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TechnologyOct 16, 2013

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) with Visual Studio 2012 – Series Overview

Raghav Pullela

After the release of Visual Studio 2010, the Visual Studio team at Microsoft took a step back to reevaluate the software. They looked at the significant trends in the software world and absorbed all the feedback received from their customers. They learned several important things for the next version of Visual Studio.

The biggest change in the software world is that businesses are investing in custom software development more than off-the-shelf solutions. This has turned development into more of a team sport, involving non-developer stakeholders (including customers) and requiring advanced development practices. Consequently, Microsoft wanted Visual Studio 2012 to include all the tools necessary to help users quickly develop amazing software.

The Roots of Visual Studio ALM

In order for businesses to succeed, software needs to be cost effective and deliver real value.  This forces businesses to consider the entire application lifecycle from conception to deployment to retirement.

The process of designing and developing a modern application usually involves the efforts of a range of participants:

– Customers and product owners who derive value from the software application.

– Project managers who make sure all the processes go smoothly and efficiently.

– Designers who create stunning user interfaces.

– Developers who implement efficient business logic.

– Testers who thoroughly test the application in a timely and a comprehensive manner.

– Finally the operations team (could be part of the development team) who deploy and maintain the application.

The expanded Application Lifecycle Management capabilities of Visual Studio 2012 will engage all these different roles, instead of just a few, resulting in a higher quality solution.

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Visual Studio 2012 simplifies the interactions among team members and roles by streamlining the flow of information across the team. Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 acts as a central repository and integration hub that brings together various tools, processes used, and project artifacts to simplify the in-context collaboration of team members across functional areas. With Team Foundation Server, teams have the freedom to choose which development process to adopt; they can also get started with a number of already proven development methodologies, including a new Agile process template.

Benefits of Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012

Application development is a multidisciplinary exercise that encompasses a wide variety of tasks and participants. It’s not just developers. But bringing so many people to the table can cause communication and process problems. So easy-to-use and adaptable tools are critical to help overcome the issues that can creep in when producing complex solutions.

Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server help address all of these concerns through a collection of highly integrated tools to support and manage the entire application lifecycle.

The main aims of Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012 are to:

– Improve the collaboration among everyone involved in developing an application, taking into account customers as equal members of the development team.

– Deliver timely feedback to reduce wasted effort and the cost associated with that effort.

– Provide tools for designing, developing, testing, delivering, and maintaining quality software applications.

– Provide strong support for best practices in application development, while remaining independent of any specific methodology.

Collaboration and communication are the key aspects for a successful software project. Previous versions of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server focused on ensuring that developers and project managers had the right tools to build and manage projects. But customers are a fundamentally important part of the team; if we don’t deliver what they need, then all our efforts are wasted. So Team Foundation Server 2012 provides additional features to enable developers and customers to work together more closely and effectively.

With that introduction we can now dive deeper into Application Lifecycle Management, Virtual Studio 2012, and Team Foundation Server with this 10-part series:

Part 1 – ALM: Teams Without Barriers

Part 2 – Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 in the Cloud

Part 3 – ALM with VS 2012 and TFS 2012 Overview

Part 4 – ALM with VS 2012 and TFS 2012: Before You Begin

Part 5 – ALM with VS 2012 and TFS 2012: Backlog Management

Part 6 – ALM with VS 2012 and TFS 2012: Exploratory Testing

Part 7 – ALM with VS 2012 and TFS 2012: My Work and Code Review

– Part 8 – ALM with VS 2012 and TFS 2012: Storyboarding

– Part 9 – ALM with VS 2012 and TFS 2012: Customer Feedback

– Part 10 – ALM with VS 2012 and TFS 2012: What’s New for ALM in VS 2012?

So hold on tight and get ready for the ride! It’s going to be a fun and exciting one for sure. Interested in more great tips from Credera’s Microsoft Solutions team? Follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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