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Microsoft Making Visual Studio Team-Development Tools Available in March

The software should markedly increase the team development capabilities for Microsoft's .Net development tools
Microsoft will make a near-final version of its long awaited collaborative Visual Studio 2005 Team System available for free download to registered developers by the end of this week.

The first general availability release of Visual Studio 2005 Team System, a suite of development tools and their accompanying Team Foundation Server, will come in March. This week, Microsoft will offer what it calls Release Candidate code--a Microsoft term for a version close to the final release, on which it is still collecting user feedback, said Soma Somasegar, VP of Microsoft's developer division, at the VS Live conference this week. Less finished beta versions of Team System have been available previously.

Team System for the first time will provide extensive team development capabilities in Microsoft's .Net development tools. It will provide a central check-in, check-out repository on Team Foundation Server where developers will store their day's work in source code. The central server will have copies of system requirements, designs and architecture plans. It will report regularly on known bugs and track issues affecting a project. It will centralize code testing and report on testing "coverage" or share of the total code tested. Team Foundation Server will also perform automated functions such as conducting periodic builds and test runs on the newly combined elements of code, reporting on the results. "Microsoft is moving from developer centric to development centric," says Ian Knox, lead product manager.

In the Team System version, the Microsoft .Net tool suite will be available in role-specific configurations, such as Architect, Developer and Tester configurations. A single toolset is priced at $5,469 as a fully packaged product (also available in a lower cost download version). The full multi-role suite is $10,939. Team Foundation Server is priced at $2,799 list, plus an additional $499 client access license per developer seat. (Client access license are fees based on total number of developers using the server, or developer seats, regardless of whether all developers are using the server at one time. Concurrent licenses are the opposite, a license for a set number of concurrent users, irregardless of who the user is.)

In addition, third party partners, such as Serena Software Inc.'s ProcessView Composer or Borland Software Corp.'s CaliberRM, will provide additional collaborative facilities, such as requirements capture that will work with Visual Studio 2005 Team System. Development teams that want to make use of Unified Modeling Language, a modeling symbol and syntax not support by Microsoft, may turn to Borland's Together 2005 for Visual Studio .Net and or Sparx Systems Ltd.'s Enterprise Architect.