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I was a big fan of Borland’s Delphi, but I used to rail against the company for placing features in their Enterprise and Architect editions seemingly at random. I felt they were pricing key features beyond the reach of individual developers and small companies.
Microsoft has done one better; they’ve priced features beyond the reach of mid-sized companies.
(Prices are retail for the full version.)
For a mid-sized corporation with 20 developers, the difference in initial investment between the Professional and Team Editions is $93,400. Think you can get that in this year’s budget?
And what does Microsoft consider high-end features? Try integrated Unit Testing, Code Coverage, Static Code Analysis, and Profiling.
Although Microsoft only offers these options with the Team Editions, developers can obtain alternatives for all of them:
NUnit is particularly excellent; compare it to the latest JUnit if you don’t believe me. FxCop is great, too; there’s a new beta out that I haven’t tried.
That said, I’d love to have top-notch integrated tools. I’ve seen a Microsoft presenter demo the integration, and it’s slick. The metrics for 2008 look even better; see http://blogs.msdn.com/fxcop/.
But if I were a manager, I’d be hard-pressed to justify the expense.