Community Server is a starter kit on steroids.
Highlights (as posted by Rob Howard):
- New administration UI
- Integrated blogs, forums, and gallery
- Forward-compatible with ASP.NET 2.0 Membership, Role Manager, and Personalization
- Provider-based design for many features
- Support for add-ons
- Revamped and extended permissions
Community Server was built by the folks at Telligent, and I'd like to point out that Rob's All-Star team is comprised (nearly / completely?) of ASPInsiders like Scott Watermasysk and Jason Alexander. Congratulations guys!
In addition to Rob's posts, you can learn a bit more about CS features (including a screen shot or two) on Scott Watermasysk's weblog.
How does Microsoft develop software? This is a first attempt at pulling the public resources together. There is an excellent paper called "How Microsoft Builds Software" by Cusumano and Selby, though it requires a paid account on the ACM portal. Resources based on the article are provided below in PowerPoint and Acrobat formats.
The best public resources on the topic may be the Release Team's Weblog by Chris Dias and ScottGu's Weblog by Scott Guthrie. Chris is the Group Program Manager for the Developer Division Release Team and he does an excellent job of defining specific terms. Scott's blog explains how the process is used with "real-world" references to the ongoing Whidbey cycle. Rounding out the collection is Corporate Vice-President S. "Soma" Somasegar's weblog. It's great to see a VP excited about C++/CLI, VB's My namespace, and Edit and Continue in C#.
On to the resources. They begin with overview documents and proceed roughly through Microsoft's production cycle. If you have additional resource, comment!
Summary of "How Microsoft Builds Software" (PowerPoint Overview) - San Diego State University
Summary of "How Microsoft Builds Software" (Acrobat PDF) - University of Maryland
Transparency and Community Feedback - Soma
"The ongoing two-way dialog and feedback is an absolutely critical part of ensuring that we together build the right product for our customers."
Design Change Requests (DCR) - Dias
Testing - Guthrie
Bug Tracking - Guthrie
The Release Manager - KC Lemson, Exchange Server
Ship Room (Video) - Mike McKay, Visual Studio
As Release Manager, Mike's role is to drive the ship room for the next version of Visual Studio. He talks about what he and his team does to get Visual Studio to get to Zero Bug Bounce (ZBB).
Tell Mode and Ask Mode - Whidbey Product Team.
Product Metrics and Release Criteria - Dias
"Product Metrics / Release Criteria are a main guiding principle in assuring we are shipping the right quality product."
Ship Room - Dias
"Going Dark" - Dias
A technique for approaching ZBB.
Zero Bug Bounce (ZBB), Security Push, Tell Mode, and Ask Mode (Guthrie) [Summarised by Benjamin Mitchell]
Scott writes about stabilizing code, regression testing and triage.
ZBB - Eric Lippert, VSTO Frameworks dev team
Security Development Lifecycyle - Soma
Security Push - Dias
Dogfooding, Showstoppers, and the Endgame - Guthrie
Exit Criteria (Video) - Mike McKay
Exit criteria are the shipping rules that a team sets for itself. For instance, one of the rules is "we won't ship with a known security issue."
The War Room and War Team - Paul Thurrot
Media Verification - Dias
I've been assimilated full-time by the good folks at CDI Education as a "Senior Consultant" (the best name we could come up with for my role as architect, mentor, developer, speaker and sometime trainer). CDI is the leading corporate trainer in Canada and they've been my primary client since March. I'm really proud of the .NET development we've already done and am really looking forward to the projects we have planned over the next year. From the President on down they've put a great team together and I'm glad to be a part of it.
How good are they? Just last night at Microsoft's 2004 IMPACT Awards, CDI took home the CPLS Learning Partner of the Year Award (it's the last award listed on the page, the award's criteria are posted here). CDI's winning submission was for a .NET Academy crafted to migrate developers at a major bank to the .NET platform. Congratulations to everyone I work with who had a hand in this success!