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Using Team Foundation to Manage Development Processes

If you use Visual Studio and your team is using Team Foundation Server, you have access to features that can help you and your team improve quality and performance, improve predictability of the development process, and reduce the overall cost of team development.


If you use Visual Studio Ultimate or Visual Studio Premium you have an even more extensive set of features. For more information about which features are available in the different editions of Visual Studio 2012, see Visual Studio 2012 Comparison.


  • Some of the tools and features that are described in this topic are available only in specific editions of Visual Studio—they aren’t universally available in Visual Studio. We list the specific edition requirements in the documentation for these tools and features.

  • You can only access Agile planning tools and the request feedback feature from Team Web Access. Also, you must be added to the Full group for Web Access Permissions. See Features Accessed Through Web Permissions.

Get started

To access Team Foundation features, you will need to connect to your team project. For more information see:

Set up your team and build your backlog

If you work on a small team within a larger organization, then you can create a team within a team project. Otherwise, your team project is your default team project. When you configure your team, you get to specify the iteration and dates that your team uses, manage team favorites and craft your team's home page, and define team alerts.

For more information, see:

Track your work

You can use the Team Explorer My Work, Work Items, and Pending Changes pages to more easily and effectively organize upcoming, ongoing, and suspended work. In particular, as a developer you will find that My Work helps you get back into “the zone” by allowing you to easily restore tool windows, breakpoints, file edits, and more when you resume a task that you were working on earlier. With one action—Suspend Work—you can save your workspace for one task and then clear it to start work on a new task. Also, you can quickly find work items and create links among bugs and other work items that show relationships between them.

For more information see:

Maintain version-controlled files

You can use Visual Studio and Source Control Explorer to check code and other version-controlled files in and out and revert to earlier versions. For more information see:

Understand code and model your application

To visualize how changes might affect your code, you can generate or create these kinds of diagrams from code:

  • Dependency graphs show the organization and dependencies between assemblies, namespaces, classes, methods, and so on.

  • Sequence diagrams show the message sequence inside a method.

  • Class diagrams show the structure of classes in a specific project.

  • Layer diagrams show conflicts between your code and its design.

See Visualizing and Understanding Code.

To help ensure that your application meets user requirements and to communicate the design, you can create these kinds of UML diagrams:

  • UML class diagrams describe high-level concepts, class structure, and class relationships, regardless of implementation

  • UML activity diagrams describe process or flow of work

  • UML use case diagrams describe users and tasks that your application supports

  • UML component diagrams describe application structure in terms of components, interfaces, ports, and services

  • UML sequence diagrams describe interactions or message sequences between classes, components, systems, or actors

You can also track requirements, tasks, test cases, bugs, or other kinds of work associated with your models by linking model elements to Team Foundation Server work items.

See Developing Models for Software Design and Using Models within the Development Process.

Improve code quality by using diagnostic tools

You can use a number of diagnostic tools to develop and sustain high standards of code excellence. For more information, see:

Define and manage builds

With Team Foundation Build, you can create and manage build processes that automatically compile and test your applications, and perform other important functions. You can use your build system to support a strategy of continuous integration or put even more rigorous quality checks in place to prevent bad quality code from “breaking the build.” For more information, see:

Collaborate with your team and stakeholders

You can quickly request team members to review your code, storyboard a feature, and request feedback from stakeholders. For more information, see:

See Also


What's New in Visual Studio 2012

Improving Quality with Visual Studio Diagnostic Tools

Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server