It seems I've riled a Rational salesrep
My recent post about various vendors integration with Team System seems to have caught the attention of someone @ IBM/Rational. I can only assume it's a salesrep. I personally think Microsoft is going to push Rational out of the .NET tools space within a couple of years, and I might as well just outline my issues/concerns with Rational in a post. This got to be too long to just put it in the feedback part.
First, let's address the Robot issue - sure you can buy and run these tools, but they aren't integrated. Ideally, I could run my tests from Team System (VSTE/ST), and have a test type for GUI tests that launches Robot. The results of the Robot test would then be loaded back into Team System and I could publish those results to TFS and run reports on that. Sure, I could run 2-3 different tools and aggregate my results, but that's a pain in the rear. That's why I've been looking for companies that actually plan to integrate - those will be the ones that people will want to use. Automated UI testing is a feature that is sorely lacking from Team System, it sounds like Compuware and AutomatedQA are going to fill that need by actually integrating. I've never used either of their tools (Winrunner and Robot are the market leaders), but if they are decent, I think people will use them for the integration.
Second, I should probably give my thoughts on the source control tools. Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) and ClearCase are pretty equivalent in features. One feature that Rational will try really hard to sell is the idea of "multisite". This is useful for companies that have large, spread-out organizations and want multiple ClearCase servers that all sync with each other. TFVC doesn't support this in V1. Of course, the customers I've talked to that use ClearCase have a pretty consistent opinion about multisite: 1) It's super expensive - 2) it's awfully hard to setup and administer. I've even talked to a customer that paid for it, and gave up trying to use it. This leads to the number one problem facing ClearCase that I have heard. Every large customer that I've talked to that has ClearCase also has a ClearCase administrator. I did a quick monster.com search on "clearcase administrator", and there are actually openings with that exact title. A common question I get about TFVC is: "How hard will this be to administer?" The first time I was asked this question, I didn't have a good response, because it shouldn't be much trouble at all. The people that ask this are usually using ClearCase and have 1-2 people dedicated to keeping the thing running. I could be wrong and TFVC could be an absolute nightmare to keep up and running, but I doubt it.
That being said, I think one huge barrier to adoption for Team System is ClearCase . Many companies have standardized on it, and they've spent an awful lot of money. The guy that made the decision to spend all that money is going to look awful silly dumping it and buying Team System. I've talked to some companies where the individual teams would love to move to Team System, but the corporate "mandate" is ClearCase , so it would be a political issue. The ideal solution for these companies would be to keep using ClearCase and have it work with all the cool Team System pieces, like check-in policy and work item relationships. According to Rolf Nelson (see feedback on the previous post), this really isn't an option based on the way the VSTS APIs are setup. I think that's unfortunate - maybe that comment will stir up someone on the VSTS team to validate or invalidate that claim.