Shining the Light on Rosario

Brian Harry

Today is an important milestone in the march towards the Rosario release of Visual Studio Team System. Among the announcements is the official name of the release.  It will be called Visual Studio Team System 2010.  We also announced that it will ship in concert with Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0.  That should give you some hint as to the ship timeframe.  You might look at our recent history for some indication of what to expect.  VS 2005 shipped in November 2004, VS 2008 shipped in November 2007, SQL 2008 shipped in July 2008, …  That should give you some idea of the kind of timeframe we are likely talking about.  Of course, we aren’t, at this point, committing to any particular quarter but having assigned a year to the release shows that we have some confidence in when we are going to be done. Another key announcement is that we will be combining the Team Development product and the Team Database product into a single Team Development product (essentially giving you 2 for the price of 1).  That change will be in effect go into effect on 10/1/08 (the day after tomorrow). I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that there was some uncertainty about whether or not we would be releasing another Rosario CTP this fall.  I’m happy to report that the uncertainty has been cleared up.  We WILL be shipping an updated CTP!  There has been a tremendous amount of new work done since the last CTP (it seems so long ago).  I think you are going to be really impressed with what you see. You can read more about the recent announcements here: The core approach of Team System has not changed in Rosario – Focusing on an integrated set of tools that make it easy to collect data about your software development projects and enable transparency, promote collaboration and provide the information necessary to make the right decisions at the right time.  The “pillars” of Rosario are the same ones we’ve been talking about for the last 8 months or so:

  • Business Alignment – Business Alignment centers on ensuring you are building the right thing for the business need and that it is going to be successful when completed.  Features supporting business alignment appear in all aspects of the development process.  Examples include:
    • Improved work item tracking capabilities that make it easier to track and understand work and perform impact analysis and other traceability functions (hierarchies, custom link types, link queries, etc).
    • New project scheduling features that enable better coordination between project management and the rest of the organization.  Rosario includes integration with Project Server for enterprise wide project management and new features for Agile project scheduling with Excel.
    • Dashboards and cross project reports that provide roll up of status across diverse projects with powerful drill down to get a thorough understanding.
    • A simplified data warehouse and reporting experience that makes it easier to build custom reports that fit exactly the questions you want to answer.
    • And much more…
  • Testing & Application Quality – Testing and Application Quality centers on making sure applications you build are high quality, developers to design and build quality applications from the beginning, QA organization can verify the quality before deployment and analysts and project managers can ensure that what is being done meets their requirements.  Features include:
    • Test planning tools to breakdown requirements, plan tests and test configurations and assign testing responsibilities.
    • A TFS based test case management system that enables you to track all of your test cases, relate them to requirements and plans, track progress and perform impact analysis.
    • Test prioritization that highlights the tests that need to be run based on the changes that have actually been made to an application.
    • A tool for manual testers to help them manage their test runs, automate them to reduce manual labor and report actionable bugs that the developer is sure to be able to reproduce and fix.
    • Tools for developers to see exactly what testers have done when finding a bug, including the ability to “debug” the code as it was running at the time they hit the bug.
    • A new “gated checkin” feature which provides a natural evolution of continuous integration to catch build breaks before they happen rather than after.
    • And much more…

In addition to these “pillars” we invested in quite a few other areas:

  1. Architecture – Rosario represents an overhaul of the Team System Architecture product and I think you are going to be very happy with it.  We’re in the process of transforming the product into a more general purpose solution to help you understand the architecture of existing applications, evolve them to meet changing business needs, integrate them with new systems, and design and document new applications and extensions effectively.  As part of this, we have incorporated UML designers and built additional exciting features – the architecture explorer for understanding your existing application architecture and the layer diagram for understanding layering and isolation in a complex system.
  2. Version control & parallel development – One of the common problems people face today is how to manage parallel development.  In Rosario we are providing a bunch of capabilities to manage and help understand parallel development.  These include a new “first class” notion of a branch which allows you to include meta-data like the owner, the purpose, etc and serves as a “pivot” for many of our other parallel development features.  Tools to help you visualize your branches and the flow of checkins and work items between them.  Improvements in merging, conflict resolution and history.  Managing parallel development and sophisticated release processes has never been easier.
  3. Operations & Administration of TFS – We’ve done more work to simplify and make TFS setup more reliable.  We’ve also further increased the flexibility of TFS topologies.  We’ve added a new MMC based administration console that makes configuration changes MUCH easier.  We’ve enable network load balancing for transparent resiliency and enabled Team Projects to be scaled out across databases for easier load balancing, improved isolation and better manageability.
  4. Improvements to automated build – In addition to the gated checkin mentioned above, Rosario includes a new Windows Workflow Foundation based build engine that enables better extensibility to manage the entire build process.  It makes it easy to parallelize a build across multiple machines.  Rosario also introduces the notion of “build agent” pooling so that a farm of build machines can process builds simultaneously rather than processing one build at a time.

And there is so much more I could go on and on but your eyes would glaze over (if they haven’t already).  To solve this problem, my plan is to post something on the order of one post a week for the next several months with each post highlighting an area of the product.  Keep an eye out.  It’s exciting to finally be able to talk about this stuff more openly.



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