Today we are announcing the availability of a connector between TFS 2005 and Project Server 2007. The goal of Team System is to conect together all of the people involved in software development projects and provide them the information they need, when they need it to make better decisions faster. Since the initial release of TFS 2005, it has supported integration with the Microsoft Project client – allowing project managers to access and enter data in TFS. Over the last year we’ve been hearing increasing requests from customers for a solution that better integrates with Project Server for a more seamless Enterprise Project Management solution.
Enter the Visual Studio Team System Ranger team. The ranger team is a group of Microsoft Consulting Services engineers who work hand-in-hand with the product group to fill the highest priority customer needs out side the constraints of the Visual Studio release cycle. They have built the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server – Project Server 2007 Connector (how’s that for a mouthful :)) and made it available as a CodePlex project: http://www.codeplex.com/pstfsconnector.
The Connector synchronizes Project, Resource and Task data between the two systems. Project Managers and Resource Managers continue to work in the EPM environment while the development team works in the development environment and data seamlessly flows between the two systems. Updates to work items in TFS are automatically applied to the corresponding assignments and tasks in Project Server and vice versa. Project Managers have complete control over the inflow of the actuals into the project plan. In addition, resource management functions for all development projects, like managing time and utilization for resources working across multiple projects, team staffing etc. can be performed in Project Server. Lastly, portfolio and program level reports can easily be generated for projects being executed in TFS and managed in Project Server.
In the future, we plan to integrate this Project Server support into a released version of Team Foundation Server. For now, it is available in source code form on CodePlex for anyone with Team Foundation Server licenses. The MCS team is available for consulting engagements around this solution to help install, customize and train customers on how to use it in their development process. Because this is not yet a full released product there are some differences between this connector and official Visual Studio products. Among them are: 1) It is not currently localized. We may look at this further based on demand. 2) It is not supported by customer support. It will be supported by the ranger team and the community. It is worth seriously considering an MCS engagement to help get this deployed and ensure success on the project.
While the TFS – Project Server Connector is available at no additional charge, keep in mind that anyone who accesses data from TFS needs a TFS Client Access License. As a result, people who use Project Server projects managed by this connector (automatically synchronizing data between TFS and Project Server) will need a TFS CAL. You can read details about VSTS licensing here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=1FA86E00-F0A3-4290-9DA9-6E0378A3A3C5&displaylang=en
Thanks, and as always, feedback and comments are welcome!