Update: Changed title; original one sounded too presumptuous (was “what development tools do you need besides Jazz?”)

Aaron Cohen of Rational asked an interesting question in the Jazz.net forum the other day. I’ve reprinted his question and my answer here verbatim, with permission from Aaron and the Jazz Project.

Question (Cohen):

Right now Jazz.net uses Wikis and newsgroups to supplement Jazz. If a team is deploying Jazz. What type of Wiki or other collaborative software should we use with Jazz?

Answer (Higgins):

Aaron, it really depends on the needs of your team. With Jazz, our goal is not to reinvent every known software and/or collaboration tool as a Jazz component. Basically we look for opportunities where deep integration with other Jazz components could produce a much more productive experience.

Just implementing a Wiki on top of the Jazz repository is not interesting; the world doesn’t need another Wiki implementation. But it is interesting to observe how we tend to use our own Wiki and then explore how we could provide new functionality in Jazz to replace Wikis for these needs. For example, every Jazz component lead used to create an iteration plan page in the Wiki. Observing this, the Agile Planning team provided an “Overview” page for each iteration plan, where a team can write semi-structured markup as well as linking forward to important work items. Now most component leads don’t feel the need to create a separate plan overview in the Wiki.

In the case of newsgroups, we needed a lightweight way to make announcements to a subset of the project, and newsgroups have been doing this for years so we used newsgroups. This continues to work really well, so… I don’t know why we’d ever change it.

But getting back to your question, I’d rephrase it as “What non-Jazz tools do I find my team using to support our software development?” And if you notice yourself using some non-Jazz tools for large chunks of your development, it’s worth asking “Could a Jazz-based component provide a richer, more productive, more integrated experience?” If the answer to the second question is “Yes”, then we encourage you to consider either building your own Jazz component to fulfill the need or to raise enhancement requests against us.

Thanks for your question and I hope this helps.