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Continuous integration, the story so far:

Up until the release of Team Foundation Server we used a collection of tools to get our job done.  We have Nant, Vault, Draco and Gemini which all have to be logged into or fired up from a command line and they dont integrate into the IDE and dont really talk to each other too well. 

Having been a heavy user of TFS with VSTS in the last few months I have come to rely on the integration of the whole SDLC in VS2005.  A typical chunk of work goes like this:

  • Double click My Work Items in Team explorer
  • Pick a Work item to work on
  • Start editing the file which auto checks out for you
  • Add a new Method - this can be done either in text or using the class designer, very cool tool
  • Right click the method and add a new Unit Test for the method which if its the first time auto creates a Test Project for you.
  • Write the test and code for the method
  • Run the Unit Test and analyse Code Coverage
  • Create more tests or adjust test to cover 100% of code
  • Create a Performance Session and attach to the Unit Test by right clicking and selecting New Performance Session
  • Run the Perf Session and analyse for bottlenecks
  • Create a Web Test for the new code by right clicking the Test project and selecting Recorded Web Test
  • Record the test and run it
  • Add the Web Test to a Load test and run
  • Check code in which has to be attached to a Work Item
  • Create a new team Build and advise Testers there is a new build to test.

My work item is now complete and tested and I didnt have to leave VS once to do all this.  not only that but the Project Manager doesnt need to ask for a report on what Im doing they just go to the reports page on the WSS portal to see how the project is fairing.

Having now used an integrated system it makes it so much easier to be a higher quality developer. i thoroughly recommend that you investigate TFS (you get 5 CAL license in MSDN Premium).

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