Team development of software projects does not lend itself to simplicity. Not only does everyone on the team have a different role, but each step in the software development life cycle -- management, testing, building and analysis, in various forms -- brings its own set of methodologies and best practices to the table. (Here's hoping the team has a big table.)
Microsoft's Visual Studio Team System aims to un-muddy this water. The suite, with separate editions for architects, developers, database programmers and software testers, gives teams customizable templates for key development processes, a dedicated server on which to save their work, and a formal check-in, check-out system for each smaller project.
Two resources from Microsoft, one new and one updated regularly, should provide clarity for Visual Studio Team System project managers and team members alike.
The new resource is Visual Studio Team System Basics Training, a training course from MSDN that covers licensing, architecture, version control, server extensibility, deployment, maintenance and more. This course is available as a Virtual PC image, so make sure you have installed either Virtual PC 2007 or Virtual Server 2005.
The regularly updated resource is Visual Studio 2005 Team System Guidance, a CodePlex page that is being maintained by Microsoft's patterns & practices team. Guidance comes in forms such as a product overview, articles, downloads (both tools and tutorials) and virtual labs.
Highlights include a video that explains migration from Visual SourceSafe to Team Foundation server Source Control and how-to articles that explain the necessary steps for programming either ASP.NET or WinForms applications to Team Foundation Server.