When we announced Visual Studio Online back in November of 2013 , we wanted to thank all those developers who trusted the service from the beginning—ever since the early Team Foundation Service bits were deployed. That’s why we decided that all of the Visual Studio Online early adopters should enjoy the service without limitation until March 14, 2014.
Well… plans change, and we have good news! We’re extending the early adoption period from March 14th to May 7th, so we can focus on delivering additional updates to Visual Studio Online over the next few months (did you check in your profile to receive info about updates?). We are also taking advantage of this extra time to get more feedback from our early adopter users about their experiences with Visual Studio Online.
Early adopter benefits
Early adoption grants benefits at both the user and account levels. Users have been granted the early adopter user plan, which offers access to the features of the Visual Studio Online Advanced plan or those exclusive to MSDN subscribers. At the account level, early adopter accounts can add as many early adopter user plans as needed, plus cloud Build and cloud Load Testing are completely free.
Transitioning after the early adopter period ends
Once the early adoption period ends, you will need to decide what level of service you will need moving forward. As you may know, there are ongoing free service offerings for every Visual Studio Online account—up to five Visual Studio Online Basic user plans, unlimited MSDN subscribers, 60 build minutes per month, and 15,000 virtual user minutes of Cloud Load Testing.
If these free service offerings are sufficient for your needs, then we have great news for you. You don’t need to do anything to transition your account. When the early adoption period ends, we will automatically assign any available licenses in your account to the users with early adopter user plans. This will include the 5 free basic user plans per account + any available license you’ve purchased but not assigned yet. If you don’t want to wait until the automatic transition, you can do it yourself now.
But, if you need more than the free services offerings, you can simply link your Visual Studio Online account with a Windows Azure subscription, so you can buy additional/upgraded user plans, build minutes, and load testing virtual user minutes, all on a month-to-month basis. (You can also contact your reseller or Microsoft sales teams.)Here are a few things to consider:
- Do any users on your account need access to Team Rooms, Agile Portfolio Management, Request & Manage Feedback, or Work Item Chart Authoring? These users will need the Visual Studio Online Advanced user plan or a higher level MSDN subscription (Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN, MSDN Platforms, Visual Studio Premium with MSDN, or Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN).
- Which users on your account need access to the Testing features? These users will need a higher-level MSDN subscription, too (same list as above).
- For all of the other users on your account, the Basic user plan will be sufficient—you can get these either from the Visual Studio Online Basic user plan or through MSDN subscriptions (all the higher-level subscriptions above, plus Visual Studio Professional with MSDN).
- Are you using more than 60 minutes of Build per month? You can see your current month usage on the account dashboard.
- How much Load Testing will your team members using Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 need to do? The account dashboard shows your current month usage for Load Testing, too.
We will also be enabling a method for early adopter account administrators to export their data for use in their own Team Foundation Server 2013 update 2. To receive this capability, send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. This capability will be available after we release Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 2. You can read more about data migration in Brian Harry’s blog post.
Is anyone in the VSOnline team a MSDN Subscriber?
Visual Studio Online is a benefit for MSDN subscribers, just make sure that the account owners sets the team members that are MSDN subscribers as ‘Eligible MSDN’ in the VSOnline users hub and that they use the same Microsoft (a.k.a LiveId) account to log in to both MSDN and VSOnline sites.
Please note that Visual Studio Online accounts can host unlimited MSDN subscribers for free, and higher MSDN subscribers have access to the full feature set (Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN, MSDN Platforms, Visual Studio Premium with MSDN, or Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN).
Worst case scenario, let’s say the early adoption period ends, and you have more than five early adopter user plans and/or you consume metered services beyond the free threshold. There’s no need to worry. Here’s what will happen after May 7th:
- If the 5 free Basic user plans are not assigned by May 7, 2014, we will convert up to 5 early adopter user plans to the free Basic user plans upon the next user sign in. Any remaining users with an Early Adopter user plan will be blocked until the account owner, or an administrator, assigns a valid user plan.
- These users will only have access to Basic user plan features (not the additional features available under the Early Adopter user plan).
- Any user without a valid user plan will be blocked until the account owner assigns a valid user plan (or MSDN subscription) or removes another user from the account (to free up a user plan). The account owner will see a message regarding the blocked users in the User hub, and the user will see a warning when he or she tries to log in to the account.
- Build minutes and virtual minutes of load testing will be limited. The account won’t be able to exceed the free-service level thresholds.
Remember that at any time you can link the VSOnline account to a Windows Azure subscription and add/remove user plans and unblock the metered services usage.
Questions & comments
Please do not hesitate to ask us any question about early adopter benefits or transitioning after the early adoption period ends. We are actively monitoring the following channels to support you: VSOnline forum,comments on this post or via the #VSOnline hashtag on Twitter.
Visual Studio Online Team