Helping Microsoft Corp with the rollout of Visual Studio 2005, set to be launched at an event in San Francisco today, will be announcements of third party support.
Among the partners stepping up the plate are Compuware Corp and Mercury Interactive Corp, both of which are releasing tools that fully integrate to the shell of the new programming environment.
For Compuware, that involves the release of two new versions of existing products: DevPartner, a code profiling tool, and Fault Simulator, a tool that simulates havoc to help developers see what happens when networks, disk, or servers go down.
For the new VS2005 releases, Compuware’s DevPartner is adding ability to probe application faults at network, disk, and file I/O levels, along with wait times for threads to execute.
It also adds a lightweight version of Fault Simulator that examines what happens to a specific line of code when the environment goes haywire.
For Mercury, VS2005 is the first time that it has fully integrated its LoadRunner, WinRunner, and Quality Center test and test analysis tools to the Microsoft IDE shell. The advantage is that developers can collaborate with QA testers without having to leave VS.
They can get alerts on what tests are being run, and can send messages on when they make changes to code. Previously this would have had to travel through sneaker net or email.
Significantly, Mercury is coordinating IDE level integration on both the Microsoft .NET and Java sides. It plans to offer the integration for Visual Studio 2005 by year’s end, and for Eclipse within a few weeks after that.
Mercury is also looking to Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) in the long run to beef up the dashboards in its Quality Centers. For instance, they are looking to add developer-oriented metrics such as code coverage (which parts of code are being tested) or incidence of code changes.
Admittedly, Team System is a blank slate, because initially only the client versions will come out, providing developers an integrated toolbox that includes rudimentary versions of the kinds of testing or other functions that Mercury and other software life cycle toll providers offer.
For instance, Mercury already offers direct links to several requirements management systems. The jury is still out on whether it’s worthwhile for Mercury to also add a requirements management interface to team System.