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Professional Team Foundation Server by Mickey Gousset, Erik Gunvaldson, Jean-Luc David

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17.1. Release Management within the Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF)

The Microsoft Solutions Framework has very specific process guidance on release management. In the MSF for Agile Software Development process, you can break down release management tasks using the following steps:

  • Execute a release plan—A release plan includes all the steps needed to successfully release the product, including scheduling quality assurance tests, creating a series of steps for your rollout (which you can document using work items), and so forth. By setting up your plan as a series of work items, you can then track the progress using a cumulative flow diagram (just like the project manager wanting to manage a software development effort). Some agilists would scoff at the idea of all this documentation and tracking. To those individuals, we can say that the work item database at the very least provides the benefit for a centralized area to manage your work items (much like story cards). The release plan could include the coordination of sales and marketing efforts, but should focus primarily on the delivery of the application to the target environment and the logistics around deployment.

  • Validate a release—This phase involves final quality assurance (QA) on a release. You should test the release using customer or user acceptance tests and requirements validation tests. From a functional perspective, you can create a specific branch for testing the release and run regression tests on your unit ...

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