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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


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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