Microsoft Monday announced deeper integration between its Visual Studio Team System and its Microsoft Project technology, which the company described as "the first down payment" for the follow-on to Visual Studio 2008 due out this year.
Microsoft also announced the availability of the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server-Project Server 2007 Connector, which provides server side integration between the development tool set and project management software.
The connector, which Microsoft developed as a "Skunkworks" project first developed internally and then with the help of its Codeplex development community, builds on one of the core pillars Microsoft will provide in the version of Visual Studio due out sometime after the end of this year.
Code-named Rosario, this version of the development tools are intended to help development teams communicate better, said Prashant Sridharan, group product manager in the developer division.
"Our goal in Rosario is to grow that [communication], to think about the entire organization ... the business analysts who gather requirements, project managers who are managing the health of the project and operations people on the back end responsible for deployment and keeping things running smoothly," he said.
To that end, the connector will provide developers using Team Foundation Server (TFS) better insight into the overall status of a project. It will also help project managers get more information on where development projects stand, he added.
Now, a project manager can use the Project desktop client to connect to TFS and download data into Project. But multiple project managers cannot access this information because of the lack of a server-side connection, he added.
"We want the project managers to live very neatly in their project world, but we want the information to flow in to them in the way they are used to it," Sridharan said. "If I am a project manager, I can stay in my Project world ... and we will automatically stream information over from TFS. We can keep information synchronized across the organization and across the roles."
Sridharan declined to provide additional details on the time line for Rosario's general availability, saying only that it would follow Visual Studio 2008. Visual Studio 2008 is on track to ship before the end of the year, he said.