Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Comments On Today's VSTS Webcasts

I attended both the Team Architect Webcast and the Process Guidance webcast. I was late for the Process Guidance one, because the Team Architect one ran over, which I was expecting. I would ask whomever is scheduling the webcasts to please not put related items in a series completely back to back like that, if at all possible.

The Team Architect webcast was presented by Geoff Snowman. He covered the three designers specific to Team Architect( Application Designer, Logical DataCenter Designer, and Deployment Designer). He also discussed Class Designer, which crosses over into Team Developer as well. This was a good webcast, and gave me a much better grounding on what Team Architect was about, and what it was trying to accomplish. Basically, he said that Team Architect was not designed to be a complete UML modeling tool, and should not be approached that way. It was designed to help people make sure their applications will run in their environment, and to provide an easy way to help understand, design, write, and refactor code. And he mentioned Rob's blog!

Geoff also made an analogy relating the VSTS editions and Team Foundation Server to Outlook and Exchange. Basically, you can use Outlook without Exchange, and you can Exchange without Outlook, but you get a real synergy when you use Outlook and Exchange together. By the same token, you can use VSTS without Team Foundation (and I suspect you might even be able to use Team Foundation without VSTS, if the APIs are there, but I don't know), but you get incredible synergy when you use VSTS and Team Foundation together.

The Process Guidance webcast was presented by Bindia Hallauer. She covered the process models which ship with VSTS (MSF Agile and MSF CMMI), and discussed exactly what a process model was. She mentioned there was a whole series of books in the queue for Team System and MSF Agile. She also showed how you can export a process model, make changes to it to customize it to your needs, and then import it back in. I found this webcast informative as well, but the audio quality was much poorer than in previous webcasts.

Both webcasts can be viewed at http://msdn.microsoft.com/webcasts. If you did not get the chance to participate in them, you should go check them out. Each of them lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes.

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