Application Lifecycle Management

Modern apps need a modern lifecycle

For years, Visual Studio has enabled software development organizations to break free of rigid, process-oriented application lifecycles that isolate development, testing, project management and operations teams. Microsoft’s approach to Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) provides a flexible and agile environment that adapts to your team’s needs, removes barriers between roles, and streamlines processes so you can focus on delivering high-quality software faster and more efficiently. In a world where software development is increasingly critical to business success, the ALM principles embodied by Visual Studio are more relevant than ever.

Agile Planning

Agile development practices enable you to focus on delivering value rather than managing processes. To minimize risk and maximize impact, agile techniques must be closely aligned with business goals and implemented across development, testing, project management, and operations. Visual Studio ALM is a flexible, integrated solution that helps you embrace an agile approach at your pace. Integrated tools support backlog management, sprint planning, agile portfolio management, daily stand-up meetings, lightweight requirements, and Kanban boards. Increased collaboration, visibility, and information sharing across teams ensure that developers deliver what the business really needs, faster and with reduced risk.

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Software Quality

Quality is essential to building a strong relationship with customers and assuring efficient business operations. Users not only demand software without defects, they also require functional quality, performance, usability, and ease of use. Meeting those needs as an afterthought in the development process greatly increases the risks and slows down the delivery in faster cycles.

Visual Studio helps you deliver high-quality software without sacrificing speed. It helps you adopt testing practices such as manual, automated and exploratory testing, as well as load testing and lab management at every step in the development cycle, and removing the barriers between development and testing. These testing tools capture insightful information that is stored in an integrated ALM solution and provided to the developer within the development environment, so bugs are easier to reproduce and quality can be assured throughout the development process.

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Team Collaboration

Creating software is a team effort. Every member of the team should have the right information, when they need it, and in context of their current task. Visual Studio supports collaboration between developers, testers, project managers, product owners, and IT professionals. Collaborative activities such as code reviews, code commenting, stakeholder feedback, and requirements definition are supported with targeted, built-in tools. And, the new Team Rooms foster communication and capture it as a durable archive of project activity.

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Agile practices can significantly shorten development times, but maintaining a fast delivery cadence in operations can be more challenging. In addition, processes should also be streamlined in the other direction, from operations to development. It is critical to capture production usage information and issues to help the development team respond quickly and foster a build-measure-learn cycle. Visual Studio extends ALM to operations, facilitating release management and automation to accelerate deployment to operations. It captures actionable diagnostics in operational environments and delivers them to developers, empowering them to reproduce and solve production issues. By using the integrated Analytics solution in Visual Studio Online, the development team can react to real-time usage information directly from production and integrated with the ALM solution. The result is a successful build-measure-learn cycle that increases the value delivered to customers.

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