Visual Studio Team System 2010

Last week I started to tell you about some of the functionality we are building for Visual Studio Team System 2010.  I wanted to elaborate on that some here

I mentioned that only 20% of the code in most business applications is “new” code.  That makes tracking down bugs in the majority of the application code even more difficult to do.  From the design of the application through to the actual writing of the code, one of the most difficult problems has always been that of the bug that can’t be reproduced – the “no repro” bug. There are a lot of factors that drive these types of bugs and we are working to create tools to isolate the issue and allow faster fixes. One way we will do this is through a tool that can specify the exact state of the build used by a tester (what has been checked in, what has changed in source) and allow a comparison to the state of the build used by the developer when trying to reproduce the bug. It is often the subtle differences between these two that create the no repro state, and a new tool within VSTS 2010 has been designed to specifically address this.

One of the other common blockers to reproducing a bug is the collection of actionable data on the bug. By providing a set of tools designed specifically for testers, we are enabling better documentation of test scenarios as well as more thorough collection of data when a scenario fails. This includes the collection of system data, as well as stack trace information, screen images and even fully indexed video capture of the testers’ screen attached to the bug.
















As developers make changes to the code, it is critical for them to effectively test their changes, not only to prove their code changes work as expected, but also to ensure there is no unexpected downstream effect. By providing developers with a test impact analysis, they can run all the necessary tests to validate the code changes helping developers quickly check-in code with confidence by running only the necessary tests, and reducing the churn created by unexpected breaking failures.














Of course, the applications cannot be successful if they are not carefully managed from the initial business problem, through to the code being built, and finally to deployment. Fortunately, we have a powerful collaboration hub at the core of VSTS: Team Foundation Server (TFS). TFS enables all of the roles in the lifecycle to work together on shared requirements, shared code assets, and a powerful build management system.

Customers tell us that one of their biggest challenges is the management of the overall build process and the ability to allow developers and testers to check-in code on a continuous basis. I am happy to report that among the new TFS features in VSTS 2010 are improvements to the source code management system with gated check-in, cross branch history and branch/merge visualization, and distributed build workflow.  These improvements provide the same level of visual capabilities for source code and build management as we provide for architectural design.

More on the rest of the family of products later.


Comments (49)

  1. Mark Gordon says:

    Soma, Does "the family of products" include a "true" data centric language for Visual Studio ?

  2. elgrego says:

    How come you give out so much news before the PDC08?

    It does not feel as much fun as a couple of weeks ago thanks to all news.

    Cloud OS "Ballmer"

    New SQL Server 2010

    Visual Studio 2010.

    Windows 7


  3. ZippyV says:

    What’s the use of Team System when only a handful of developers/companies can afford it?

  4. Fschwiet says:

     I love Visual Studio and some of the tools it makes available.  But I really don’t like TFS.

     Having source depot integrated into Visual Studio is handy- but it because it hides file relationships in the project developers tend to lose sight of what code they are changing.  This is not so bad though, I just wish the diff utilities capabilities were as quick, clean and complete as "Windiff -lo".

     What really bothers me is the TFS integration.  When my machine is crawling along because I have a debugger, compiler, text editor, source code database and bug database all running at once– well I’d like to be able to shut some of them down.  Unfortunately thats not so easy.

     I’d be working in Visual Studio at home afterhours, and VS would periodically hang before letting me know I’m not connected to the TFS database (repeatedly!).  Or some doomed SDK download might interrupt.  The integration makes it hard to get work done.

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  6. int19h says:

    > What’s the use of Team System when only a handful of developers/companies can afford it?

    Your company can’t afford an MSDN subscription that costs less than an average developer’s yearly salary?

  7. Edison says:

    I use both TFS and Subversion source control.  Subversion does a few things and it does them well:  Core features such as check-in, check-out, revert, branch, merge, diff, and roll-back are implemented simply and effectively.

    TFS is another monster.  It is so tightly integrated with Visual Studio that even a seemingly simple operation can cause a flood of message boxes in the IDE.  I can’t count how many times an action in the IDE has triggered more than 5 message boxes in a row from TFS + Visual Studio.

    I don’t doubt that new features in TFS will be useful but more work is needed for the Core features.  A client patterned off TortoiseSVN would go a long way.  A stupid-easy installer patterned after would be a big improvement too.

    Does TFS use the Visual Source Safe code base?  It sure seems like it.

  8. wow says:


     I hope that was sarcasm.  It costs barely less than some developers’ salaries (in some countries)…

  9. Rajeev says:

    Glad to know about the information.

    Can’t you reduce the cost for these to reduce wider acceptability and kill piracy.

    Mainly tough for freelance developers to afford.

    Please consider this at least only for Visual Studio 2010(not team system) Professional standalone versions.

  10. Mike says:

    I wish MS would make these tools more affordable in generall.  $799 for professional to ~$5K minimum for a team edition is quite a price hike. MS might have a better chance of getting more people using these tools if they can make them more affordable.

    I work for a state government organization and we could benefit from team system, but the cost of it immediately removed it as an option for us.

  11. Sithlrd says:

    Cost plus no documentation on how to install it are the primary reasons I never looked at TFS or its predecessors.

    I mean does it run on my dev box? Is it a server based program? What hardware does it require?  Can I just install it on my staging box or does it need its own server?

    And 5k for a price tag?  Really?  We’re not programming the Enterprise here.  

  12. Weekly digest of interesting stuff

  13. Mark R. says:

    I agree with previous posts regarding the costs associated with using TFS. As a micro-ISV, these tools are well outside of my reach.

    I actually feel this is a bit short-sighted on Microsoft’s part. Rather than trying to make TFS a revenue source through extremely high subscription costs, they should be working toward shoring up the quality of Windows development efforts in general.

    In other words, I think it would be better for the Windows platform in the long term if third-party software quality were higher. Lowering the cost of these tools (by a significant margin) would increase their adoption considerably.

  14. Einstein says:

    Edision wrote: "TFS is another monster. Agreed! The same could be said for Visual Studio and .NET. In my opinion, the Visual Studio development suite is what Microsoft needs to develop their internal software packages like office. Then Microsoft turns around and resells the package. Using these tools is like trying to fit a size 4 foot into a size 11 shoe. Of course it covers the foot but it doesn’t fit.  Microsoft is out of touch with developers needs both in terms of pricing and products.

  15. [原文地址]: Visual Studio Team System 2010 [原文发表时间]: Monday, October 06, 2008 5:28 PM 上周我开始向大家介绍我们正在开发的 Visual

  16. Mañana sale Silverlight 2.0 !!!: Por fin, y tras varias betas llenas de breaking changes, sale la versión

  17. tdwickens says:

    Check e-bay for cheap prices.  I got a 1 year Team Suite for $800 AUD from UK auction.

    Fortunately seller had no idea of its real value – so no reserve.

    Some Team Editions go for approx $2500 US for 2 year sub.

    MS Aust asking just too much $ for a solo ISV developer

  18. yuety.xie says:

    要是有机会,让我也参与一下测试(; 有新版本随时能弄一个给我,就最好评…呵呵.

  19. Tommy Allen says:

    Microsoft are out of touch and reselling their own twisted and monstrous incarnations of technology.

    I’m tired of all the competing dross.

    Bugs that cannot be replicated…  What type of sales angle is this?  You’re now selling a tool that informs of DLL hell…  and you really want me to buy into this.

    Sort out your life Mr Patch and stop papering over these  cracks with dollars.


  20. GertD on Partial Projects Shai Raiten on Fixing Web Test Recorder Bar and How To: Create Generic Work…

  21. PV Rao says:

    I am surprised to see MSFT addressing these kinds of bug issues so late in the game. Hello..we have been living with these kinds of bugs since the days of COM..The idea is more on prevention rather than trying to patch up later. Quality should be an integral part of Visual Studio, if thats not done you will encounter such bugs no matter how good your tool is. When I say Quality I mean proactive quality( Software Quality )  not Testing ( verification & Validation  which comes after the implementation is complete.)

    Also TFS is a overkill. Why do we need such a resource hogg when we can do the same more efficently using just Visual Studio ( Which I think is pretty decent stand alone ) and some other products like Subversion, For a real team distributed around I would use something like Mercurial . SVn and Hg are both  FREE.  Just a thought SomaJi. Namste to you too..

  22. Stan Spotts says:

    Do any of you understand TFS at all?  SubVersion does what it does well, but TFS is not just a code repository.  The integration with Visual Studio doesn’t just let you check-in/out code and such.  Every time a developer does a local build/run, runs unit tests, etc., statistics are pushed to the TFS analysis database so leads and PM’s can look at project status reports.  Big deal?  Sure, if you’d rather do your work than sit in endless meetings telling others about status.

    Process support is another feature that hasn’t been mentioned.  Mostly I’ve used Conchango’s Scrum for TFS v2.0, which gives me product/sprint backlog tracking, reports, a SharePoint site for artifacts and developer documents and shareholder documents and whatever else we feel like putting there.  Work items in TFS can link to these docs as well.  Because there’s no parent/child relationships in TFS we’ve had some issues, but TFS 2010 is supposed to fix that.

    If you’re going to whine about the product, at least learn enough about it first.  Yah, there’s warts, but I’ve gotten more value than pain.

    As for VSTS pricing… I hear ya.  I thought it was a crap move to split the SKU’s in the first place.  The tools should have been kept under $2K as well.  Larger companies split out architects, developers, testers… but smaller ones and independents have people handling all roles.  I don’t give a rats butt about the Express editions since they’re not designed for team development.

  23. Ferdy says:

    I can tell you that having been in a very large enterprise for years now, that not all enterprises want to afford a system as hugely expensive as TFS. It’s not that they can’t, they don’t want to. Its way too expensive given the value it offers and there are a lot of additional costs (cost of implementation, configuration, running, purchasing a license for all of many developers).

    Quite frankly, the price tag of TFS and the TCO it results in is considered insane where I work. It’s not even close to the price expectation.

  24. Olivier says:

    What is really required in TFS is an easy-to-use rollback function. We need this ! Be able to roolback a changeset with a right-click.

  25. websurfer says:

    how come you have Ad’s on this blog? How much do they cost? Who get’s paid? How can I advertise in here?

  26. JohnFx says:

    I can echo the comments by the others here. I seriously considered TFS for our developer team but the price put it out of reach for us fairly quickly. We wound up going with the PRO edition and coveting things in the Team Edition like code-coverage analysis.

    The argument that it costs less than a developer’s salary is  ludicrous. I couldn’t make that argument for a $40K developer workstation, so why should it work for the software running on it?

    My second beef is that no one (even people at MS) seems to understand the licensing for this software making it extremely complex to buy. Seems like a bad business decision to make it hard to buy your products.

  27. burton says:

    i can’t argue with you guys on the pricing/sku issues, however i will say, if you previously had an MSDN Universal subscription when TFS debuted, the cost increase was minimal.

    some of you obviously have no clue what TFS is.  we’ve been using TFS since V1 was in betas, and it has totally changed how we develop.  granted we weren’t very sophisticated at that point, but it gave us the tools to actually develop and document a process, when most of our devs didn’t know what that meant.

    please get a clue before you start bashing stuff.

    btw…  TFS’s source control is DEFINITELY NOT SourceSafe!!!

  28. thedee says:


    Need ur permission to copy-paste this interesting information into my blog.



  29. Somasegar says:

    Hi Thedee,

    You have my permission to cut and paste information in this blog entry into your blog.

    Thanks for checking.


  30. Somasegar says:

    Hi Olivier,

    We have a PowerTool for the roll back functionality and currently are planning to have it be a feature in Visual Studio Team System 2010.

    You can read Brian Harry’s blog at for more information on PowerTools.


  31. R Carter says:

    RE: TFS branching and merging, these features need a nudge in a different direction to accommodate non technical managers who do not understand SCM. For example, I am often asked to select a range of non sequential change sets based on change set ID or date range, for merging or branching. As TFS works now, when you pick a change set you get everything from that point forward, not good when you have a highly agile environment with multiple lines of paralel development. When management wants to cherry pick bug fixes based on customer demands or needs, the technical rules get ignored, despite our warnings about the potential risk in using this method. For this reason with some clients who manage projects in this way, I have to recommend Subversion, after they have already purchased TFS, It’s not a pretty picture, and pursuiding them to change processes to accommodate the tool usually falls on deaf ears.

  32. Sathish says:


     What would be the base framework for .Net framework 4.0?

     Is it at the top of 3.5?

     The application which is built on framework 2.0, will it work on framework 4.0?

     Advance Thanks for you reply.

  33. MegP_MS says:

    Sathish –

    .NET 4.0 is a side by side release with .NET FX 3.5.  .NET FX 3.5 package does include .NET FX 2.0 and .NET FX 3.0 packages.  If 3.5 is not availible on the machine, the app should work with .NET 4.0 installed which is highly compatible.

  34. Sathish says:

    So .NET Framework v4.0 actually runs on CLR 2.0 SP1?

  35. Clive Chinery says:

    Where is the Visual Studio 2010 CTP download?

  36. MegP_MS says:

    Clive – You can download the VS2010 and .NET Fx 4.0 CTP from here:

  37. MegP_MS says:

    @Anass –

    There’s actually two sample apps and a KB that help so far:

    * Layered Architecture Sample for .NET –

    * Stock Trader .NET –

    * The App Arch KB ( has some step by step how tos.

    Both Serena Yeoh (Layered App Example) and Gregory Leake (Stock Trader .NET) are key contributors to the App Arch Guide 2.0.

    (posting for) J.D. Meier

    Principal PM, patterns & practices team

  38. Rajeev says:

    Being a .Net Developer, I wish Microsoft should target small companies too by using price cut policy.

    There are many small companies which is a huge market for Microsoft.

    Already many companies are struggling due to the impact of recession. Cost cut will surely help.

    Many of the small companies are  hesitant to introduce VSTS mainly due to cost of the software.

    Cost cut will ensure Microsoft to achieve wider acceptability and hence can increase profit.

  39. I’m curious how much people think TFS and VSTS costs.  TFS $3000.  5 developers CALs = $1500.  Round up and you’ve got $5000.  If you are paying a developer $5000 and he’s delivered a shipping product, tell him to call me.

    We used to have a 30 minute meeting every day to update our open items status with our PM, who then had a 1 hour meeting ever couple days with our business sponsor.  We’ve elminited both of those.

    30min * 5devs * 5days = 12.5 hours/week

    Average Developer costs $80k/yr = ~$1535/wk = $38/hr

    We reduced our WEEKLY downtime costs by $475.  That means after about 2 months we’ve recouped our costs.

  40. Joe says:

    A little late, but I need to add a comment about prices. We are now transitioning to Surround SCM from Seapine Software. The total cost as about $12,000. It would have cost us over $85,000 had we gone to TFS. Worse, several of those licenses would be for people who don’t even use Visual Studio, but who need version control (for schematics, parts lists, etc.) We also have one small set of check-ins from Linux.

    Add to that all the missing features of TFS, the difficulty in setting it up and administering it and I don’t see how it can be justified.

    (At my previous company, it would have cost close to half a million dollars to go to TFS, not counting all the education and downtime the transition would have cost. The final nail was the headaches the evaluation team had just getting the damn thing running and working. [One issue, which may have been resolved, was when a developer had changes shelved but then went on vacation and those changes were needed, we could find no way to force them in.])

  41. Fabiano says:

    As far as code branching and merging, Accurev does a far better job than TFS.  It provides a graphical representation of your branches and it makes it easy to see which changes need to be ‘promoted’ up the code tree.

  42. Somasegar says:

    Hi Fabiano,

    Attached is a specific blog post from Brian Harry that talks about some of the improvements we are making in this area with the 2010 wave of releases.

    Hope this helps.


  43. Lloyd says:

    It’s nice to see so many people defend TFS against the percieved "bashing" it’s taking but let’s get real.  Everyone knows that TFS is the most awesome, feature rich development environment ever created.  The comparisons to open source apps and the bashing you hear is simply sour grapes.  

    I’ve only been developing for about 12 years so while I’m no ancient in the industry I’ve been around long enough to remember being able to justify microsoft to CFO’s on purely a cost basis.  With MS we could offer quality rapid application development at a low price and run it on any windows environment.  As a result, it was the applications that WE wrote that kept microsoft in business.  Sure, they provided the platform and the tools but our ability to customize that platform was what justified the price over mac and linux, rational, people soft, oracle, sun, etc.

    Do you have any idea how many developers there are out there that suffered through the crap vs releases of the past, justified more and more ms licenses to their bosses and provided feedback to MS on how to improve its products, yet will never get to use the very thing they’ve been dreaming of because it’s been priced right out of their meager budgets.

    So when we little development shops hear about all the great things coming in TFS we might as well be listening to Ferrari talk about their new car.  Good for you, it must be nice.  Too bad you forgot about the people that stuck with you when you were crap.

  44. Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 (Professional, Suite and Team Foundation Server) is available today to MSDN

  45. Smita says:

    Hi ,

    Currently i am exploring VSTS2010 from manual testing perspective and wanted to know if there is any elaborade document on following topics.

    1.Microsoft Test and Lab Manager

    2.Test Controller

    3.Test Agent

    4.Lab Agents

    5.Architecture of VSTS 2010

    6.Configurations and Settings

    7.How to upload test cases from excel to Test lab

    8.Any SDK to be installed separately to support third party tools infragustics, SAP etc.

    It would be helpful,if somebody can provide me information on same.

    Awaiting response.


  46. Somasegar says:

    Hi Smita,

    Here are some pointers to information in terms of VS 2010 Test and Lab Management Tools.


  47. Somasegar says:

    Hi Smita,

    One more thing. Regarding your question about uploading test cases from Excel to Test Lab, here is a relevant power tool to look at:



  48. Smita says:

    Thanks Somasegar, I will look into same.

  49. sasi.thangam says:

    I would like to know the list of features/improvements done in TFS 2010 compared to TFS 2008 more specific to version control part.

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