The latest versions of Microsoft’s development environment Visual Studio 2013, and its application life-cycle management tool suite Team Foundation Server, were announced yesterday during the opening keynote here at Microsoft’s TechEd conference in steamy, sweltering New Orleans.

The company also announced the acquisition of TFS release-management software InRelease from a company called InCycle Software, as well as a Git option that will be available on-premise within Team Foundation Server in 2013.

Brian Keller, Microsoft’s principal technical evangelist for Visual Studio, told me at a breakfast meeting this morning (full disclosure: I had scrambled eggs with berries on the side and coffee) that a preview of the software will be made available starting on June 26, with a Go-Live license so users can start working with the software right away.

With the new releases, Microsoft continues to discuss the ability to scale agile beyond development teams to include business decision-makers as well as operations teams that have to deploy and manage the applications in the wild. Microsoft calls this agile portfolio management, Keller said. You can read more about this in the July issue of SD Times, in which I’ll be writing about Microsoft’s approach to agile development—and what’s built into both its own tooling and its ecosystem.

 Other highlights of the release include:
• An ambient indicator within the code editor to show developers the status of their work vis-à-vis tests.

Here’s Keller: “Within the code editor, we have a heads-up display for the coder. When you’re in a method body, for example, we can get an ambient indication in the background that shows you things like, ‘Hey, for this particular method, are my unit tests passing?’ And, if the last time you ran your unit tests they failed and they happen to exercise this particular method, you can get a visual indicator right above your code that helps you understand that. I can look at that same method, and there’s another indicator that tells me who is the last person to make a change, [and] what are the last five changes. And so when I mouse over that, it tells me Jason was the person to make a change, and the reason he made that change was to fix this bug, and all this information comes straight out of Team Foundation Server and lights up for the developer.”

• Cloud-based load testing. This has been built into Team Foundation Server since 2005, but under the old model, developers had to provision the hardware themselves to generate the load. Keller said Microsoft thought this was a great scenario to take to the cloud.

The Git integration option has been available through Team Foundation Service since January, but now it will be available in Team Foundation Server 2013. “On the server-side, with Team Foundation Server, I can create a project and either choose from my traditional Team Foundation Server version control, which is the centralized version control system we’ve always had, or I can choose a Git repository. The nice thing about our approach there is that you don’t sacrifice the benefits of integrated ALM by choosing Git, because the way that we’ve built it, it still can be linked and you get the traceability over with your work items, so as I’m checking in code, I can see that this piece of code was to fix this bug, and that bug fix is available in this build, and so on.”

Keller also said Microsoft has shipped a set of tools for Visual Studio that allows you to connect to Git repositories straight from the Visual Studio client. That is already available with Visual Studio update 2, into which you must download an additional package. That capability will be built into Visual Studio 2013. He emphasized that this is not a Microsoft implementation of Git; the company has worked with the open-source community to ensure that it’s the same set of interfaces that a developer would see if he or she were working with Git or GitHub or Bitbucket.

I never finished my eggs.