Sanjay Narang\’s Blog

November 26, 2006

Lifecycle Methodology Management Solutions and VSTS

Filed under: Software Processes, TFS, VSTS — sanjaynarang @ 11:26 am

Process Templates and lifecycle methodologies are one of my personal favorite areas in VSTS. So I’ve written another article on the topic in Sys Con’s The Dot Net Journal: Understanding the Methodology Workbench of Microsoft Visual Studio Team System – Underlying Concepts and Architectures

The article provides a starting point for those who are evaluating VSTS for managing and automating lifecycle methodologies in their organizations. While it provides information on what types of solutions are available for managing lifecycle methodologies and where VSTS fits in those solutions, it also explains how non Visual Studio based developers (for example java developers) can leverage the benefits provided by VSTS platform. Other topics that I covered are:

o       List of benefits and limitations of only methodology management area of VSTS

o       Introduction to Process Templates and its components

o       Implementing lifecycle methodologies using VSTS Process Templates




  1. I enjoyed reading your article. I wanted to take this opportunity to correct some inaccuracies relating to IRIS Process Author and also give you an accurate overview of our suite of offerings around VSTS.

    You have mentioned in your article that IRIS Process Author is “not released”. Osellus introduced IRIS Process Author as the earliest software process modeling tool almost three years ago. It is now being used by a wide variety of organizations globally. More importantly IRIS Process Author is a part of a comprehensive suite of offerings that includes enactment (IRIS Process Live) and metrics (IRIS Process Metrics). Since then, as an early VSTS adopter and Microsoft partner we have built and offered industry leading technologies around process tailoring and process enactment using VSTS. A .NET version of IRIS Process Author is also now available.

    Osellus offers two different solutions for customers who would like to develop custom processes or would like to enact available methodologies (with or without tailoring them) in VSTS.

    Using IRIS Process Author, a methodology-agnostic standards based process authoring tool, process engineers can define-tailor-publish software development processes in a collaborative team based environment. This is made possible by the sophisticated server side support for extending and reusing process content, including best practices and patterns, being developed across an enterprise. These processes can then be exported as VSTS process templates to instantiate new team projects in VSTS.

    For those teams who would not like to spend the time in coming up with their own processes but use available processes such as those from RUP, Osellus offers the VSTS ContentBridge. The VSTS ContentBridge allows project managers to transform RUP processes into VSTS Process Templates allowing flexible mapping to user defined work item types and attributes, as well as work item form layout. This transformation is lossless preserving the content defined in RUP. In many cases this would include content that has been used from one or more method plug-ins (for example the different RUP plug-ins). These VSTS Process Templates can be used to instantiate and enact new VSTS Team Projects.
    After getting the right-process content at the right-time for the right-practioner, the IRIS Plugin for VSTS (to be release 1Q07) would use our second-generation enactment technology to offer advanced workflow execution, including triggering work product state machine based pre/post conditions. It would also offer a sophisticated process-rich web interface to TFS that would include linked work-items. This plugin would then make use of the advanced reporting capabilities built in VSTS to offer reports on enactment, including metrics and process compliance that would be extremely useful to our customers implementing CMMI and other quality initiatives.

    I hope you find this information useful. For more information you can go to or send us an email at

    Kamal Ahluwalia
    Osellus Inc

    Comment by Kamal Ahluwalia — December 22, 2006 @ 11:27 pm

  2. Kunal,

    Thanks for providing more information on IRIS Process Author for VSTS. This seems like a pretty useful tool – i haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but would like to do that in near future.

    Also, thanks for pointing out that Process Author is released for a long time – I should have mentioned Process Author for VSTS – which was not released when i was writing the article – it took a long time before it got published.

    Any way, useful info, thanks ..

    Comment by Sanjay — December 23, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

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