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ALM on Microsoft's Mind

When Visual Studio 2010 officially launches next week, it will do more than advance the state of the art in .NET development. It will mark an important change of strategy for Microsoft in the arena of application lifecycle management (ALM).

Gone under VS2010 are the sundry Visual Studio Team System products, which sought to slice and dice ALM tooling for specific roles, such as database, architect and test. As Microsoft Senior Director of Developer Marketing Dave Mendlen tells it, the company learned that professionals in development organizations often wear multiple hats. Forcing them to purchase a mission-specific version of Visual Studio did not work well.

Now the ALM and team-based functionality of VS2010 is spread incrementally through the three main Visual Studio SKUs (Professional, Premier and Ultimate), and the results, according to Forrester Research Vice President Dave West, are impressive.

"VS2010 is an exciting release and a major one," West said in a recent email exchange. "The improvements in the area of Agile development, improved reporting and better testing make VS+TFS (Team Foundation Server) a very compelling story."

West singles out the recent acquisition of TeamPrise, which extends the reach of TFS' collaboration resources to PHP, Java and other non-.NET development environments. He also noted the strong relationship Microsoft has with Micro Focus in the area of COBOL and legacy development.

"If they continue to invest, as they have said they will, they will build out a very strong cross-platform offering."

Posted by Michael Desmond on 04/07/2010

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