As I've suggested in the past couple of columns, Team System as a whole is huge part of Visual Studio 2005. In fact, 3 of the top 10 suggestions in the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Product Feedback Center (http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/productfeedback/default.aspx) are related to Visual Studio 2005. At least one of these suggestions deals with the fact that people claiming to be "architects" (but actually aren't in the true sense) are now beginning to realize that the development tools they need aren't part of the Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects. In my last column "Which Team Edition Is Right for You?" (http://www.windowsitpro.com/sqlserver/article/articleid/46594/46594.html), I pointed out that the Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers is the correct product suite for most people. So, let's take a closer look at what this package contains.
Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers gives you the tools to write better software solutions. However, I want to start with a suggestion for Microsoft--shorten the name! I think Microsoft should call it TED (Team Edition for Developers). TED is short, to the point, and isn't being used by any other Microsoft product. So, in this and future columns, I'll be referring to the Team Edition for Software Developers as TED. Similarly, I'll reference the Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects as TEA and the Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers as TEST (that one is especially easy to remember).
TED provides the tools that a software developer needs. Learning these tools is going to take time, but fortunately Microsoft is working to improve developers' lead time by providing sample code that they can customize. These samples are available on the Team Developer Web page (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/library/47f7hz7y(en-us,vs.80).aspx). This Web page also contains a series of guidelines to help you get up to speed with TED's tools.
Embedded within the hierarchy of documentation are specific walkthrough pages for some of the tools. For example, "Walkthrough: Analyzing Managed Code for Code Defects" (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/library/ms182066(en-us,vs.80).aspx) provides step-by-step instructions for working with the Static Code Analysis tool. This walkthrough reveals that the Static Code Analysis tool was originally known as FxCop. FxCop is a tool I've covered before. It lets you examine your source code for known programming problems. However, the Static Code Analysis tool is much more powerful than FxCop because it's truly integrated with your project. In Visual Studio 2005, you'll find the Code Analysis tab in a project's properties display. (The walkthrough takes you through the steps to get to this tab.) The Code Analysis tab provides a GUI to the underlying FxCop rules. Instead of having a cryptic rules file, you now have a tree view where you can choose to enable or disable FxCop rules.
This integration with Visual Studio is important because once you have enabled static code analysis for a project, you can quickly customize which rules are being run against that project. In other words, the rules apply on a per-project basis. More important, instead of problems showing up in a separate location, your warnings are displayed in Visual Studio 2005, where you're working. You can even change the Static Code Analysis tool's settings so that certain checks show up as compile errors instead of just warnings. This is a very powerful feature when you want to ensure that certain security-related bugs are never shipped in your code.
The Static Code Analysis tool is only one of many tools in TED. I'll
discuss some of the other tools in future columns. In the meantime, for more
information about TED, check out the TED forum
(http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/showforum.aspx?forumid=18) or the Learning
Visual Studio Team System chat (http://msdn.microsoft.com/chats). Who
knows, maybe the name TED will take off and someday in the distant future
I'll be able to do a column on how TED's introduction to Mort forever changed
software development. You don't know Mort? Look him up at one of the