Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 1 pre-release available

I’m a bit late to this party because we released them about a week ago.  I generally try to sync my blog posts but we had a death in the family last week and I just didn’t have the time to deal with blogging.

The Visual Studio preview is named “CTP 1” and you can read more about it here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudio/archive/2015/10/08/visual-studio-2015-update-1-ctp.aspx

The Team Foundation Server preview is named “RC 1”.  The reason for the difference is that we’ve learned over the years with TFS that unless we provide a “go-live” promise (support, upgrade to the next release, etc) that no one will install a TFS preview.  When you are talking about a team product that holds a lot of data it’s just not that interesting to be able to install it and “kick the tires”.  You want to install it with your own data and really use it.  Hence, we deliver a “go-live” RC of Update 1 for you to use for real.

As usual in TFS/VSO land, we operation on what we call a “cloud first” development process.  Work is done in real time on the live cloud service and then about once a quarter we roll all of the finished work into a TFS on-prem Update.  Sometimes the updates are big.  Sometimes they are small.  This one is quite big (in terms of new capabilities).  You can read all the details on the release notes but here’s a few things I want to call out.

Adding Git repos to a TFVC project – This has been a top customer request and a highly ranked UserVoice item.  I’ve seen a lot of teams that use TFVC and want to start using Git for some or all of their work and don’t want to have to deal with moving to a new project – they just want to start adding Git repos to their current project.  Now you can.  There are some limitations with older IDEs but VS 2015 Update 1 enables you to access both TFVC and Git repos in the same project.

Agile improvements – We continue to make rapid progress on our Agile project management improvements and Update 1 brings a lot of the ones you’ve seen on the service already (like kanban column queries, tasks as checklists, etc) and some you haven’t seen on the service yet (like new dashboard support).

XAML build parity progress – When we released Build.vnext in TFS 2015 there were a few features from XAML builds that didn’t make it.  We’re working to get full parity and in Update 1, we are delivering support for workspace mapping and branch labeling among other improvements.  That leaves gated checkin as the remaining significant gap and we expect to have that finished by Update 2.

Sonar support – We continue to make our Sonar support easier to configure and use.

As I say, there’s lots more.  Check out the release notes for lots of details.  As for looking forward, expect an RC2, followed by a final release.  We encourage you to pick up RC1 or RC2 and give any feedback to have to help make it great.

Looking forward to your feedback…

Brian