Visual Studio is surprisingly good and can be accessed with a go-live license (http://tfspreview.com). While, as with all new services it does have its flaky moments, the product team is fast to fix them and we have a number of customers that are moving to this service. The DivDev (Developer Division at Microsoft) has already moved and their 18tb+ instance is often the root cause of the “flaky moments”.
In order to connect to the Team Foundation Service Preview environments, you will need a couple of Software Downloads (TIP: Martin Woodward has a fantastic post on how to do so). These software updates will get you connected with Visual Studio 2010, but there are other types of access you will need.
Well, in Visual Studio 11 the onus is on a cross platform, in achieving this many of the features have been moved to the web access, which has also been severely rewritten.
Once you have connected to your Team Foundation Service instance you can start to have a look around the UI. There are a lot of new capabilities, not least of which is the ability to log in via Live Id. However if you have international users, or users that move around the world you will need to be a little careful as it is not currently possible for a user to change the region associated with their Windows Live ID for billing. Team Foundation Service has mitigated this by not using Live Billing, but remember that you can only log in with a single Live Id at a time.
The product team has pulled out all of the stops, and while the preview still has some rough edges they are making it an awesome experience for users and administrators alike.
If you look closely you will see that it has borrowed heavily from the Metro theme which makes it clean and crisp. The interface is responsive (mostly) and is a joy to use. I love the new live burn down and reporting that is available right there is the UI. When you update a work item you can see the burn down update dynamically.
There are many new features that will make you drool – my highlights are:
- Web UI that works on more than IE
- Dates on Iterations
- Built in support for Team’s
Then there is the administration system that lets you configure TFS with ease. There is always initial confusion that it opens in a new window, but then you realize that it is for the best.
There are a huge number of advances here as many of these features were difficult to discover in the old Web UI and more often than not, completely non-existent.
Some of my favorite bits:
- Project & Team profiles with images and identity
- Default areas and Iterations for teams
- Support for configuring Alerts for others and teams
- The ability to see effective permissions
- Options to see where those effective permissions came from
Overall the new UI is light years ahead of where it was and I think all TFS users as well as those coming from other tools will be very happy with the new bits.
-Do you want to move to Visual Studio 11 Team Foundation Service NOW? Microsoft is providing a Go-Live licence (that means that it is supported in production) and you can use it today! For help moving forward contact firstname.lastname@example.org today …