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For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

Brief: Microsoft Opens Up ALM Collaboration To All (At Last)

Stakeholder License For Visual Studio Online Improves Collaborative ALM Capabilities

September 8, 2014

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Why Read This Report

On August 27, 2014, Microsoft announced a significant change to its Visual Studio Online (VSO) hosted application life-cycle management (ALM) service: stakeholder licenses. This licensing change allows application development and delivery (AD&D) teams to add an unlimited number of internal and external stakeholders to development projects who can add and edit project work items and review the current state of a project's backlog. As a result, development teams can now worry less about the costs of involving all stakeholders in development projects, and centrally manage demand for defect fixes, new features, and requirements as a single backlog, tightly linked to source code changes. Making this change was no doubt a careful bet by Microsoft's Visual Studio team, as client access licenses (CALs) for Team Foundation Server generate a healthy revenue stream. With this licensing change, development teams should reexamine the cost/benefit ratio of Microsoft's ALM solutions, which in some project contexts will be much more favorable.

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