If you’ve been wanting a chance to try out Microsoft’s Team Foundation Service (formerly known as TFS on Azure) but haven’t been able to obtain one of the coveted invitation codes then wait no longer! Microsoft has officially removed the invitation requirement and has opened up their TFS Preview site to the masses. You can now create your very own TFS projects in the cloud!
If you’re not familiar with Microsoft’s TFS Service, it is essentially a subset of the “TFS on Premises” features (in some cases, a superset) made available in the cloud. Some of the features provided within the Team Foundation Service include:
- Accessible via a web browser, various Visual Studio SKUs, and the Eclipse IDE
- Version control
- Continuous builds
- Agile planning
- Task board (one of my personal favorites))
- Ability to run automated tests
- Continuous deployment to Azure
With all these features, it’s important to note that there are some features (available in the “on premises” version) that are currently not included with the Team Foundation Service:
- SharePoint integration – Brian Harry has commented that Office 365 integration is on the backlog but has not made available any dates (reference comments at this link)
- Reporting services
- Continuous build support for Windows Phone projects (note: a workaround is to utilize a local build server for Windows Phone client builds. It is likely Windows Phone will be supported at some point in the future)
Although pricing for the Team Foundation Service (once it officially leaves the “preview” stage) has not yet been announced. However, Microsoft has announced that they will continue to provide a free version of the Team Foundation Service at some level (not yet announced):
There is a lot of information available on the TFS Preview site under the “LEARN” tab (notice the “ALL UPPER CASING” ;-)). It is the perfect place to familiarize yourself with the extensive features of this service.
It has been fun to see this service grow over the past months and I look forward to seeing what comes next.