Web interface now available for TFS: Microsoft acquires TeamPlain


We have never had a web interface for Team Foundation Server work item tracking, much to the astonishment of our customers.  Well, there’s a fix for that now.  And you can download it today (see below for details).

Brian Harry wrote a post this morning about the acquisition of TeamPlain.

Microsoft Acquires TeamPlain!

Today we are announcing that Microsoft has acquired DevBiz Business Solutions, the makers of the popular TeamPlain Web Access for Team System.  TeamPlain is a web front end for VSTS that enables users to access the majority of TFS functionality from within a Web browser.  The focus of TeamPlain is on work item tracking but it also includes some valuable version control capabilities (like viewing history/change sets, diffing files, browsing the source base, etc.), some SharePoint integration, Reporting services integration, and some upcoming build support.  TeamPlain gives VSTS a new avenue to reach a broader array of people within the development team who don’t use Visual Studio today and don’t want to install Visual Studio clients on their machines.  It also improves reach by enabling some access from non-Windows clients.

more…

When will it be available to our customers?  Here’s the answer, quoted from the same post (emphasis is mine).

TeamPlain will become Microsoft Visual Studio Team System Web Access.  Effective today, TeamPlain is available, at no additional charge, to users who own a Team Foundation Server and can be downloaded from here.  It will be accessible by any user properly licensed with a TFS CAL.  Support will continue to be provided by the current staff via the DevBiz online forums.

Over the next few months, we will be rebranding TeamPlain as a Microsoft product and running it through our release process.  When that is complete, we will be releasing it as a VSTS Power Tool, transitioning support to the Microsoft forums and beginning CSS (phone) support.  In the Orcas timeframe, we will be releasing Team System Web Access as an official, documented, localized, and officially supported component of Team Foundation Server.

TeamPlain also provides some access to TFS version control over the web.

So, if you are a TFS customer, please download it, start using it, and let us know what you think of it.  As with everything else, the sooner you send in your feedback, the more likely you’ll see changes in upcoming releases.

Comments (4)

  1. Scott Lee says:

    Great news….

    Thanks!

  2. I have one particular piece of feedback. I haven’t tried this yet, I’m going based on the "accessible by any user with a TFS CAL" comment above.

    I’d really like to see the capability for (a limited subset of) work item tracking to be made available not just to licensed TFS users, or even users within the organization who do not have a license, but the ability to open a work item tracking system out to customers or to the public.

    A growing number of organizations have public facing issue tracking systems now – see Microsoft Connect, any number of Bugzilla installations, and lots of other homegrown ones. And lots more have systems that are available only to their customers.

    The ability for a customer to report issues, see known issues that affect their project, track progress, and get notified when their issue is fixed, would be really valuable.

  3. buckh says:

    Stuart, we’ve heard feedback from customers that there is a class of user that only needs a subset of TFS functionality and doesn’t feel it is worth the current CAL price.  The acquisition of the TeamPlain web UI accenuates the situation.  We are working on a solution and hope to be able to talk about it in the next several months.

    Buck

  4. Graham Harris says:

    Buck,

    I would second Stuart’s comments. Just looking at the economics of it could exclude some folks from using a perfectly good tool. I will be planning to use it in internally only for this reason until we work out an limited access version that I could associated with a single account.

    Anyway, Great news and I’m planning on evaluating it very soon as Business Analysts have indicated that this would be easier and more friendly to use instead of Team Explorer.