Recently, I’ve been seeing questions about TSWA Work Item Only View (aka WIWA) and how it works with Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition.
As a quick background, Work Item Only View is a feature of TSWA that enables accessing work items you’ve created without having to own a Client Access License (CAL) for TFS. This feature has been built for organizations that has users occasionally filing bugs from time to time, but don’t want to buy CALs for each of them. No matter if you have 10 or 1,000 users, as long as they only use this interface, it’s OK not to buy CALs.
What makes this possible is a change in TFS 2008 EULA. One important thing that’s usually overlooked is that this licensing flexibility is made available for TFS 2008 Standard Edition only, as explained in section 3.a of the EULA. If you read my original blog post about Work Item Only View, or take a look at the public spec, you will probably notice that I’ve tried to mention this in a couple of places.
There’s a common confusion when it comes to TFS Workgroup Edition and Work Item Only View together. TFS Workgroup Edition doesn’t use CALs. As a technical limit, it only supports up to 5 people, and all of them must be in the “Licensed Users” security group. Using the Work Item Only View against a TFS Workgroup instance does not change this limitation. In addition, CAL flexibility does not apply to TFS Workgroup edition anyway. I agree that it sounds a bit confusing, but I wish I had a better answer 🙂
I hope this blog post clarifies the confusion a little bit. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.