In this week's keynote speech at Tech*Ed North America 2011, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jason Zander announced the new features for "vNext", the codename they've chosen for the next version of the Visual Studio IDE. The major change to VS will be a set of new features that connect developer and QA workflows to the application stakeholders and IT operations department.
Zander showcased a new connector called System Center Conductor that joins the System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (VSTF) to improve communication between development and operations teams. The connector allows an operations team to send diagnostic information and application performance monitoring to the engineering team. Operations are also able to send issues flagged by System Center directly back to the development team. Developers can then see all the information around the flagged event which includes a complete call stack.
A community preview of the System Center Conductor is available now. The final connector will be released within 30 to 60 days.
The new version of VSTF will also include a feature that allows stakeholders and developers to create mock-ups of applications in PowerPoint through storyboarding. This way there will prevent some situations where developers deliver what the stakeholders asked for, but not what they actually wanted.
On Twitter, Visual Studio Magazine columnist Mark Michaelis was especially enthusiastic about the expansions for IntelliTrace :
"Wahooo! IntelliTrace will be enabled for production code. You will be able to create TFS work items from System Center 2010 that even includes application stack trace information."
Here is a more thorough list of features that will appear in the next version of the Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio ALM.
With a emphasis on communication and collaboration, these features show a focus towards the synergy that has been seen in the DevOps movement. For a closer look at Microsoft's roadmap for the future of Visual Studio, click here.