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Microsoft Announces New Cloud Build for Team Foundation Service

by Jenni Konrad on Mar 30, 2012 |

At the VS Live conference this week in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced a new Build Service for Team Foundation Service, the Azure-based version of Team Foundation Server (TFS). Since its release last year, Team Foundation Service has included the ability to create builds, but it's been a manual process until now.

Any time a team member checks in a file, the build service will automatically recompile the application and run tests. The new service uses an Azure VM role that expands automatically to run the build, then shrinks once it's complete. Brian Harry, technical fellow for Microsoft, says that the build service can go even further, too:

And, of course, you can do more than just build – like with on-premises TFS, you can run a default workflow that includes, compilation, testing, etc or you can create a custom workflow that does whatever you like. This represents the next step in getting your project/team started and productive in the shortest time possible.

As Harry alluded to, the new build service is meant to be a similar experience to using an in-house TFS server, though the new cloud version uses LiveID instead of a Windows login. According to Microsoft, once the developer is logged in, the experience in Visual Studio or Eclipse (using Team Everywhere Explorer) will be virtually the same as TFS.

If the workflow includes any unit tests, they will automatically be run when files are checked in, and the results will be included in build reports. Several unit testing frameworks are now supported in addition to MSTest; the Visual Studio ALM Team covers that more in-depth on their blog.

According to Harry, Microsoft is releasing upgrades for Team Foundation Service every three weeks. The service is still in Preview mode, so accounts are available on an invitation-only basis. Those wishing to try it out can request an invitation on the Team Foundation Service website.

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