and results reported. A ‘successful build’ in team Build is defined as you have suggested only when the tests also pass successfully.
Amit_MS (Expert):

Q: What will be the requirements for Team Foundation Server in terms of hardware and can it be used along with any existing server that runs for eg SQL Server or webserver.

A: As of now we require 2 machine to run TFS, one hosting the data tier and the other one middle tier. There could be any number of clients connected to middle tier. At the time of release, the goal is that TFS will install on single machine. As of now TFS requires its own install of SQL server, the new version code named Yukon. This SQL server will be included with TFS.
Amit_MS (Expert):

Q: What is the recommended resource requirements for TFS?

A: see my earlier reply
Akash_MS (Expert): One cool feature in VSTS Source Control is ‘Shelving’; This feature helps developer who is middle of a bug/feature and he/she gets another high priority bug. The user can ‘shelve’ the changes in her/his workspace and the changes are stored on the Team Foundation server. Now the workspace is restored to a known state on which user can work on the high priority bug; After fixing the bug the user checks in the bug fix;; Now when user can unshelve to start working on previous workitem;;
Khushboo_MS (Expert):

Q: Keith: Thanks! So the dev will run the test locally, and that will be noted at check-in. πŸ™‚ Great news! Then I can use BigBuild for my nightlies!

A: Yes Steven. You can configure Team Build for your nightlies. You can also kick off builds on demand
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Well – we have time for one more question
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): before we sign off for the day
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Experts – do you have any URIs and resources to share with the attendees ?
Amit_MS (Expert): Also we will have designs such as logical data center design using which one can actually show where the applications would be deployed in the data center. One can also actually validate the design against the constraints of the physical servers of data center. We call this design keeping deployment in mind, so the one does not falls into the trap of designing something that cannot be deployed in the data center
RobCaron_MS (Expert):

Q: Can you please throw some light on SOA integration with VSTS ?

A: The prime purpose of Team Architect Edition is the distributed system designers, which are a set of design tools developing and deploying service-oriented applications.
Amit_MS (Expert): the main link is http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/teamsystem, you can find links to VSTS related sites from there
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Very well.
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): We have to come to the end of this interesting chat – hopefully each of you had a take away from it SMILEY :)
Khushboo_MS (Expert): We do not have any published information on Team Build as of now. However keep watching the Team Foundation blogs <http://blogs.msdn.com/team_foundation>!> for more information.
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Thanks to the product team based out of Redmond and Hyderabad for participating in – its quite late in night in Redmond SMILEY :)
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Thanks for attending – do join us on 6th Jan when we discuss ADO.NET Whidbey with Deepak Gulati
Akash_MS (Expert): Thanks folks for attending chat on VSTS
Khushboo_MS (Expert): Hey Thanks alot for paticipating and showing your interest. As usual we would love to hear from you in case you have any feedback
Gkhanna_MS (Moderator): Have a nice evening and morning SMILEY :)
RobCaron_MS (Expert): For those who might not have heard, the December CTP went live on MSDN Subscriber Downloads this evening (Wednesday evening in Redmond).
Amit_MS (Expert):

Q: How tightly has the MSF 4.0 Agile methodology been implemented in this CTP? If I select MSF Agile as my methodology, will the templates and documents closely approximate the ‘final’ MSF Agile, or is that still a work in progress?

A: My understanding is that MSF 4.0 is well integrated in this CTP release. Process guidance document, group policies such as checkin permissions, work item templates is all there.
Khushboo_MS (Expert): both would be great Steven. Though an email directly will be best! Thanks SMILEY :)
RobCaron_MS (Expert): In addition, you can obtain a copy of the Team Foundation Installation Guide from here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=E54BF6FF-026B-43A4-ADE4-A690388F310E&displaylang=en.
Amit_MS (Expert): Thank you all for the chat. We really appreciate your questions and feedback.