Definition

Visual Studio Team System (VSTS)

Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) is an extension of the Microsoft Visual Studio architecture that allows it to encompass development teams, with special roles and tools for software architects, developer specialties and testers. Visual Studio is a software development environment built on the .NET Framework that is designed for managing projects and development work in a variety of languages including Visual C# .NET, Visual C++ .NET, Visual Basic .NET, Visual J# and ASP.NET.

VSTS includes software development, collaboration, measurement and reporting tools that fall broadly into server-side and client-side applications. On the server-side, this involves a Team Foundation Server for data storage and collaboration management, including source control, work item tracking, and reporting services. Team Foundation Server also includes a build server that developers may use to build releases from specific elements stored in its source control system. Visual Studio's Code Analysis, Test Tools, and Code Coverage elements may be use to validate any build before it is deemed fit for release.

VSTS integrates with the Team Foundation Server (TFS) through a TFS Client API that exposes Team Foundation Server functions. These include a Team Explorer for browsing and managing items in team projects, and a Source Control Explorer that provides version control, revision handling, and check-in/check-out functions. VSTS can use the Team Build system rather than its own built-in build system, and the same reporting IDE that enables inspection and analysis of VSTS elements may be applied to the Team Foundation Server and its contents as well.

There's also a Team Test Load Agent, licensed separately from VSTS and TFS, is designed to support automated load testing on Web or Windows based applications. Load test results reside in a Team Foundation Server data warehouse, and may be linked to particular builds to track performance testing across the development and deployment cycles.

Client-side capabilities between VSTS and Visual Studio come from specialized versions of Visual Studio modules, known as Visual Studio Team Editions. Team roles include developers, architects, testers, and database developers. A Team Explorer tool works with TFS to integrate the client-side to the server, and to enable use of TFS as the source control provider for team projects. Support for various Microsoft Office components is also included, particularly for Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project.

This was last updated in January 2008
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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