Microsoft has added a new licensing option to Visual Studio Online in order to make it easier for more people to be involved in the enterprise application development process. "What we learned from our customers is that they need lots of people to participate. There are different levels of involvement in a project that are critical," said Nicole Herskowitz, Microsoft senior director of product marketing for Visual Studio Online. "We wanted to make sure that the people who are not the core of a development project participate."
Under these new terms, "stakeholders" who are not coders can use some of the features of the IDE at no charge. For example, project managers would be able to check the status of a project and line of business users could submit a bug report. Specifically, stakeholders can view project pages, receive alerts, view backlogs and read, write and create work items. They cannot access code or team rooms, and they cannot use administrative functions.
Microsoft says that 1.65 million people use Visual Studio Online.