Team Foundation Server Express


If you’re a developer who has been trying to get your organization on the TFS band wagon and the stumbling block has always been cost/budgetary constraints, nirvana is almost here. With the soon to be released Visual Studio (VS) / Team Foundation Server (TFS) 11 Beta, an Express edition of the latter will now be available and best of all – it’s free! Of course there are a few limitations, namely the backend will use SQL Server Express as opposed to its bigger brother, SQL Server and out of the box there’s a cap of 5 team members or less although this can be adjusted higher with the purchase of additional client access licenses (CALs). Head on over to Brian Harry’s blog for a full listing of the features that TFS Express does and does not include.

Not only is TFS Express free but it also provides teams access to Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) which is a huge benefit. Sure, to leverage all of the strengths of Scrum, MSF for Agile, etc. TFS (standalone or the upcoming service) should be utilized but having TFS Express as the bridge, a stepping stone if you will, that fully encompasses ALM best practices will surely lead to improved application quality.

I’m still a big advocate for the Team Foundation Service as it brings collaboration in its truest sense to the masses. Add in the fact that there’s no infrastructure needed and it truly is a service that every IT Administrator should be implementing to help their development teams be more productive.

With 2/29 fast approaching, the release of Windows 8 CTP and Visual Studio/TFS 11 Beta means that I (and hopefully you as well) will be knee deep in “geekdom.”

Comments (5)

  1. Good for Home usage and for small projects.

  2. cron22 says:

    The only issue I potentially have is the fact that the Team Foundation service is held off premise.  I don't necessarily like off-premise stuff because one, it takes away from the experience of taking care of the configuration yourself, and two, it's a security risk if overused.  And I'm sorry for getting on my soapbox just then, because I'm sure that you probably didn't want to hear me ramble LOL.  I like the idea of the Express version though!  I'll definitely be getting my hands on that and configuring my multipurpose server at home as a "Just in case"TFS unit.  Or maybe I'll configure build automation to compliment CodePlex and what it offers.  

  3. cron22~ Good feedback and security should always be a concern (i.e. on/off premises).

    UPDATE: VS 11 Beta has been released: http://www.microsoft.com/…/en-us

  4. cron22 says:

    Thanks for the link.  Will it run on Windows 7?  And do you think it a good idea to set up a CI Server via TFS running up to CodePlex's repository?  Will that work?  

  5. cron22~ Yes, it will run on Windows 7. You can download the bits here: http://www.microsoft.com/…/details.aspx. As for CI, I'd definitely set one up if I'm working with other developers however I've not used it with CodePlex.