New Features in Visual Studio 2013 and TFS 2013

Brian Harry recently blogged about some great new features coming in Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013 and  I want to address the three aspects that affect our customers the most: TFS support for Epics, the new Team Explorer window in Visual Studio, and Cloud Load Testing.

1) TFS Support for Epics

Brian Harry called this “Agile Portfolio Management” but it’s really about supporting large pieces of work that represent what many agile guys call Epics (of course Scrum white-robes don’t have Epics, they just have large PBIs:) ).  They could be big collections of User Stories or even high-level goals.

In the past, some of our guys have changed Team Project Templates for our clients to support these larger groups of work, so it’s great to see this make it into the product.

Figure: Epics in TFS 2013
Figure: Epics in TFS 2013

2) New Team Explorer

Now for some developer love.  Microsoft has improved the UI of the Team Explorer window in Visual Studio 2013.  It’s a much cleaner view that matches the Windows 8 “Modern UI” style.  You also get a list of all the solutions in your current workspace, making it very fast to open your projects. You’ll be pleased to know there’s a bit more color as well.

Figure: The new Team Explorer in VS 2013
Figure: The new Team Explorer in VS 2013

3) Cloud Load Testing

As many of you know, SSW is very big on continuous deployment and of course we care about load testing. Web Access now has a Test tab that lets you manage test plans in the browser (without needing to open up MTM).  This is great, but the really exciting part of this announcement is the cloud load testing service.  Instead of setting up your own infrastructure to run load testing, you’ll soon be able to point your load test at the cloud and let it run!

For our high traffic sites, we currently use LoadStorm. We expect many of our customers to switch to this.

Figure: TFS 2013 Cloud Load Testing
Figure: TFS 2013 Cloud Load Testing

There are plenty more features in this announcement, so have a look at Brian Harry’s blog post for more information.

It feels like only last year I was showing off Visual Studio 2012 at Tech Ed. Oh that’s right, it was last year! Microsoft are getting faster at shipping, not slower.

I’d like to congratulate Brian Harry’s Visual Studio ALM team for not only giving us two updates packed full of goodies for VS 2012, but having the bandwidth to deliver us Visual Studio 2013 as well!  They’re on a very fast release cycle these days which is really impressive.