Team Development with Visual Studio .NET and Visual SourceSafe

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Introducing the Team Environment

Microsoft Corporation

January 2002

Summary: This chapter presents an overview of the team environment and introduces the key building blocks and processes. Read this chapter to gauge the scope of the guide and to understand the team development model upon which the guide is based.

This is Chapter 1 of the Team Development with Visual Studio® .NET and Visual SourceSafeguide. Start here to get the full picture.

There are many elements, processes, and roles that combine to enable successful team-based software development projects. This guide concentrates on two of the core processes:

  • The development process
  • The build process

Although these are separate processes, they share much in common and as a result, it's essential to develop working practices and project structures that work well for both scenarios.

The team development environment is illustrated in Figure 1.1. The shaded region of the diagram illustrates the areas that this document addresses. Study the diagram carefully because it defines the working model for the remaining chapters of the document.

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Figure 1.1. The Team Development Environment

Team Development Servers and Workstations

The roles and responsibilities of the key servers and workstations illustrated in Figure 1.1 are defined in the following sections. Other essential servers, such as the backup server, are omitted from the diagram for the sake of clarity. For detailed information about the infrastructure within the team environment that includes hardware and software requirements, see Setting up and Maintaining the Team Environment in Chapter 7, "Setting Up and Maintaining the Team Environment."

The VSS Server

This is a central server that hosts one or more Microsoft® Visual SourceSafe™ (VSS) databases used to provide versioned controlled access to project source files. As a developer, you interact with it on a daily basis as you check project files in and out through the Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET integrated development environment (IDE). It is also accessed by the build script to obtain the latest source code required for the current system build.

More Information

For information about how VSS projects should be structured, see Use a Consistent Folder Structure for Solutions and Projects in Chapter 3, "Structuring Solutions and Projects."

For more information about how to configure the VSS server, see Installing and Administering VSS in Chapter 7, "Setting up and Maintaining the Team Environment."

The Build Server

An automated build script that is used to compile and build your entire system runs on this server. The build script is a critical element for all software development projects. It allows you to generate successive versions of your system in an automated and consistent, repeatable fashion.

The output assemblies generated by the build process are maintained in folders on this server.

More Information

For more information about referencing external assemblies, see Referencing Assemblies in Chapter 4, "Managing Dependencies."

For more information about the build process, see Chapter 5, "The Build Process."

Development Workstations

All workstations should be configured in a similar way. This includes the installation and configuration of the Visual Studio .NET IDE. Enterprise Templates can help with this.

More Information

For more information about the benefits of Enterprise Templates, see Visual Studio Enterprise Templates in Chapter 7, "Setting Up and Maintaining the Team Environment."

Database Servers

These servers host instances of Microsoft SQL Server™ and provide a central location to which developers can connect to databases whose schemas match the current system database design. In some scenarios, you also need local SQL Server databases on development workstations to perform isolated unit testing. For example, local servers allow you to govern the current set of test data, and when you manipulate this data, you do not impact other team members.

More Information

For more information about working with databases in the team environment, see Database Development in Chapter 4, "Managing Dependencies."

For more information about how to most flexibly manage connection strings in a team environment, see Referencing Databases in Chapter 4, "Managing Dependencies."

Web Services Server

The primary function of the Web services server in the team development environment is to host Extensible Markup Language (XML) Web services that are currently under development. While the development teams responsible for Web services develop them on their local workstations using local instances of Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), the central Web server allows the services to be published for other developers or development teams to reference from client projects.

More Information

For more information about working with Web services, see Referencing Web Services in Chapter 4, "Managing Dependencies."

This is Chapter 1 of the Team Development with Visual Studio .NET and Visual SourceSafe guide. To read the next chapter, please see Chapter 2, "ASP.NET Web Application Development Models."

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Retired Content

This content is outdated and is no longer being maintained. It is provided as a courtesy for individuals who are still using these technologies. This page may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

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