Heterogeneous dependencies: what’s a development team to do? Migrate or integrate!
With the launch of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012, I have seen a lot of dev teams wanting to move to this latest release, yet for most software development organizations, they are likely already using some other system to help them manage the development process.
What’s a development team to do? Migrate or integrate!
Migration works best for organizations where all functional groups of the development team can move off of their existing systems and adopt something new like latest version of Team Foundation Server with relatively little cost. This is ideal where companies want to further integrate stakeholders and the development team in the development process, implement modern development methodologies, and integrate development with operations.
While most developers would prefer to migrate the reality is integration is the only cost effective answer. There might be a number of reasons preventing you from performing a full-scale migration to TFS, such as diverse development team using many different ALM systems that cannot be easily obsolesced, outsourced development teams required to use other ALM systems, or user resistance to changing ALM systems.
Regardless if you choose to migrate or integrate both steps will require forethought and planning. The good news is there a couple of great partners out there with tools to help. At the Visual Studio 2012 launch we even had a show case video of one of these partners:OpsHub, Inc.. OpsHub specializes in migration and integration of disparate application lifecycle and test platforms.
Bill Creekbaum proposed these two (very real world) scenarios of a 500 member development team currently using a legacy version of HP Quality Center.
Migration: OpsHub can perform an initial migration to Team Foundation Server while integrating both systems to enable parallel operation during the testing phase. Once complete, the company can complete the migration and cutover to TFS permanently.
Integration: In this scenario the company in question, also has an outsourced partner that relies on Bugzilla. Here OpsHub Integration Manager can bidirectionally integrate these systems with Visual Studio Team Foundation. The company can use OpsHub to synchronize like work elements between TFS and HPQC as well as create linkages between both Bugzilla and TFS and HPQC to ensure that all systems are synchronized and that all teams are viewing a consistent state of information regardless of ALM system being used.
With either gradual migration or more importantly for your permanently integrated solutions, it is important to make sure that you determine needs and pick the right methodology. When I was talking with Bill at OpsHub, he encourages development organizations to ask these key questions when considering an ALM integration platform:
· Does it offer a well-defined consistency model?
· Does it provide reliability/recovery guarantees and robust failure/error management?
· Does it preserve history while synchronizing changes?
As with all projects of this magnitude, it’s important to establish clear business goals, develop a project plan, have executive sponsorship, and leverage the right technical resources and partnerships to ensure success.