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Visual Studio 2013, Team Foundation Server 2013 Announced

Microsoft's Brian Harry announced during his TechEd keynote demo on Monday the upcoming release of Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2013.

Harry, a Microsoft Technical Fellow and the product unit manager for Team Foundation Server, emphasized the application lifecycle management (ALM) focus of the two products, which will be available "later this year." During his demo, he activated some of the TFS 2013 features in the cloud-based Team Foundation Service; developers can now try out the enabled features. Harry also announced that a preview build of Visual Studio 2013 will be made publicly available at the Microsoft Build conference later this month.

Microsoft Corporate VP of the Developer Division S. Somasegar noted in a blog post about the announcements that the new 2013 releases focus on "business agility, quality enablement and DevOps."

In a post-demo blog post of his own, Harry focused on the application lifecycle workflow changes in Visual Studio 2013, and provided details on the following list of improvements: agile portfolio management, version control, coding, testing, release management and team collaboration.

Describing some of the agile project management changes, Harry wrote: "Different levels in the organization care about different levels of granularity. With TFS 2013, we are addressing this situation by introducing the notion of different levels of backlog." In TFS 2013, developers can sort backlogs by level and map the relationships between backlogs. These agile improvements are among the features Harry enabled on Monday in Team Foundation Service.

Version control changes include an updated Team Explorer homepage, inline code commenting and new pop-out Team Explorer pages. "We heard the feedback loud and clear that [the new Team Explorer] was too cramped for pending changes, and you want to be able to see pending changes at the same time as other Team Explorer windows," Harry wrote in his blog. "If you are one of those many people who prefer a separate pending-changes window, you can click that little arrow on the upper right of Team Explorer and pop-out the page … and dock the pending changes window anywhere you want."

Among the coding and testing improvements are memory diagnostics, which are intended to help "you find memory leaks in production," Harry wrote. Test case management, test execution and test editing capabilities have all been enhanced in Visual Studio 2013. Harry also announced the preview of a new service called Cloud Load Testing. "With our new Team Foundation Service-based load test solution, you can now load test your apps without configuring any infrastructure," Harry explained on his blog. "Just use Visual Studio Ultimate Edition to create a load test and point it at Team Foundation Service and say Go! And soon you have load test results for your application." (He noted that the service requires the Visual Studio 2013 preview build, so developers can't use the service until they download the Visual Studio 2013 preview.)

Harry's release management announcement focused on Microsoft's acquisition of InCycle Software Inc.'s InRelease release-management offering, which "allows you to manage all of your in-flight releases," he wrote. Somasegar, in his blog, noted that the InRelease acquisition is intended to strengthen the DevOps component of Visual Studio, enabling developers to "develop and deploy quality applications at a faster pace."

Finally, Harry explained the new addition of "Team Rooms" in Visual Studio 2013. "A Team Room is a durable collaboration space that records everything happening in your team," he wrote. "You can configure notifications -- check-ins, builds, code reviews, etc., to go into the Team Room, and it becomes a living record of the activity in the project. You can also have conversations with the rest of your team in the room." Harry noted that the Team Room capabilities were enabled on Monday on Team Foundation Service; once the Visual Studio 2013 preview build is made available, developers can bring Team Rooms into their on-premises TFS, as well.

More information about the new features coming in Visual Studio 2013 and TFS 2013 will be announced at the Build conference, which will be held in San Francisco from June 26-28.

About the Author

Katrina Carrasco is the associate group managing editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group. She can be reached at kcarrasco@1105media.com.

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