Appendix B. Using the Microsoft Solutions Framework

So here you are, ready to go out into the world and build applications with Visual Basic 2008. Congratulate yourself; you should be excited at having worked your way through all the chapters of the book. Soon, creating applications will become second nature to you. As you work in IT, you will play many roles on teams. In some cases, your manager will only ask you to write code. The main portion of this book provides a strong understanding of what you will need to do in that situation. Other times, management will ask you to wear many hats on a project and be responsible for delivering an entire solution. This appendix introduces you to what it takes to create a successful solution.

Let's start with a basic question. How is a solution different from an application? A solution is the entire process of creating a system for a customer. The solution includes planning, documenting, testing, releasing, training, and supporting the application. The application is just one part of the solution.

Microsoft has a set of processes and models that to some is the standard for solution delivery in the IT industry: Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF). Software developers around the globe apply this framework to internal strategies to ensure best practices when building software. The MSF is a recent interpretation of the classic software development life cycle and provides guidance to project management. In this appendix, you will

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