How Adlib software teams use TFS to ensure their code satisfies customer requirements

By Rob Schaafsma | June 13, 2013

2 minute read

Adlib branching strategy

Good software comes from good code.

And good code comes from good coding practices.  

Since 5,500+ customers – including numerous global organizations – depend on Adlib PDF to be highly available and scalable 24/7/365, the software developers at Adlib use modern tools to help them achieve their intended requirements. 
 
All of our test cases, source code, code reviews, and other process artefacts are created with Microsoft Visual Studio and stored in Microsoft Team Foundation Server™ (TFS). All test pass/fail information is also recorded there. A custom black-box test automation tool we’ve named “Marvin” ties into that as well. It’s cool that all this stuff integrates together.

TFS ensures multiple people collaborating can all work on the same projects simultaneously and changes can be easily merged together. Ensuring manageability of product versions, with full historical record of changes, is part of what is called source control.

In addition to allowing us to take snapshots of our code during development and at release points, TFS also allows us to cross reference code changes to actual requirements.

User stories – synonymous to requirements – enter TFS and are assigned in groups to a development team every three weeks (a Sprint). The team decides who will work on a story. Test cases, tasks, code changes, and bugs are all attached to the User story as it is being developed, providing full evidence of successful completion.

It’s a great  way of packaging any requirements, managing the tickets, and ensuring control over all testing artefacts and source code.

TFS can also produce reports on our development efforts. That’s important, because external partners and customers regularly audit us.  

Customers and partners might ask, “How do I know you designed this according to requirements and that it meets defined acceptance criteria?” or “How do we know you wrote quality source code, ran the tests, and that those tests correlate back to the related stories?”

If EMC say for example comes to audit us, TFS can spit out a report all the way from User Story, through development, to testing. They can cross reference it all.

It’s much better than what we used to use – Word docs full of design specs and test cases, test results in Excel spreadsheets – we had all of these disparate documents. With TFS, we can produce a Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM for short) as a single document, clearly showing the links from requirements to successful test results.

As Microsoft continues to enhance the capabilities within TFS, we look forward to taking advantage of new features that will continue to improve how we work and effectively provide value to our customers by delivering feature-rich, quality software.

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