Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 RTM eases app testing

Microsoft Corp. announced Monday the release to manufacturing of Visual Studio 2010 and .Net Framework 4 with functionality designed help developers simplify the application creation environment with streamlined quality assurance and testing features.


Sean Graglia, senior product manager of developer tools for Microsoft Canada Co., said the functionality will give developers a more controlled, integrated approach to help them be more successful and productive in delivering their applications. Graglia said they’ll be able to more easily “move from concept to creation all the way to deployment.”


Enhancements to Visual Studio 2010 include IntelliTrace, a functionality to help developers and testers efficiently debug applications through the quality assurance phase.


One customer, Winnipeg-based .Net consulting firm Imaginet Resources Corp., helps developers manage their software teams. Aaron Kowall, Imaginet’s application lifecycle management practice lead, said it’s empowering to be able to quickly create a new testing environment, deploy software, test code and create snapshots of that environment.


Kowall said it’s a time-saver for developers to get “rich trace information of what the system was doing, so developers can see how the system was behaving in the past as opposed to having to recreate the situation currently.”


Visual Studio 2010’s broadened scope and injection of agile project management functionalities will help bring often-seen silos together, said Kowall. “So we all get that vision of what’s going on in a project and, more importantly, what (I need) to do to get closer to the release point,” he said.


Another customer, Vancouver-based IQmetrix Software Development Corp., builds .Net-based retail management software. Ken Konkel, IQmetrix’s team lead for core development, said replacing internal custom-built development tools with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server helps deal with the challenges of a growing business and changing development processes. “We had multiple points of failure in our process,” said Konkel.


Among those points of failure was siloed development that was not automated, making it difficult to get a fast turnaround and predictability regarding deliverables, said Konkel. For instance, he said, “there was only one guy who could really fix a problem that came up.”


“It was great from a high level view, but not when you get down to details on what was assigned to whom, what team was working on what, when were they going to be done by, and how do we know how far along that process they were at,” said Konkel.


The single integrated environment and best practices in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server helped support the development process as opposed to changing the process to suit the legacy tools, said Konkel.


Visual Studio 2010 is also designed to help developers spend less time interpreting code. Vancouver-based customer Sitemasher Corp., a platform-as-a-service provider for app development, has been using Visual Studio 2010 to help with deployment of application code to the cloud.


Sitemasher’s vice-president of product development Eric Dorgelo said the challenge is dealing with the different code bases across conventional deployment platforms versus the cloud. “That saves us a lot of money in debugging our application,” said Dorgelo.


The .Net Framework 4 provides developers with added support for industry standards, additional language choices and support for high-performance and middle-tier apps like parallel programming and side-by-side installation with predecessor .Net Framework 3.5.


In addition to the release to manufacturing of Visual Studio 2010 and .Net Framework 4, the Redmond, Wash.-based software vendor is releasing to Web later this week Silverlight 4, a rich Internet application development tool. New features will include extended out-of-browser functionality and more than 60 customizable canned controls for building apps.


Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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