Team System 2008/2010 & FDD

My company is about to embark on a 40 week development effort at the end of August 2009. We are exploring development methodologies and tooling.

We are heavily invested in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and we may potentially be shifting to working with Beta2 of Visual Studio 2010 when this project gets underway.

We've looked at the cognizant FDD template and we've found that is was designed for Visual Studio 2005 and hasn't been updated since.

What experience has Nebulon had taking FDD and utilizing Team System including source code management, builds, work items, and reports?

Are there any white papers available about using FDD and Team System that are current with the 2008 tool set?

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Jeff De Luca's picture

We're all involved full-time

We're all involved full-time on a large project using VS2008, TFS, etc. right now. There's some MS people involved also. Let me see from them and the client what we can talk about. It will be next week before I can get back to you.

Micosoft Process Template

Is anyone using the Microsoft Process Template?

Jeff De Luca's picture

Can't say much

It used the Microsoft Agile template as a start point, but was so heavily customised that it is no longer recognisable. The cognizant template was considered but not used.

There are many other changes and add-ons that had to be written to supplement TFS in particular (for workpackages as one example) plus a substantial amount of custom add-on code to do builds and promotes. Some of this is to do with deficiencies in mstest, msbuild, sandcastle, etc. Others are to do with flaws and defects in TFS itself.

Finally, there's a philosophical disconnect (that manifests itself as a real design and implementation disconnect) between TFS and FDD regarding the use branching. To do things the way we always have, and believe they should be done, you really are fighting against TFS.

Thus the correct decision point is to either change the tool (i.e. don't use TFS) or change the way you believe workpackages and branches and application architecture layers (e.g. PD, UI, SI) and builds should be done.

FDD for TFS 2010 Beta 2

we are going to be moving to TFS 2010 and are currently exploring TFS Beta2. The branch visualization, testing tool, and use case modeling tools are very very compelling.

However we really want to follow the FDD proccess in conjuction with using TFS as our tool. Certainly the tool doesn't drive our's just a tool Shocked ...but are you saying that we can't use TFS to follow FDD?

If you have any guidance on using FDD with TFS 2010 i'd much appreciate seeing it. Smiling

If you don't have an updated process template today, are you working on creating a new process template for TFS 2010? please say yes Cool


Jeff De Luca's picture

No 2010 guidance I can give


we've had no exposure to TFS or VS 2010 and hopefully never will... Sorry, but I can't give you any specific guidance on the 2010 versions.

I can only say that we are extremely disappointed in VS and TFS 2008 and given an unconstrained choice I will never recommend them.

We use separate projects for PD, UI and SI and we do not branch per feature nor do we branch per workpackage. This is opposed to the TFS model of use. That's (one of) the big issues for our use of SCM for FDD and the TFS tool. There are plenty of others that are straight design and implementation flaws in the product, such as no keyword expansion, or the products own APIs not working such as this doozy: Linking work items to version control source is done after the checkin is committed on the server; there is no distributed transaction across the two... The XML of the CheckinEvent notification doesn’t always include the work items that are associated with a checkin; it’s a race condition... The XML of the CheckinEvent notification doesn’t always include all the files changed... Event delivery is not guaranteed, so even if all of the above worked correctly and it included all the information you need – you can’t rely on it actually delivering the message... ms blog about it here.

Why there's even an API in the first place, given the above, defies belief. But fighting against the inherent design point or approach of the tool is the biggest challenge.

If, you don't approach SCM the way we do and you like to do things the TFS way (e.g. you branch all the time - at the very least, per workpackage) then you will have less issues (but still have issues). Philosophically and practically, that's not a model I agree with and I don't run projects that way. Thus we've had to fight the tool (because the tool for us is a permanent constraint).


FDD TFS 2010 Future Directions


We've found working with TFS 2010 to meet many, if not all, of our requirements for running our large scale project using FDD.

We've had to write our own FDD process template for TFS 2010, and we've had to customize the VS 2010 Ultimate modeling features to create the necessary artifacts, additionally we have written custom excel reports/marcos that pull data from TFS to create our FDD dashboards.

We are possibly interested in getting our FDD template "certified" by you or nebulon so that we could potentially have the process template available on visual studio gallery as a Microsoft certified process template.

We are exploring the idea of having 2 offerings...a minimal FDD light process template (without reports) for free, and a complete process template (with reports) for a cost.

How can we engage with you or nebulon to possibly pursue this opportunity?

admin's picture


e-mail using the contact page at the Nebulon website.

Free - minimal FDD light process template

"We are exploring the idea of having 2 offerings...a minimal FDD light process template (without reports) for free, and a complete process template (with reports) for a cost."
Any progress on the light process template?

Bob Palank