Last week, I had a visit from two members of the Microsoft Visual Studio team, Dave Mendlen, Director of Developer Tools Marketing and Cameron Skinner, Product Unit Manager of Visual Studio Team System. They were here to give me at least part of the news about Visual Studio 2010 and .Net Framework 4.0.

Most of what Dave and Cameron told me was about breaking down the barriers between roles in a Visual Studio-using team, for which they had the marketing-speak of "democratising ALM." They were specific about the ways that they are helping developers work with architects and testers. Since all of the screen shots below come from Microsoft and not from a live hands-on session, I can't speak to how well any of the features currently work.

First up is a picture of exploring the architecture of a game (click on the screen shot to see it full size):

Visual Studio 2010 game architecture

How many times have you needed to visualise the architecture of an application? How many times have you found that your diagrams were out of sync with your code? This will be very useful for architects and developers.

Next up, a UML sequence diagram generated from the code of a method:

Visual Studio 2010 sequence reverse engineered

Again, very useful for architectural visualisation. And how nice that Microsoft is starting to do more with UML.

The next diagram shows a layer with validation errors:

Layer with validation errors

What's happening here is that the code has been checked against the architectural rules, and determined to violate layer boundaries. It's definitely the sort of thing you want to know about sooner rather than later.

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