Visual Studio.NET 2005 Enterprise Features

Last week I attended a technical training in Milan concerning Visual Studio 2005 and Team System. Thanks to Chris Menegay and Marco Bellinasco I’ve got a lot of information about the upcoming products.
I would like to highlight some of the key features here:

Editions will be Express(people not willing to pay anything) , Standard (hobbyists), Professional(corporate developers), Team Developer (enterprise developers), Team Architect (enterprise architects) and Team Test (enterprise testers).

Development support
Visual Studio.NET 2005 might greatly improve code quality by enforcing code analysis, code coverage and unit testing during the build process. Server builds with rich reporting functionality are supported. New modelers alow it to model datacenters, applications and class structures and map them together. Moreover constraints can be enforced in order to avoid problems when deploying applications to operational environments. This is a common problem in enterprise level projects. The new build server allows to set up distributed continuous integration scenarios.

Very powerful and feature rich framework for web development. Almost everything out of the box. Has a very open and extendable provider model. Lots of new features in the IDE. For instance refactoring, designers, generics, better debug support to name a few. Great team integration features. Modeling support. UML like visualisation and round trip engineering. Unfortunately no support for assembly/component level modeling. Ships with an internal web server for IIS independent web development. My favourite feature is Masterpages. But currently limited to a nesting level of two in Beta 1. Hopefully this will change in the realease version. Globalization and theming support allow it to develop very clean and well structured web sites quickly.

Team collaboration
Visual Studio Team Suite covers large parts of the project lifecycle, e.g. load-, unit, requirement-testing, project management, build management, continuous integration, etc. The supported standard process is MSF Agile but it can be altered in order to support different processes like for instance Rational Unified Process or custom processes. Offers interfaces for instance for Eclipse of JBuilder integration. The pricing will be very competitive, although it’s not official yet. It’s targeted at tools from Rational/IBM or Mercury. Team System has a lot of dependencies. It builds on SQLServer 2005 and Sharepoint services. But no additional licenses would be required. It seems that the Microsoft products are more and more dependent on each other. That makes it difficult to use only a single product. But as far as the licensing is easy this would be ok.

Testing and Profiling
Good support for automated web and webservice-testing. Testing of different browsers and bandwidths are supported. Profiling for Microsoft technologies is available. Distributed, data driven load testing is also supported. Lacks in the area of heterogeneous environments as there are no means to profile for instance Unix machines or J2EE servers. To be honest I didn’t really expect that.

At large the Visual Studio .NET 2005 Team Suite covers a lot features which were adressed only by third party vendors by now.

These are only some first impressions. Beta 2 will be available by end of march. This might be a good ime to start some real implementation.

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