Integrated Tools vs. Collaborating Tools

time to read 3 min | 597 words

Daddy Starr has reponded to the latest discussion on TFS vs a mixture of tools, he points out that something that was missing from the discussion is...

This misses the entire point of a common development platform, which is a far more important value proposition than a feature set within a subsystem.  The ability to repeatedly drive software through to delivery using common standards of quality, completeness, performance, trace-ability, and transparency is invaluable to any organization.

Do you really think you can get all of that from cobbling together loosely coupled open source components?  Having been there and done that, I say, “No way.”

I agree with the first point, but disagree with the second. I can get this from a a set of components that I assemble together. It is not trivial, but it is not very hard either, and it is something that you need to do anyway.

Open source vs. Microsoft is a pointless debate not worthy of my time to explore.

Agreed, the discussion was being side tracked because I use OSS tools and gave examples from them, but I was mostly talking about the general idea of separate tools that collaborate for a cohesive whole.

The one thing about Team System that is met with the most doubt is the idea that the system is genuinely open. [...] For example, we already know that we can use CruiseControl.Net to run the builds instead of TFS build types.  We can use NUnit as the unit test framework instead of MSUnit.

And didn't you just lose the integrated benefits? Yes, I am aware that you can use CC.Net to work against TFS, and you can use NUnit to run tests, etc. But those aren't integrated into the product, you need to "cobble together" a solution that would give their output back into the system. How do you track build results now? How do you go from a build to the change set that triggered it?

The part that I seem to fail to explain is that I have looked at TFS, saw that it had major failings in Unit Testing, Continious Integration and Source Control, once I saw that, I was no longer interested in the integrated package. And if I am not interested in the integrated package, what does TFS has to offer me? Not much that I can't get from somewhere else, frankly.

Aren’t we tired of arguing about source control systems and defect tracking? 

Remind me not to mention the Vi vs. Emacs discussion, then :-)