The blog of Eric Sibly; focusing on mountain biking, .NET development for the Desktop, Smartphone and PocketPC.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I have spent the last few weeks on a customer site installing Visual Studio Team System / Team Foundation Server and proving to them that the capability within will meet their requirements. Right of the bat, I think these together are a pretty darn good set of tools, that really do meet the needs of improving the toolset and adding rigour to the methodology – they just need some extra spit and polish.

My initial thoughts are as follows:

  • Work Item tracking and integration is awesome; but it totally sucks that there is no web based front end, unless you look at something like TeamPlain. This looks like a pretty good solution on the surface; Microsoft should just buy them and integrate.
  • Team Build looks a little half baked, there is no built in scheduler or continuous build functionality – these should just be checkbox options. The build itself works and produces some reasonable reporting and automatic source control labelling.
  • The Source Control functionality looks great, it absolutely makes VSS look like the silly little product it is. I especially like the check-in policies in that it enforces developers to perform Work Item assignment and other activities such as unit testing prior. It would be nice to see some additional granularity added here, so certain actions happen where certain file types are checked-in, or from specific projects, etc.
  • The Check-in Notes functionality is weak; it should be set up so that the reviewer is a role or user. Then the reviewer can either confirm on the check-in persons session by providing user/password authentication versus just free-form text. Where the reviewer is not available it should then send a workflow for them to review prior to allowing check-in.
  • The Unit testing provides pretty much the same functionality as with NUnit and is well integrated into the product. I would happily give up NUnit.
  • The Coverage testing looks to perform the desired job and provides the appropriate information.
  • The Code analysis, FxCop also does it thing – all good.
  • The Performance testing looks ok, although the reporting UI could be improved.
  • The Web testing and Load testing look good also. The recorded Web tests work well and the automated code generation produces reasonable code – good stuff. What I like most about the Load testing is that you can include Unit tests as well as the Web tests, so functions can be tested under load without UI – very nice!
  • Where is the NDoc equivalent? We all need to create good quality documentation and the code comments functionality is awesome – we just need a great tool to help pull it all together nicely.
So in summary, Microsoft has done a pretty good job first up – it exceeded my expectations :-)

A nothing post...

This is really a nothing post, a link to an amusing article about google, sheep and kiwis - I thought others might appreciate it!