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Microsoft is staggering the release of elements in its up-coming application lifecycle management (ALM) family while slipping a third product beta into the Visual Studio 2005 mix.

Microsoft's Team Foundation Server, a vital element of Visual Studio 2005 Team System (VSTS), will not ship with Visual Studio 2005 on 7 November, Microsoft has said. Team Foundation Server will instead be delivered in the first quarter of 2006.

Earlier this year Microsoft said all elements of VSTS would ship at the same time.

The lag will give Microsoft additional time to test a second Team Foundation Server beta, a beta that is being branded Beta 3 to keep in step with the overall Visual Studio 2005 testing and delivery process. Visual Studio 2005 is currently on Beta 2.

Prashant Sridharan, group product manager for Microsoft's Developer Division told The Register: "We determined that the client pieces were definitely on the right trajectory. However, because TFS [Team Foundation Server] is a server, we decided it needed a second beta to ensure the absolute highest level of stability and reliability."

Team Foundation Server will provide software configuration management for ALM teams developing for .NET. Features are expected to include centralized, secure checking in and checking out of source code to avoid bugs, ensure cleaner coding and speed delivery of applications. Team Foundation Server is expected to become an essential element in project-based development and the on-going management of applications.

The Team Foundation Server Beta 3 is due at Microsoft’s Professional Developers' Conference (PDC) next month, where the company also plans to issue the final Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate (RC) code to developers. Visual Studio 2005, the client side to Microsoft’s ALM suite, is due on November 7.

Microsoft will make Go Live licenses available to Premier Edition customers at PDC, enabling developers to use Team Foundation Server in production environments. This is designed to fill for developers until Team Foundation Server launches.®

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