Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 is set to be launched on November 7 in San Francisco, where AutomatedQA will be one of the official sponsors. We’re integrating our tools into the new release and we’re as excited about it as everyone else. We’ve been receiving a lot of questions about where our products stand in relation to Team System. What is the feature overlap? Does Team System replace AutomatedQA’s products?
Some of our products, like TestComplete, are unchallenged in Team System, others such as AQtime and Automated Build Studio do have overlapping features, but are more mature and advanced with distinct benefits that complement Team System. One of our products, AQdevTeam, directly competes with the project management features in Team System. Let’s quickly review Team System, then let’s take a look at the specific AQA products one by one and see where they stand in relation to Team System.
Team System is targeted towards large software organizations, and includes tools for project managers, architects, developers and testers. Additionally Team System includes a global repository for project artifacts in Team Foundation Server.
Team System provides an extensibility API, so third-party companies can integrate their tools into the Team System development process, and for the last year we have been working hard on integrating our tools into Team System. When Visual Studio 2005 Team System is released, all our integrations will be shipping, so you can start implementing a full software lifecycle process using Team System and our products.
The four main areas with perceived overlap between our products and Team System are testing, profiling, build automation and project management :
That’s the easiest one: there is not much overlap between TestComplete and the testing portion of Team System. Team System includes tools for load testing (formerly Application Center Test), manual testing, unit testing as well as a central place to organize and run tests. TestComplete has all of that and more. None of the functional, GUI testing features of TestComplete are present in Team System for Testers. Here’s a very short list of the distinct benefits you’ll get with TestComplete if you intend to implement Team System in your organization:
- Automated GUI testing: Recognize all controls in client
side applications and simulate actions on specific named controls
- Multi-framework: Full VB6, Visual C++ MFC, ATL,
Java, and Borland VCL support, in addition to full .NET support
Client-side web application testing
- Distributed testing of client/server and web apps: Synchronize
script playback across multiple PC’s
- Extensive built-in testing library
- Data driven and object driven testing support built-in
- Run tests on internal and customer PCs without TestComplete or Visual Studio installed using our stand alone
test execution tool, TestExecute.
- Supports almost every version of Windows, including
Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows XP, Windows Server
- Our upcoming TestComplete 4 has a lot of additional benefits, of course, and will ship around the same time as Team System is released.
Team System for Developers will include a basic profiling toolset for performance and coverage testing. Some of these features overlap with AQtime (routine-level performance profiling), however none of the advanced profiling features such as line-level profiling, control over what to profile, results analysis, and tight IDE integration are in this release of the Team System profiling tools. AQtime is a great complement if you already have the Team System profiling tools. Here’s a short list of additional benefits you’ll get with AQtime:
- Line-level profiling for managed and unmanaged code
- Memory resource and leak tracking for managed and
- Support for Visual Basic 6, Visual C++, and .NET Framework
1.0, 1.1, and 2.0 applications
- Visually control profiling areas: assemblies, classes and routines
and automate the profiling process with triggers and
- Real-time graphs for advanced monitoring of memory
and resource usage
- Multi-framework support for Borland, Intel, Compaq,
and GCC compilers
- Full integration with Visual Studio 2002, 2003 and 2005 (show results straight into the editor) or run stand-alone
- Team System Integration (the default basic profiler is not integrated) to include the profiling results into your project status.
- Support for almost every version of Windows, including
Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows XP, Windows Server
Team System will include a build automation framework based on MSBuild and provides extensibility through XML files and custom extensions. The basic actions supplied will allow you to work with the Team System source control, Microsoft .NET compilers and email notification mechanisms. Our Automated Build Studio is a visual build system that includes over 300 operations, has out-of-the box support for continuous integration and is tightly integrated in Visual Studio. Here’s a small list of the benefits you’ll get by adding Automated Build Studio to the default build tools coming with Team System:
- Automatically configure virtual PCs, retrieve project source, compile applications, launch tests, copy files, send email and instant messages, and more with over 300 built-in operations
- Supports for legacy scripts like ANT/NANT
- Advanced support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2002, 2003 and 2005 and other popular frameworks like Borland VCL and Java
- Support for VSS, Team Foundation VC, Source Gear, CVS, Perforce, Vault and other version control systems
- Supports for auto-scheduled operations and continuous integration with build status notification via email/IM
- Lightweight install with affordable licensing
In this area, AQdevTeam is mostly a competitor/replacement of Team System and if you intend to use the project management features of Team System, there is no need to get AQdevTeam as well. If you’re still deciding on a project management tool, here are some of AQdevTeam’s differentiating features to help you choose:
- Site license with unlimited users for only $2999.99
- Manage requirements, bugs/defects, support requests, test cases, documentation tasks, to do lists, and any other development data types
- Light install: Just AQdevTeam and a single server with Microsoft SQL Server database or Firebird DB, a free, open source database
- Customize with a visual form editor, integrated visual macro builder, visual user and security administration interface, and a graphical workflow builder
- Manage and edit items online or offline with the web interface or the rich Windows client.
Team System looks like it will be fantastic, that said, it’s clear to us that our products complement Team System and offer distinct benefits to developers. How will Visual Studio 2005 affect AutomatedQA? Our customers have rewarded us with tremendous growth during the last year and we expect that trend to continue with an even larger market now that the Microsoft marketing juggernaut is helping to get the word out on the importance of quality in the development lifecycle.