I was reading through some customer feedback about VSTS and TFS. There were a lot of positive comments in there. I was looking for the negatives, though, because I want to know where we're missing the mark (perhaps by miles). This is one that really resonated with me.
"The Build Machine aspect of Team Foundation Server is way behind the combination of Nant/CruiseControl.Net"
It's my sincere hope that what we are doing with Team Foundation Build in Orcas will dramatically change that perception. The following posts cover many of our new features.
- Orcas Team Build Continuous Integration spec is now available
- More on the Orcas features for Team Build
As a result, I'm looking forward to what folks have to say when the next CTP comes out (February/March). The January CTP did not have any of the new Orcas TFS features.
As always, please let us know what you need to make Team Build truly useful. I'll warn you up front that the time for big features has passed for Orcas. However, smaller features may be tackled via DCRs (design change requests) for Orcas, and now is a great time to put in suggestions for future releases. By the way, waiting until a version ships before giving feedback on what you'd like to see in the next version is too late. Major feature planning for the next version starts before the current version ships so that the organization is ready to start implementing it after wrapping up the current version (Orcas development started almost immediately after Whidbey shipped, with only MQ in between).
Another possibility for smaller, client-side features is the TFS power tools. The downside here is that these obviously don't ship with the product and do not get official support. One possible power tool would be a tray notification applet that shows whether the last build was good or bad, much like the one that's popular with CruiseControl users (CCTray). We didn't have the time to do it as part of the feature crew that developed Continuous Integration and the architectural enhancements. Is the tray applet something that would be a good power tool? Or does it need to be "in the box" and considered for a DCR?
What problems do you need Team Build to solve for you to be successful?