Microsoft’s ALM server is something really difficult to be exactly defined. Every person has one or the other definition of ALM server. Most of the users refer to ALM as a writing code. In fact, ALM is much more than just a simple writing code. ALM has got three different aspects that are really very important. These are governance, development and operations. If a project launched by the company is having wrong initial governance by misunderstanding the business needs or failing to get the right stake holder involved, no matter how great its development and operations are, it can not come up to the standards and will not be able to provide the business value expected by it. Similarly if a project ignores the operational issues but still has a great governance and development process, it will be of no worthy importance as it will not meet the requirements of the business standards. Having a broad view of ALM while companies work on a project can be beneficial for companies to avoid problems during the processing. ALM keeps all aspects of an application in view and maximizes the value of application by handling all three aspects. Taking a broad, holistic view of ALM is necessary for the improvement of critical business processes.
Microsoft has offered an ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) process which that is template geared to the Scrum agile development methodology. Visual studio Scrum is working with the company’s Team Foundation Server 2010 ALM server and it can be easily downloaded from the Visual Studio Extension Manager. The process elements of a team project on Team Foundation Server are defined by a process template that features a collection of files. Team Work Items, Queries, Builds, Reports and SharePoint portal capabilities are some of the elements that are defined by this process.
On Microsoft’s download site, scrum has been defined as an iterative, incremental framework for power management and agile software developments.
Why introduction of Scrum:
Senior Vice President of Microsoft Developer Division, S. Somasegar said in a blog post that Scrum has become the number one choice for most of the new teams as well as the existing teams that are finding ways to improve their current processes. Scrum has become one of the dominant methodologies of project management in the recent years. He further stated the MSF agile template could be used effectively by Scrum Teams but due to the increasing strong demand for prescriptive Scrum template, a template that follows Scrum Methodology through out the entire process, we had to bring it in.
Sprint and task, and reports, such as release burn down and velocity are some of work items that are included as defined by Artifacts in the Visual Studio Scrum 1.0.
Somasegar further stated that due to the increasing demand of Scrum methodology, the Scrum capabilities were brought into ALM (Application Lifecycle management) for specifically for the scrum teams. This template is first process template from Microsoft since MSF Agile and MSF CMMI templates were brought with the Team Foundation Server 2005.