What’s in a name?

Today, I presented the newly named MSF for Agile Software Development at Web Services Edge. At this conference, Visual Studio Team System was being shown everywhere. Before my presentation, there was a two-hour .Net mini-tutorial where the latest modeling capabilities were shown in a live demo. We also had machines set up in the exhibit hall so that conference goers could try it out for themselves.

Our new modeling diagrams, the logical datacenter, system, application, and class diagrams, really make building web services much easier. Not only are the code and the models synchronized, the logical datacenter diagram validates new web services against the deployment environment. The folks in the Whitehorse group, I mean, Visual Studio Team Architect group have really done a nice job.

As for me, I spoke about how these diagrams are used in an agile process and briefly discussed some new advances in the area of threat modeling. For those of you who have never heard of threat modeling, this form of modeling is used to design secure applications. Threat modeling can be accomplished by extending the logical datacenter diagram. Additionally, where threat modeling had to be done in a “big bang” way, our Patterns and Practices group have advanced the state-of-the-art to provide an incremental approach to threat modeling. Using this approach lines up with the incremental approach espoused by MSF Agile, I mean, MSF for Agile Software Development.

Some of you may wish to take a peak at this new process. We now have a MSDN workbench set up in the Team System workshop to allow you to download the latest copy. Hop on over to http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/teamsystem/workshop/msfagile/default.aspx and take a look at our new site. Our beta is now available there. This beta will also be available in the upcoming beta release of Visual Studio Team System. That release should be out very soon as well.

We're not done with either MSF for Agile Software Development or Visual Studio Team System yet. For one thing, our incremental approach to threat modeling is only partially described in this beta. But the fact that MSF has identified a need to make threat modeling incremental may change the way that Microsoft itself approaches the subject. Even as I write this blog, Michael Howard and J.D. Meier are making huge innovations here and we intend to reflect these in our guidance. We have, however, come a long way from that early release that we made back in July of last year.

As our next build is shaping up to reflect these and other changes, I also see this being the last build that is called MSF Agile. It’s a charming name that evokes fond memories in some of us that built it (a complete list of names will be in the forward of the MSF Agile book that will be previewed at TechEd). We are also retiring the GotDotNet site where we used to house the earliest publically available version (alpha) of MSF Agile. The product has grown up and with that growth, we get an official name and site. That name is MSF for Agile Software Development.

Comments (3)

  1. Chris Webb says:

    Whilst this looks good, I think you are making a fundamental mistake by not including the customer within the roles. Without accountable paths to the customer’s requirements and realisation of benefits, the framework could encourage the "tail wags the dog" syndrome where IT / Technical personnel start deciding what the customer needs rather than correlating back to requirements….

  2. Deebo says:

    Microsoft you really need to learn to stick with, start using, shorter names for your processes, technologies, and whatchamajigs! MSF Agile is a fine name.. no need in forcing people to take a breath just to pronounce some marketing cat’s ‘pay-per-syllable’ mentality. Simplification is the 1st rule of communication…

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