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InfoQ Homepage News Does Hosted Team Foundation Server Make Sense?

Does Hosted Team Foundation Server Make Sense?

Hosted infrastructure often makes sense for companies, especially small ones with modest needs. For less than $20/month, one can get an ASP.NET or Apache co-hosting complete with a MySQL or SQL Server database. But does it make sense for other services like source control?

According to a Microsoft blogger who goes by the name Brian or "bharry", there is now a commercial hosting service for Microsoft's Team Foundation Server. Based on new off-line features sorely lacking in TFS 2005, Readify has launched their TFS Now service.

Unlike bargain basement co-hosting, TFS Now does not come cheap. At $995 + $95/user over 5 (prices in Australian dollars), the accounting department is sure to balk. But on the other hand, it is certainly cheaper than hiring someone just to babysit the source control.

Perhaps this is pointing to a more fundamental problem with commercial source control systems. Why do heavy-duty systems like Team Foundation Server or IBM's Rational ClearCase require a person or small team just to set it up and keep it running smoothly? These products are a testament to how immature our industry still is.

It seems that there is still plenty of room for ISVs to make an integrated source control, build, and defect tracking system that doesn't cost an arm and leg. Or perhaps some open source projects like Bugzilla, Subversion, and Cruise Control merge into a complete suit. 

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