Are you a TFS user or interested in using this product? In the past, it was necessary to install TFS onto a central server or virtual machine before using it. No more. Now, Team Foundation Services allows you to access a TFS server hosted by Microsoft.
The service is free for small teams (<5 people) while it is in Preview, but I have not seen any future pricing announcements.
Get started by navigating to visualstudio.com and signing up for an account. Note the URL, up to ".visualstudio.com". This is the server name. You will need this to integrate with Visual Studio solutions. In my case, it is "https://giard.visualstudio.com".
At the home page, click the [New Team Project] button (Fig. 1)
The "Create Team Project" dialog displays (Fig. 2). Enter a project name and description;
Next, select a Process template. The choices are:
- Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 3.0 - Preview
- MSF for Agile Software Development 7.0 - Preview
- MSF for CMMI Process Improvement 7.0 - Preview
Finally, select a Version Control repository. Currently, TFS and Git are supported. Click [Create Project] and you will be ready to start using TFS within a few seconds.
The navigation is simple and intuitive.
You can add and remove team members by clicking the Manage All Members link.
You can enter a new Task, Bug, Issue, Feature, or Test Case using dialogues similar to those found in the Visual Studio Team Explorer.
The source control repository can be seen by clicking the "Code" link on the top menu. From here, you can download files but not upload them.
TFS source control is easiest to use when you integrate it with Visual Studio. Open a solution in Visual Studio and select File | Source Control | Add Solution to Source Control
You may be prompted to add a TFS server. If so, use the URL ending in ".visualstudio.com" that you noted from above. (Fig. 3)
Select the Team project to which this solution belongs (Fig. 4) and click the [Connect] button.cl
From here you check-in, check-out, branch, merge, and get latest in the same way that you would use a TFS server within your enterprise.
Microsoft is adding new features to this Team Foundation Service each week. You can follow the progress on Brian Harry's blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bharry/archive/tags/tfservice/.
Team Foundation Service allows you to manage projects on your own or with organizations that don't have the hardware and/or time to set up their own TFS server. It can be a simple solution to integrating your project with Application Lifecycle Management tools.