02 October 2009

Team Foundation Server for the Masses

Early last year, I posted 10 Reasons for TFS with Small Teams that listed 10 reasons for using Team Foundation Server even if you thought your team may not be big enough to get any benefit from it.  I still stand by those 10 reasons.  However, reality has a way of overturning even the best of reasons.  For example, cost of software licenses and hardware carry a lot of weight when it comes time to calculate ROI (whether real or perceived).

Yesterday, Brian Harry announced some major changes coming in TFS 2010 that will go a long way in bring Team Foundation Server to the masses – a new feature called Team Foundation Server “Basic” Installation.

Brian covers three aspects of this in his post:

  1. Price - Although he doesn’t disclose the licensing options and/or price, he does go so far as to say it will be as easy and cost effective to get as Visual SourceSafe has been in the past.  This is very exciting as cost seems to be one of the top (if not the top) reason against bringing Team Foundation Server into a small shop – i.e. those same small shops that use Visual SourceSafe today.
  2. Pre-Requisite Hardware – TFS 2010…
    • Can be installed on a domain controller, which is great if you’re a small shop and that is the only server hardware you have.
    • Can be installed on not only server OSes but also client OSes.  Supported operating systems include: Windows Vista, Windows 7 Home Premium, and above.
    • Supports 32-bit and 64-bit so no matter what type of server you’re running, TFS will work for you.
  3. Installation Experience – the installation experience for TFS 2010 has been drastically improved.  The TFS installation wizard has three options: “Basic” (the main point of what I’m writing about here), “Standard”, and “Advanced”.

So, what does the “Basic” installation option get you?  Pretty much everything the “Standard” installation of TFS provides with the exception of SharePoint and Reporting capabilities.  This means you have the following features:

  • Version Control
  • Bug Tracking
  • Build Automation

And, as Brian mentions in his post, the nice thing about the “Basic” installation option is that you can always reconfigure the installation down the road as your needs grow.

Read more about this announcement in Brian’s post here.