Announcing TFS Basic!

If you are a SourceSafe user you know VSS is an easy to install and easy to use source control system.  TFS gives you a much more powerful system including not only source control but also work item tracking and build support.  Today we are announcing the new Basic configuration for TFS coming your way with Beta 2 of VS2010.  Brian Harry has a great post introducing the new configuration and going over some history and design goals.  My favorite features:

  • You can use SQL Server Express as the database
  • The install runs in about 20 minutes and configures everything for you automatically
  • It can run on your client machine

I’ve been using it to build out several new tutorials I’m queuing up for Beta 2.  It’s awesome!  Stay tuned for Beta 2 and make sure to give it a try...

Comments (25)

  1. Alex McCool says:

    Will there be a new tool or enhancement to the existing VSS importer?

  2. Joe White says:

    You’re kidding. You’re trying to sell a revision control system by making *positive* comparisons to VSS?

  3. Praveen says:

    Who uses VSS anymore? We used to use Vault and it was crappy too. We have moved to SVN since then and now I have a smile on my face all day.

  4. Chris says:

    VSS is great for a small shop with few devs, I use it everyday and am totally happy with it, never had an issue with it.  I’ve tried SVN as I was curious since people always bash VSS, and I don’t know what all the fuss is about – my experience was either use a command line or an unstable shell extension that crashes explorer often.  Then I happily stay with VSS.

    But I’m glad that you’re creating a basic TFS version – my only gripe with using VSS now is that Blend only supports TFS.  So the question is, will Blend work with TFS Basic?

  5. Tom says:

    Jason, as a small team leader I think this great!  This should be the final push to get our projects off vss.

    Will there be some sort of MSBuild integration?

    We are chomping at the bit for beta 2!

  6. JC says:

    Great news!  Any chance we’ll see a "free for a single user" version like source gear does with their Vault product?  If TFS had a lower cost of entry I’d really like to use it as my personal source control system.  It would be great if this Lite version was part of MSDN!

  7. Jason Zander says:

    @Alex – we are working on the VSS importer and it will work well with this version as well as the full one

    @Joe – VSS is one of the most used source control systems ever

    @Praveen – Sorry to hear that; I hope you’ll give TFS basic a try. The addition of integrated work item tracking and build support in one system is very powerful. After you try it out, I’d love to hear your feedback.

    @Chris – Blend will indeed work with this configuration. The Basic config really is the same core code made to work better on your client

    @Tom – This configuration comes with build support so you are covered

    @JC – we’re not ready to talk about pricing just yet but we are working on making things very accessible

  8. Kyle says:

    I’m all for a TFS that doesn’t require a billion dollar IT setup, full time sysadmin, and a freaking crystal ball to install…

    But I hope basic is free. Even teensy software shops need some kind of halfway decent source control. Besides, TFS isn’t JUST source control (although its the only inteligable feature TFS has…

  9. *sigh* why are people so hot for TFS? It’s like web developers that drool over webforms, makes me want to shake some rational thought into them.  

    As someone recently remarked "VSS is the IE6 of SCM", my response was "and TFS is the IE7".  

    If you can’t drag yourself into the new, distributed, world ( that’s git for the ignorant of hg / bazaar if you really have to spend money for IT), at least step up to subversion.  It’s fast, free and if you need simple and manageable, use Visual SVN.

    You can do more with far less by steering clear of TFS.

  10. Jason Zander says:

    Neal – do me a favor and try it when it comes out.  The key thing we are doing with TFS is integration.  You get one place to track source control, all your defects / work items, and builds.  That combination is hard to get out of a particular one off source control system.  try beta 2 and send us your feedback.

  11. Darlan Batista says:

    Hi! I’m evaluating the new features on VSTS 2010, but since the PDC release I’m missing information about what happened with TF Proxy.

    Do you if there will be any change? Does it still part of VSTS?


  12. Hi there! I’ll surely give it a try. I’m hoping it to be a totally new product, way better than the 2008 version. The TFS 2008 installation setup was a nightmare and, worst than that, it was a product labeled as "2008" which didn’t support SQL Server 2008 until SP1 (and didn’t support x64 even after SP1). Now TFS 2010 need to win ours heart again, because in the other corder of the ring, the SVN+TRAC combo is (1st) very nice, (2nd) free and (3rd) open-source.

  13. andeezle says:

    Hey Jason, WTF does TFS stand for?

  14. Keith Patrick says:

    I would never want to go back to VSS (my company’s network is high latency, and that app will even hit the server when you give the window focus, making browsing particularly painful). That being said, I have grown to dislike TFS 2008 insofar as it has a nasty tendency to drain every spare cycle from my CPU (often hanging in the process). I hope TFS2010 improves the client experience, as my company will not move to SVN. Nothing quite like having an app gum up the mouse pointer in 2009.

    andeezle: it’s "Team Foundation Server" (although I will sometimes refer to it as just "Team System")

  15. Jason Barile says:

    Keith, I’d love to hear more about your specific concerns with TFS 2008.  Are you referring to the Team Explorer plugin in Visual Studio?  There are many performance improvements for 2010 that should help improve your overall experience here (both on the client side and on the server side, making certain server calls faster).  

    Feel free to e-mail me directly with any specific examples to help me understand your experience.


    Jason Barile (

  16. Dave Markle says:

    @Jason — will TFS Basic not include the SharePoint project site features?  (IMO, that’s just fine, as I think the SharePoint stuff in TFS is the weakest part, to say the least)

  17. Rene says:

    What level of MSDN subscription will you need to get to obtain a license to use TFS Basic?

    Are we going to have to the Team Edition version $$$$$, or will TFS Basic work with MSDN Professional version (much more affordable).


  18. pete says:

    TFS sucks and will suck in future. I would stick with sub version to visual svn. Its free and just works. Its hassle to work with DBA. You will spend more time troubleshooting this crap than actual coding time. M$ft can’t get one product right to begain with. They are always rush to throw stuff out.

  19. Jason Zander says:

    @Darlan – TF Proxy is still part of VSTS

    @Vinicius – I think you’ll find setup overall much improved. Try Beta2 when we release it and give us your feedback.

    @Andeezle – sorry, TFS == Team Foundation Server

    @Keith – sorry to hear you are hitting blocking issues.  If you are trying to use local control, try out TFS Basic with SQL Server Express.  It is designed for your local dev machine.  Jason Barile is on our TFS team (next comment) and can help you out if there are still issues.

    @Dave – TFS Basic only handles source control, work items, and builds.  SharePoint support remains part of the advanced TFS configuration.

    @Rene – We’ll talk more about pricing and availability as we release the beta (say tuned). But you can think of it similar to VSS today.

    @Pete – If I strip out the flame bait, what I hear you saying is that having a database is a hassle. In any system you are going to have a custom store for your data. You need to do backups, etc.  TFS does not requre you to become a DB admin; the system handles it for you.  If you have some concrete feedback I’d be happy to respond.

  20. Dmitriy says:


    Yes, svn is better and easier for source control.

    But it does not provide changesets, shelving and integration with work items. So with a great reluctance we are moving to TFS. It’s just easier to setup full SDLC, then combining free parts and custom coding.

    Although I agree that v.2008 with it’s 2008 incompatability is a joke.

  21. DVD says:

    I will be glad to try it when it comes out. SVN de-stabilizes everything it comes in contact with including paint on walls.

    Any eta on beta 2?

  22. Joe says:

    svn does provide changesets of sorts. Its security model is lousy, branching is still a joke and, well, wanting to do anything bug check code in and out quickly becomes a nightmare. That said, we may have to switch to it since our current unnamed vendor (not Microsoft) has dozens of major bugs in their latest release. I’d consider TFS, but when I priced it out last, the cost was prohibitive. I would seriously consider TFS Basic if the price were reasonable.

    My proposal: Give a TFS client license with Visual Studio Pro (there isn’t much else in Pro over Standard) and give away TFS Basic for single user, $994 for anything beyond that. (Heck, why not give it away with the limitation of only one copy on a domain, or something like that?)

  23. Eric Smith says:


    This is EXACTLY what I asked for several months ago. PERFECT! 🙂

  24. Tony Drake says:

    Will it work with Dynamics AX2009 – it only supports VS/TFS – would love to use any alternative – we’ve a small (4 dev) stop, so this would be perfect for Microsft Dymanics AX2009 too.

  25. Jason Zander says:

    @Joe – I think you’ll be happy with the new announcements we just made on TFS with Beta 2 on Monday.  The TFS components will come with Professional, Premium, Ultimate, and Test Elements.  The MSDN that is included has the CAL so each one is able to use TFS directly.  So essentially if you get VS 2010 Professional with MSDN there is nothing else to pay for.

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