New Feature Pack from Visual Studio Improves Project Management and Software Development Team Collaboration

We are excited to announce the release of the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack which further strengthens Microsoft’s Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Solution. The integration between Project Server and Team Foundation Server is a considerable advancement for organizations that want to bridge the collaboration gap between the Project Management Office and software development teams. The Feature Pack will enable teams to work together more effectively by: Providing up to date insight into portfolio execution, alignment with strategic objectives, and resource utilization of software development projects by leveraging the quantitative data stored in different systems. Automating the exchange and sharing of project information across teams and improving coordination between teams using disparate methodologies, like waterfall and agile, via common data and agreed upon metrics. Enabling development and project management teams to collaborate and communicate project timeline and progress using familiar tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio, Project, and SharePoint. Our Microsoft IT team has been using the Feature Pack internally for a while. As in many organizations, the software development teams and the project management teams weren’t collaborating as effectively as they could. Tools, even methodologies, were different and didn’t talk to each other. Now after implementing the Feature Pack, developers don’t have to spend time getting status updates, there is much better schedule alignment between teams and there is better visibility and clarity overall! “By sharing data more efficiently, the team was able to reduce weekly time spent in status meetings to two hours from 20 hours. Now developers and project managers can focus on their work instead of spending hours each week in status report meetings, and managers can make better, data-driven decisions. In addition, managers and developers have streamlined access to information they need and have better insight into the entire ALM process.” – Michael Lucas, Senior Program Management Lead in Microsoft IT at Microsoft One of our partners in Brazil that has the Microsoft ALM competency, TechResult, has also deployed the Feature Pack with the following the results: “Team Foundation Server provides visibility and traceability all over my Project. Project Server provides governance across my organization. By integrating them I can extract the best from an ALM platform.” – Daniel Franco Abrahão de Oliveira, ALM Team Manager, at TechResult Now, you can download the Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack from MSDN download center . We will continue publishing additional resources in the coming weeks, such as a demo Virtual Machine with a presenter script, additional case studies, and more- so stay tuned and we’ll let you know via this blog when they are available! Below are some of the key resources available now: Solutions For Application Lifecycle Management: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/solutions/management White papers: Reconciling the Agile Team with Enterprise Project Management PDF – XPS Project and Work Management with Project Server 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010: PDF – XPS MSDN Product documentation (scenarios, installation, configuration): http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/gg455680.aspx MSDN Public Forums: Team Foundation Server and Project Server Integration: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/tfsprojectsrvint I urge you to take a look at connecting your software development and project management teams with today’s release. Questions and Answers Q. Is there a demo virtual machine (VM) with this feature pack and sample data I can use? A. We are working on a demo VM that will include the RTM version of the feature pack (along with all the pre-requisites) that will showcase the integration between Project Server 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010; this VM will includes detailed demo scripts. Expect a release around the April 2011 timeframe. Until then you can use the CTP demo VM released last July 2010. Q. How does this Feature Pack differ from the out-of-the-box Team Foundation Server and Microsoft Project add-in? A. The Microsoft Project add-in allows project managers to use Microsoft Project to connect to Team Foundation Server to collaborate and participate in the planning and execution of software development projects. The Feature Pack enables integration between Team Foundation Server and Project Server and allows planning and status information to be synchronized between the two systems. Please read this article Operational Differences in Managing Projects Using Team Foundation and Project for more information. Q. Are there any prerequisites or dependencies for this Feature Pack? A. Dependencies are: Team Foundation Server 2010 + Service Pack 1 (SP1) –> KB article: TFS 2010 SP1 Changes Visual Studio 2010 + SP1 –> KB article: VS 2010 SP1 Changes Project Server 2010 or 2007 For a detailed description of dependencies and prerequisites please check this MSDN article: System and Setup Requirements to Support Integration of Team Foundation Server and Project Server . Please check out Brian Harry’s post for additional information: VS/TFS 2010 SP1 and TFS-Project Server Integration Feature Pack have Released Q. What MSDN Subscription level is required to download the Feature Pack? A. This Feature Pack will only be available to Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscribers (go to your MSDN download center , you should find the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack as an available download). An organization must own at least one license of Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN. Christophe Fiessinger Senior Technical Product Manager, Microsoft Project http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie

This Week in BPOS News 3/4

This week in BPOS news is a recurring segment on the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog that covers news from all sectors of Cloud Computing and the Microsoft Online Services business suite known as the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). You can read all past This Week in BPOS News segments here. For this week in BPOS news we take a look at two stories that illustrate why public sectors are moving to the Cloud with Microsoft. 1. Microsoft Sees Increasingly Rapid Adoption of Its Cloud Computing Services Among U.S. Government, Education Organizations Last week Microsoft U.S. held the Public Sector CIO Summit in which Microsoft announced cloud computing pacts with 16 more government and education organizations. Our first BPOS story takes a closer look at the recent announcement and increasingly popular adoption of Cloud Computing in the public sector. Curt Kolcun, VP of U.S. Public Sector at Microsoft, talked about why Government and Education establishments are looking to the cloud, “Public sector organizations are looking for enterprise-grade cloud solutions, and that means providing high levels of security, functionality and support,” Kolcun said. “We’re seeing government and education organizations of every size and dimension using Microsoft cloud solutions to help reduce costs and increase productivity in support of their missions.” The new Microsoft cloud computing customers are detailed in the article from Microsoft News Center . They include Vanderbilt University, public schools in Portland, and local governments like the city of Chicago. Check out the entire article here to learn why government and education organizations are choosing to go the Cloud with Microsoft. What do you think of the announcements made in this press release from Microsoft? Do you want your local governments to move to the Cloud? Leave your comments below. 2. Microsoft Unveils Public Sector Cloud Deals In our second BPOS article , we unveil more public sector cloud deals for Microsoft. This Information Week article further outlines some of the public sector announcement made by Microsoft. There is in depth coverage and quotes coming from the Public Sector CIO Summit that adds more context to this week’s stories. The article features a quote from Gail Thomas-Flynn, VP of Microsoft state and local government, who talks about competition with Google. “Google is coming at it from a completely online, more consumer orientation,” said Gail Thomas-Flynn, Microsoft’s vice president of state and local government, in an interview Wednesday. “With Google it’s cloud only. … But what if you’re in the cloud and you want to come back on premise? With Microsoft, you have that option.” The interview with Gail Thomas-Flynn provides some more context around why these public sectors are choosing Microsoft. I recommend that you read this article to gain a third party perspective of the Public Sector CIO event. Be sure to leave your thoughts and comments below. What are your thoughts about the stories we shared with you this week? Did you see a story you want to share with us? Let us know what other topics you’d like to see. You can comment on this blog post or send an email to our community mailbox . Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

New Sign-In Application Supports Office for Mac 2011

Microsoft announces expanded BPOS-Standard support for the Mac OS with the introduction of a new Microsoft Online Services Sign In application that supports the recently released Office for Mac 2011 . The new Sign In application for Mac OS is scheduled to be available by the end of March 2011. In addition to support for Office for Mac 2011, the new Sign In application includes a number of bug fixes and enhancements that improve the performance and stability of the application for the Mac OS.

This Week in BPOS News 2/25

This week in BPOS news is a recurring segment on the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog that covers news from all sectors of Cloud Computing and the Microsoft Online Services business suite known as the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). You can read all past This Week in BPOS News segments here. For this week in BPOS news we take a look at the U.S. government’s commitment to the Cloud, and find out how 90,000 public sector jobs are being crated with Cloud adoption. 1. Obama banks on cloud, consolidation, to hold down IT costs The United States has been going through some budget cuts from a recent economic deficit that impacted the entire country and numerous industries. Many eyes are focused sharply on U.S. President Obama’s upcoming 2012 federal budget that will help determine how the country recovers from this downturn. IT costs, that include cloud computing, are outlined in the president’s budget that sets aside $79.5 billion for IT spending during the fiscal year of 2012. Much like Microsoft, the U.S. government seems to be committed to the Cloud. This is outlined by federal CIO, Vivek Kundra , who “released a report outlining a ‘cloud first’ strategy for federal agencies.” According to Kundra, the Cloud could save the government 30% through the reduction of data center expenditures. There are conflicting views from the VP of consulting firm McLean, Ray Bjorklund, who is unsure about the cloud savings. He believes the savings apply less to government, and more to commercial businesses. You can read more about how the government is planning on spending and saving on Cloud computing in this ComputerWorld article . Do you think it’s the right move for the government to invest in the cloud? Do you think it will save the government money? What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below. 2. Cloud Adoption ‘Will Create 90,000 Public Sector Jobs In our second story , we take a look at how the adoption of Cloud computing is increasing public sector jobs in the UK. The Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has determined that 90,000 jobs in the public sector are going to appear due to the prediction that government IT will be more open to cloud computing technologies which drive efficiencies. It is forecasted that “289,000 jobs are expected to be generated cumulatively over the 2010 to 2015 period in the UK,” meaning that 199,000 jobs will be created outside of the public sector. This article from CIO.com breaks down the CEBR report that outlines where Cloud jobs will be created across the UK are predicted. The CEBR also looks at profitability which will depend mainly on “efficiency, rather than volume growth, due to the pressures of reduced household spending power and rising commodity prices.” What do you think of the surge in Cloud jobs as predicted in this article ? Do you agree? Leave your comments below. What are your thoughts about the stories we shared with you this week? Did you see a story you want to share with us? Let us know what other topics you’d like to see. You can comment on this blog post or send an email to our community mailbox . Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

This Week in BPOS News 2/18

This week in BPOS news is a recurring segment on the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog that covers news from all sectors of Cloud Computing and the Microsoft Online Services business suite known as the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). You can read all past This Week in BPOS News segments here. For this week in BPOS news we take a look at the Cloud competition of Google and Microsoft, and we examine Exchange Coexistence. 1. Google Apps Won’t Beat Microsoft, Says Customer Who’s Tried Both The Why Microsoft Blog features customer stories and experiences that outline why a user should choose Microsoft over the competition. Their latest blog post features a valentine theme that may not be so lovely for Google fans. Tom Rizzo writes on the Why Microsoft blog about why Google Apps may cause you “heartache…after encountering a wide range of problems.” The San Francisco Chronicle picked up on the Why Microsoft blog post and calls the letters “corny, but the sentiment is real.” The San Francisco Chronicle writer, Matt Rosoff, examines in his own opinion how “Google Apps won’t beat Microsoft” through the real experience of an IT recruiting firm, BridgeView IT. Matt lists the following reasons as why BridgeView chose to go with BPOS instead of the competition: “Google Apps had trouble syncing data with employees’ BlackBerry devices. BridgeView makes heavy use of nested email folders in Outlook, which didn’t show up correctly in Gmail . When BridgeView tried to contact Google for support, they couldn’t find a phone number to call. Google does offer a support line for issues like major outages, but for point questions Google pointed BridgeView to online forums.” Do you think that Google Apps won’t beat Microsoft? What is your opinion on Microsoft and the competition in the cloud? Leave your comments below. 2. Keep Exchange In-House and in the Cloud with Coexistence Do you know what “Exchange Coexistence” is? Jabez Gan, writer for Enterprise Networking Planet , describes it as “the option to run Exchange Servers in-house, but host mailboxes at Microsoft’s data center.” Jabez Gan writes about the pros and cons of choosing Exchange Coexistence in our second featured article . The article first touches on the advantages of Exchange Coexistence which dissect both on and off-premises Exchange servers. Jabez also details the differences between On-premise Exchange and Off-premises Exchange. The disadvantages of Exchange Coexistence are listed as well as a section entitled “When does coexistence work?” This final section may be the most useful because it outlines three distinct scenarios that would or would not call for Exchange Coexistence. Jabez concludes that the decision will revolve around the all mighty dollar. He recommends that you follow the scenarios in his post to help weigh the costs and benefits of having Exchange Coexistence. I would recommend this article to anyone interested in Exchange Coexistence and suggest that you reply to the Enterprise Networking Planet blog post with your own scenario. What do you think about Exchange Coexistence? Are you moving to Exchange Coexistence? Leave your comments and scenarios below. What are your thoughts about the stories we shared with you this week? Did you see a story you want to share with us? Let us know what other topics you’d like to see. You can comment on this blog post or send an email to our community mailbox . Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

Security in Project Server 2010–What about Custom Permissions?

SharePoint Server 2010 handles user authentication through claims processing, which is a new feature for SharePoint and Project Server. Although SharePoint handles both Windows authentication and Forms authentication for Project Server users, you can use the ReadResourceAuthorization and SetResourceAuthorization methods in the Resource service of the PSI to set authorization. Because you probably don’t often change security authorization settings for users, you would normally go to the Manage Users page in Project Web App to select a user and set the global and category permissions. The Security business object in Project Server (with programmatic access through the PSI Security service) manages security groups, categories, templates, and the global Project Web App permissions. The Security service can add existing permissions or remove permissions from the sets available for Project Server users. However, the Security service does not have a method for creating a custom permission. In Office Project Server 2007, you can create custom global and category permissions by modifying security tables in the Published database. The Walkthrough: Creating and Using Custom Project Server Permissions article is the only SDK example where an exception is made for changing the Published database. In Project Server 2010, that process for creating custom permissions is obsolete. As an alternative, it is possible to create custom permissions by using claims augmentation. For more information, see Claims Provider . NOTE:

This Week in BPOS News 2/11

This week in BPOS news is a recurring segment on the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog that covers news from all sectors of Cloud Computing and the Microsoft Online Services business suite known as the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). You can read all past This Week in BPOS News segments here. For this week in BPOS news we take a look at the Microsoft Online and Office 365 roadmap, and learn about a holistic approach to being more efficient. 1. Microsoft Online and Office 365: Overview and Roadmap Office 365 is the next generation of BPOS . There are thousands of users that will soon be making the transition in the near future to the new standard of collaboration and productivity. But before making the transition, it might be important to fully understand the Microsoft Online and Office 365 Roadmap. This article from Directions on Microsoft entitled Microsoft Online and Office 365: Overview and Roadmap , will help any user understand what is coming from Microsoft Online Services and Office 365. The piece outlines the many layers of Microsoft Online and Office 365 which include the following: Levels of Service Dedicated Standard Deskless Worker Online Versus On- Premises What’s Ahead I would recommend to anyone who is interested in Microsoft Online and Office 365 to read this article . What are your thoughts of the Microsoft Online and Office 365 Roadmap? 2. Holistic Approach to Energy Efficient Datacenters Microsoft has stated that we are “all in” when it comes to the cloud. The cloud is run by many massive data centers throughout the world that provide the necessary hardware to power Microsoft’s cloud. Microsoft has built numerous data centers and has learned valuable lessons in regards to energy management and power usage effectiveness. Some of these lessons are outlined in a new whitepaper entitled, “A Holistic Approach to Energy Efficiency in Datacenters,” written by Microsoft engineer Dileep Bhandarkar. The whitepaper describes one tip to improving the Data Center Power Usage Effectiveness by 25 percent over two years was “cleaning the roof and painting it white, and repositioning concrete walls around the externally-mounted air conditioning units to improve air flow.” I think datacenter efficiency is essential as Microsoft looks forward to deploying more data centers and continue to be “all in” with the cloud. What do you think of the “Holistic Approach” to datacenter efficiency? What are your thoughts about the stories we shared with you this week? Did you see a story you want to share with us? Let us know what other topics you’d like to see. You can comment on this blog post or send an email to our community mailbox . Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

This Week in BPOS News 2/4

This week in BPOS news is a recurring segment on the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog that covers news from all sectors of Cloud Computing and the Microsoft Online Services business suite known as the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). You can read all past This Week in BPOS News segments here. For this week in BPOS news we take a look at six ways Microsoft Online Services can increase your business’ productivity, and we examine the new support lifecycle policy for Microsoft Online Services. 1. 6 Ways Microsoft Online Services Can Increase your Business’ Productivity This week’s first BPOS story identifies six ways that Microsoft Online Services can increase your business productivity. Michael Bayon breaks down Microsoft Online Services in six categories that he believes sums up increased productivity for businesses and business users. The six ways that Microsoft Online Services can increase your Business Productivity are listed below with a brief summary: You Don’t Need to Subscribe to All Services Subscribe to the services you need and you can upgrade your services as needed in the future. You Won’t Be Strapped for Cash No start-up costs and pay per user. Predictable Costs Fixed pricing makes it easy to anticipate costs. Software Uptime 99.9% SLA commitment with independent third party auditing. Employee Productivity Software that integrates easily with pre-existed tools and new collaboration software. Instant Upgrades Instant deployment of new versions. Additionally, Michael writes that Microsoft Online Services comes with Community Support. Once you join Online Services, you are joining a large existing community. The community is active and encourages participation and support. You can read the entire article with lengthier productivity descriptions here . Are there other ways Microsoft Online Services can increase your business’ productivity? Leave your comments below. 2. Microsoft Announces a New Support Lifecycle Policy for Online Services Microsoft Online Services is excited to welcome the next generation of BPOS , otherwise known as Office 365 . With this new product comes a new transition, and the Microsoft Support Lifecycle team is “focused on bringing the proven principles of predictable and consistent Support Lifecycle policies to Online Services provided via the cloud.” In our second BPOS news piece, we take a look at how the Microsoft Support Lifecycle team is planning on supporting Microsoft Online Services users. Their blog post entitled “Microsoft Announces a New Support Lifecycle Policy for Online Services” outlines how the transition plan will support users while creating a simple and undisruptive change. This is an essential read for anyone concerned about the Online Services Support Lifecycle policy. You can grab more information about transitioning here – http://www.microsoft.com/online/transition-center.aspx . To learn more about support timelines, they are available on the MSL website: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/OSSLpolicy . How do you feel about the next generation of BPOS? Are you ready? Leave your comments below. What are your thoughts about the stories we shared with you this week? Did you see a story you want to share with us? Let us know what other topics you’d like to see. You can comment on this blog post or send an email to our community mailbox . Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.