Visual Studio ALM is now Platform-Agnostics

Starting from year 2015 and beyond, Visual Studio has three members which are Visual Studio IDE. A complete end to end application lifecycle management solution for you to plan, build, deploy, and operate your solution. Today Visual Studio supports major development target such as Windows, Android, and IOS. Therefore its platform-agnostics support for any need of development. However, its only can be developed on Windows platform. Visual Studio Online. A complete end to end web application that deliver ALM on the top of teamwork through codes managements, work management, and release management. A must have for teamwork development. it supports GIT, TFS, Eclipse, Visual Studio IDE. Its platform-agnostic that support any platform and tools that you choose for development Visual Studio Code. A lightweight Visual Studio IDE that only supports web and cloud development. its platform agnostic since it supports any operating system like IOS, Linux, and Windows. However, it only supports web and cloud development only. No support for WPF, Windows Form, or Console application. So what i suggest is: Enrol the Visual Studio online at If your team is has similar platform, you can choose Visual Studio IDE from free version such as Community to commercial one such as Ultimate If your team has different platform and only develop on the web, Visual Studio codes is your solution Happy coding!

Preparing your development environment

so you just build your new isv, you need to prepare your development environement. Nowadays, we have two options to build the development environment. The first one is on premise development environment and the last one is virtualized development environment. In this article, we will discuss when you choose virtualized when you use on premise or when you choose hybrids. On-Premise You should have sufficient infrastructure such as quality notebook, development server and others Your investment will be once in a time (at least until the hardware is broken) Great for ISV that has limited internet connection Good for mission critical application ISV and need hogh performance application on local environment The problem is you should buy a new hardware when you need a striong machine, new software Virtualized You should subscribe and pay the bill monthly for subscribing to Azure for example You need a good and dedicated internet connection since your development environment is in the cloud You have flexibility to use infrastructure as you need and as you go You don’t need to think software license, new hardware, or even upgrading delay. Simple approach, but you should pay the bill monthly Hybrid use the on-premise for local activity such as coding, use the cloud for additional activity such as testing and storing the codes You can work online and offline but you should take care which one that you should work on-premise which one you should cloud You can start with zero investment for SaaS such as Visual Studio Online or Bizspark program (3 years for Azure) You still need investment for software license such us subscribe to MSDN subscription or buy it online.

The Pervasive Cloud “Cloud Anywhere for Anyone”

Sooner or later, you will find your love with the cloud. Even, you don’t want to use the Microsoft Azure, you still use OneDrive or Facebook that use the cloud infrastructure. The term cloud is too expensive for any related information that stored and manipulated to the internet. Today, we will discuss about how the cloud improves our alignment in term of technology and our business. Cloud means anything It started with the shared photo on social media and then a bunch files on DropBox, after that a software package that can running well by connecting and gathering information in the internet. The cloud technology and jargon grows radically and evolutionary. When you speak to your personal assistant like Cortana you will find that he use the cloud for recognizing your voice, when you types a word on Google keyboard, they will store your words to google server and prepare it as words of dictionary. The cloud means anything, even you don’t want to Learn cloud computing is investment Today you will find a great productivity by using the cloud. I remember last time I should copy my source code files to the hosting FTP and it’s take an hour to configure, to upload, and to test. Today, with the Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio Online, you can put your source codes on DropBox, sync your codes with your team through online TFS, and deploy it automatically to your cloud spaces. Learn cloud computing means a better way to improve your productivity. the focus of a cloud on the consumer side is focus only on your core business not your it infrastructure Delivering best QOS (Quality of Services) of a system or information Increasing your productivity by integrating several services into one single solution If you want to start learning process in the cloud this is the right time! I suggest you to learn cloud computing fundamental certification then stay tune by learning on Microsoft Virtual Academy  The Cloud isn’t cheap but is really valuable You might compare the cloud with the traditional hosting provider. if you do that, please thinks again, you compares apple with watermelon. it’s different things, even hosting is a part of the cloud. Therefore, the cloud is just like all-in-one services meanwhile hosting is just a part of the solution. if you think hosting provider is enough never think to move to the cloud since it still a lot cheaper at least for this year. But someday, when you need scalability and free hassle you will find the cloud is the answer Learn a cloud from the book I found this book is usefull, you should try it out

Building Your Own Software Engineering Artifacts

It is a quite old story, when a software development become chaotic because trial and error from developer, a lot of change request and response from the stakeholder, and a short emotional delay because of the budget issues. Although the successful project is not entirely because of documentation, the documentation holds an important things to keep the team remember, keep the team have same rhythm, and keep the client understand what the project already did. THis article will asnwer what the essential documentation that needed to run a software engineering project, especially on Agile software engineering project. Step 1. Preparing Team Workspace for Your Codes Team collaboration need a place, and Visual Studio Online can give you more for free (five seat basic user). it has team room, source code versioning, and of course user story management. You can register at , after that create a project with MSF Agile Template Step 2. Preparing Team Workspace for Document Artifact Team workspace for document can be formed as a shared folder on a free storage like OneDrive or OneDrive for Business. You can also build a team site using Office 365 and after that Sync it with OneDrive. Step 3. Creating a list of documentation Based on the Agile discpline, we can list the needed document as follow: Project proposal, you should give a clear scope and work area for your project. Therefore, the project proposal is necessary needed. User story document. you can build your user story on VS Online or separated document. Make sure you also have the original recoding from planning game session with client. Release and iteration planning document, you write this plan on VS Online or create separated document with Microsoft Project. Make sure this plan is approved by the client. Software architecture document, you can write the document about the software architecture or reverse engineering it from the Visual Studio 2013 pro or better. Changes management document, you can write the worksheet that cover the requested changes about the software. Please note any approved changes will have an impact to the user story document, release and iteartion plan, and also software architecture, please be wise to approve the changes. Test case document and bugs documentation. Create a test case on VS Online and put bugs workitem on the documentation, or you can use a conventional spreadsheet document User manual document. it can be a document or video tutorial depend on the user culture. Writes and meeting report on OneNote log book that store on the OneDrive Project report document. That’s all for today, we will discuss on each documentation the next post. Happy weekend, please see some good references below

Preparing a Project with Visual Studio Online

Background This article will cover how to prepare a project with Visual Studio Online and Agile method. This article assumes that you already have Visual Studio Online account. If you don’t have one, just create at Creating a project and version control  On your visual studio online account, create a new project You can full a project information like the picture below After waiting for several seconds, you can navigate to the project. Adding a member After creating a project, you can add a member by clicking manage link on your project dashboard You can add your team member by typing his name or his Microsoft account email. Please note, that your team member should be registered on visual studio online to join the project. Planning the iterations On a real project, the customer and the team meet each other on a session called a planning game. The planning game will discuss the user story, the itreration length, and the release plan of the system. On this step, we assume that you already have the user story and the release plan of the project. You manage the iteration length by clicking the gear icon on the right uppoer of your visual studio Select the iterations tab. For this example we create one release with two iteration. As you see we also set the date for the release plan date and the iteration. You can see on the picture, we put an overhead time to make sure the quality of our source is sufficient. Please make sure to check the checkbox to activate the iteration backlog Open back your project, and visit Work tab, you will see that we are ready to add some user story on the Visual Studio Online. Conslusion and Future works On this post we create a project with Visual Studio Online as a fisrt step on Application Lifecycle Management. On the next post we will discuss how to create a feature, story amd task. You can grab the visual studio on Amazon.

Visual Studio Online or Visual Studio 2013

Problem     Today, there are two main SKU of Visual Studio namely Visual Studio Online and Visual Studio 2013 products. This article will discuss which one you should buy or invest if you want to build something using Visual Studio. Solution we divide the usage of Visual Studio into five tiers which are personal / hobbyist, startup, SMB, and Enterprise. This solution is designed to be simplest as possible to get better understanding of Visual Studio Product. Personal / Hobbyist You are student or hobbyist, you can grab the Visual Studio Express is a freebies and have a sufficient features to create a product. This program is royalty free so that you can use and sell your software without hassle. The disadvantage of this product is each platform has different SKU. For example, if we want to build on web and on desktop you should install two products on a same machine. This won’t happen on Visual Studio Professional features. You can download the Visual Studio Express here and if you want to store you codes to the cloud you can use Visual Studio Online Basic that has five users free slots. Startup If you are startup you can also use Visual Studio Express. However, we recommend you buy the Professional Version. Yes, it costs about 300$. But it’s really worth for your startup. The professional features has many fundamental aspects of superb IDE such as One stop coding for any platform Unit Testing framework Code metrics and analysis Agile method Code visualization Professional deployment support You can buy the Visual Studio with MSDN or without MSDN. MSDN means you have all Microsoft Product for test purpose (not for production to a client). The MSDN will cost $1200 yearly and without MSDN it takes cost 300$. Click the picture below to understand the latest prices. You can download Visual Studio Professional here and if you want to store you codes to the cloud you can use Visual Studio Online for professional, it costs 45$ per months and it includes Visual Studio Professional also. So as a startup you can invest on three model Visual Studio Online Professionals (Subscriptions / Month) , Visual Studio Professional, and Visual Studio Professional with MSDN (Subscriptions / Year).  If you don’t have a fund, don’t worry you can use Visual Studio Express family or Visual Studio Online Basic. SMB We categorize SMB if you have development team more than 10 people. in this model, you need a streamline software engineering process like a Agile method. In this case you can use Visual Studio Professional, but if you need more engineering approaches such as Test case or testing framework UML diagram Team Room Code Review Architecture Validation Code Cloning Graphics Debugging You can grab the Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Premium with MSDN ($6200 / year). There is no Visual Studio Online version that has Premium inside so you need to buy Visual Studio separately. You can download the Visual Studio Premium Version Here Enterprise Yes, if you are enterprise that has many IDE on your company and want to integrate all of your IDE, you can buy Visual Studio Online Advanced Subscriptions (60$ / months). It includes a plugin support for many major IDE like Eclipse, Visual Studio, and others. Others option is choosing Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN ($13.299/year). Please notes that even Visual Studio Online Advances doesn’t have Visual Studio included, you should buy Visual Studio separately. Visual Studio Ultimate has several enterprise ready features  such as All Visual Studio Premium features Load testing Adopting FULL Application Lifecycle Management using standard like CMMI, SCRUM, and others Has Intellitrace to understand the debug history Architecture dependency Education Education is special SKU, you can grab Visual Studio Ultimate for free if your campus is STEM-D and is enrolled with Dramspark Premium. If your campus is not STEM-D you can get Visual Studio Professional with Dreamspark Standard for free. Quick Fact Before I close this article you might notice some facts which are: Visual Studio Professional is only version of visual studio that can be bought without MSDN Visual Studio Express is a free version for Visual Studio The Visual Studio online professional is the one and only visual studio online version SKU that include IDE of Visual Studio Professional The reniew prices of MSDN subscriptions is only 30% of new subscriptions You can do a quick buy using amazon below

Development Activities on Visual Studio Online

After estimating and planning, it is time to develop the software. Visual Studio Online provides you a set of tools to improve the team collaboration. This article will cover several features that van be used for collaborate, codes, and test. Collaborate Visual Studio Online provides the team room. Team room is a IM based model that not only provide IM features but also track and audits the codes and checks in. You can read the description of this feature here “Collaborate your Team with Team room on Visual Studio Online”           Codes Review Pair programming on ALM minimalist can be done through the feature of Visual Studio such as codes review. Codes review is a way to implement manual code quality review through Visual Studio. Please read “Code Review on Visual Studio”                       Unit Test Unit test is “strange” but usefull. You might be hear test driven development (TTD).  TTD is a way when developer create a test first and after that create the codes. You will remember the concept of test first design. In Visual Studio Online, the developer can easily create unit test and run it just like before. You can read this article “Creating Unit Test On Visual Studio Online”                       Get Feedback to the Stakeholder After an iteartion of a project. It will be good idea to request a feedback from the stakeholder. ALthough, you can send an email and tell them to test it. Visual Studio Online through Microsoft Feedback system can get more detail on the feature feedback from the stakeholder. You can read “Get feedback from your customer”:                     Automated Build On traditional development, you might build the codes before the codes is commited. On Visual Studio Online, the build will be automatically done when the user checked in. You can to automatic build by reading this “Build Check In”                 Creating Test Plan There are several resrung that can be done in Visual Studio Online. You can read the how to create test plan on Visual Studio Online. Test Case. small unit of test Test Plan, several test case that combined into a scenario or features. Test Suite, is a combination of test plan and others test that can be happen outside the Visual Studio.                     Good Book To Read

Understanding Features, Stories, and Tasks on Visual Studio Online

When developing a software, you might think what is the better way to acquire the requirements. If you learn software engineering you might be remember about software requirements or requirement engineering. It is a long journey to learn about requirement engineering. You should read a lot documentation, create requierement template for your client, filling the document and discuss within the client. If you have done already you might be agreed that sometimes the 30 pages requirement page won’t satisfies the client if they change they mind. You put a lot of effort to create the req’ document but in the end is useless when client changes his mind. In this article, I will share you about what you need to know to create better requirement based on my thought on ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) minimalist. Please note, that ALM minimalist is not a formal method like waterfall, but is an Agile technique that simplify the ALM. If you akready use the Visual Studio Online, you might be familiar with Features, Stories, and Tasks on the Work Tab as shown in figure below. In the picture we have features, stories, and tasks. We will describe it in this post each element of that to make your requirement simpler and adapt to change. Starting with Features. If you ever read a good book about FDD (Feature Driven Development), you might be remember about features. Feature is the unit of the “things that it wants by the customer’. In the ALM Minimalist, feature is simple statement that explicit the client need. On the Visual Studio Online, you can add features by clicking the work tab and click the new button. Here are several sample of feature               The simple patterns of Feature is Features = Action + Object Feature should also provides additional information such as Who owns the feature. it means who will responsible with that feature The prioriy of the feature (1 for high priority, 3 for less priority) The iteration when the feature will be develop. In Visual Studio Online, you will get a lot filed to fill by clicking the feature. However, ALM minimalist encourages you to keep it simple by avoiding fields Exploring Features into Stories So you have features, you can break down into stories. For example, if we have a feature called “Managing The Payment of a Course” you might have several stories such as Paying the course using wire transfer Paying the course using credit card Paying the course using invoice from company As you see, story explains the feature more detail based on several constraint and condition based on customer needs. On Agile book such as eXtreme Programming Explained or others, you will find that the user story has a pattern like below User Story = as a (actor) I want to (action) so that (benefit) for example: as a member I want to pay the course by credit card so that I can join the online course right away In Visual Studio Online, you can do that easily by clicking the stories menu. However, if you feel too complex when writing the formula, you can follow the simple statement such as “Paying the course using credit card”. You can make the story unambigous by adding several information such as Work assigned to (Story Owner). it covers who will do the story  Risk (1 high - 3 low) Story Point. Story point is number of estimation that will be done through planning game session Description. It shows the detail of the story. It is just like usage scenario of the story that described using words Storyboard. It shows the flow of the story and the user interface. it uses Powerpoint to create the storyboard Iteration. The iteration shows when the story will be worked by the story owner, Story is a part of feature. Therefore, you can see the story below of a feature on Visual Studio. In the Figure, it is shown that the story name is ‘simple statement’ about the story, and the desriptions uses the “user story format”. You can add the additional information such as data field and detail information on a storyboard Doing the user story action on a task Task is the lowest unit of the work. Task is assigned to an agile member. Task represents the detail of user story. For example if I have story “see the student list”, I might be have 2 tasks such as showing the student list that already paid the course, showing the student that not already paid. If I have 20 story point, each task should be have not more than 20 point. Task is not only about the activity that contains development activity but also others activity such as design, requirements, deployment, and etc. Fortunately, in Visual Studio Online you can create task and assign them with several field such as figure below   Conclusion ALM Minimalist is an agile technique that has a purpose to simplify the requirements engineering activity. it proposes the three main components which are Feature, Story, and Tasks (FST). The FST can be adopted easily on Visual Studio Online using Agile MSF template.  Good Book to Read

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About @ridife

This blog will be dedicated to integrate a knowledge between academic and industry need in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), ICT tips, and Software Engineering Research. Enjoy this blog and let's get in touch in any social media.


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