Microsoft Announces Visual Studio 2010. Developers Respond.

Microsoft's development environment offers new tools for Agile development, software testing enhancements and improved support for cloud computing. Microsoft showed us a sneak peek, and we invited developers to chime in with their feedback.

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Merging of Developer, DBA Roles

Most of these changes are a ways off, though you can expect to see some of this functionality demonstrated at the upcoming Microsoft Professional Developers' Conference. One item, however, takes effect immediately.

As Microsoft sees it, the roles of the database-centric developer and "regular" developer are less distinct than they once were, so the company is merging its VSTS database and development products. As of October 1, those who belong to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and currently own Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition or Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition will receive for free the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition, Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition, Visual Studio 2005 Team System for Software Developers and Visual Studio 2005 Team System for Database Professionals.

That's a good idea, according to Häusler. Merging the developer and database roles with integrated development and database tools is in line with the generalist mindset of Agile, he says. Visual Studio 2008 is somewhat annoying for Agile developers, according to Häusler, as they have needed to either buy the full Team System edition or rely on third party tools for their architecture, database and test activities. "However," he adds, "[Microsoft] really needs to expand that concept and combine the architecture and test editions again." He'd far prefer to have just one or two Visual Studio editions (such as Professional and Express), particularly if they want to court the Agile market. "In pure Agile there are no separate architects, database specialists and testers," says Häusler. "There are just developers that do all those activities."

Foy, too, is happy about Microsoft merging the database professional edition. "DBPro is one of the features of VSTS that teams that use SQL Server almost always can immediately take advantage of," he says, such as using DBPro to bring stored procedures under test by writing them test-first.

Overall, Foy is pleased with the software promises, and especially with the way that the VSTS team responds to community feedback. They've come a long way, he says. "It's tough to be Agile and respond rapidly with a two-year release schedule. While many of the core features can be implemented using open source tools (NUnit/MbUnit, CruiseControl.NET/TeamCity, etc.) there are interesting things happening that are worth watching over the next 6 to 8 years."

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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