Microsoft adds kanban, Git accommodations to ALM server

Cloud-based, on-premise application lifecycle management servers respectively add capabilities for kanban board, Git repositories

Microsoft is sprucing up its application lifecycle management server products, adding a kanban board to the Team Foundation Service cloud platform and Git repository capabilities to the TFS (Team Foundation Server) behind-the-firewall product.

The kanban board will let teams visualize the flow of backlog items in development using Scrum or kanban agile methods. Team Foundation Server, meanwhile, is getting command-line tools, called Git-tf, to make it easier to use a local Git repository with TFS. The tools allow users to clone sources from TFS, fetch updates, and update TFS with changes committed locally in Git. Microsoft also launched a Git-tf open source project on its Codeplex project site, enabling community participation in enhancing Git-tf.

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Kanban emphasizes just-in-time delivery without overloading software developers, with developers pulling work back from a queue. The process from definition of task to delivery is displayed for participants.

Microsoft's kanban accommodations recognize growing interest in this methodology, Brian Harry, Microsoft technical fellow for TFS, said in a blog post on Monday: "Now you can manage your project with Scrum, with kanban, or you can combine them to get the best of both by using kanban [to] visualize the flow of your Scrum backlog items. Scrum and kanban are both work management strategies that involve breaking down a problem and then visually transitioning work through a series of states."

In another blog post Monday, Harry cited team accommodations in Git-tf. "You may have a TFS project that's been running for a while. Most of your dev team is using our Visual Studio or Eclipse integration and [are] perfectly happy. At the same time, you've got a few people who want or need to use Git. Maybe they are the XCode developers on the team and they like the native Git integration in the XCode IDE. Git-tf allows them to work with XCode's Git integration and collaborate with other team members through TFS."

While limited to TFS at the moment, Microsoft plans to add support for Git-tf to Team Foundation Service.

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