First Rosario CTP now available!

It’s with great pleasure that I announce the availability of the first Rosario CTP (officially known as Microsoft® Visual Studio® Team System code name “Rosario” August 2007 CTP). Customers can immediately begin downloading the VPC images and learning more about the specific features in this release from the Rosario CTP whitepaper.

For this release, we have focused on a number of important experiences which form the core of Rosario:

  • Development scheduling & tracking – by using the hierarchical work item support in Excel, users will now be able to complete work breakdown activities within Excel. For instance, users can import Requirements into Excel and then break down that requirement into Features and from there into associated Tasks. The work item links are automatically created and maintained through Excel so that when these changes are published to the TFS server, the relationships are preserved for everyone to query and report on. In addition, using these relationships, the Work Breakdown spreadsheet can roll up completed and remaining work values from Tasks to their associated features and requirements to show high level status.
  • Requirements test coverage and manual testing – test cases are now stored and managed like other work items. As such, a user can run a query to determine which Requirements do not have any test cases associated with them then create new Test Cases at that point. We have greatly enhanced our support for creating manual test cases so that each step can be called out with specific instructions and expected results. When running the manual test, a video recording of the screen can be made in case a bug is found during testing. If a step fails, the tester can file a bug directly from the manual test runner which will prepopulate the bug form with the test steps, a copy of the video recording and a link to the test case making it much easier for testers to create actionable bugs for developers.
  • Managing dependencies – using the hierarchical work item support, users can now indicate predecessor and successor relationships between tasks making it much easier to determine what work must come first and what work is blocked behind it. This will enable team members to prioritize their work appropriately and for project managers to use reports to determine bottlenecks within their team.

With this release we have preloaded the VPC with a sample Team Project so that you can hit the ground running in evaluating some of the new work item tracking features. Look for the eBanking Team Project to get started.

This release is a CTP (Community Technology Preview) and not a beta. We’ve done a reasonable amount of testing on the bits to ensure that most the major features work to some degree and that the key experiences listed above work well but have not done any of the configuration or deep testing that we do for a beta release that we expect customers to use on a regular basis. As such, we encourage you to take the release for a spin and evaluate the new features we’ve added but please don’t expect to use it for any sort of production usage and understand that any data that you enter into the system cannot be migrated to future releases. And by all means, any applications written with these bits may not be redistributed in any way.

We’re releasing this CTP primarily for two key reasons: practice shipping and collecting feedback. Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten a lot of the first as we’ve worked out the kinks associated with building, testing and releasing these bits to you. Hopefully in the coming weeks and months, we’ll get a lot of the second. Feedback in the form of bugs and suggestions can be submitted via http://connect.microsoft.com/visualstudio. Make sure when you submit issues through Connect that you indicate the product version as being “Visual Studio Team System Code Name “Rosario” (August 2007 CTP)”. That will ensure it gets to the right folks for consideration. If you have a question or would like provide feedback to the product team, we’ve created a special forum specifically focused on Rosario: http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=1736&SiteID=1. We look forward to hearing from you.

Finally, we have created a page on MSDN focused entirely on Rosario. On it we’ll have links to the latest downloads, blog articles, documentation and other key information. I’d suggest bookmarking this site and returning regularly to keep up on the latest for the release.

Please join me in congratulating the Team System team on this release. It’s exciting to me that even in the face of significant effort on the upcoming release of Visual Studio 2008 that we’ve been able to make impressive progress in these important areas. I hope you agree...please take a look and let us know what you think.

Woohoo!

jeff