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InfoQ Homepage News Team Foundation Server 2008: Out-Of-The-Box Support for Continuous Integration

Team Foundation Server 2008: Out-Of-The-Box Support for Continuous Integration

Along with Visual Studio 2008 Microsoft will be releasing a new version of TFS (Team Foundation Server). TFS 2008 will provide extended support for Continuous Integration.

Patrick Carnahan, a developer on Team Build, wrote "A basic guide to Team Build 2008", which has been published by Buck Hodges on his blog. This guide is a good starting point for trying the new continuous integration features of TFS 2008 Beta 2:

  • Improved and extended management of Triggers - every check-in, accumulate check-ins in order to prevent an excessive number of builds, scheduled builds
  • Drop Management - policy, which defines how many builds of any kind (successful, failed) should be kept
  • Ability to run GUI tests as part of the build - run GUI tests as part of the build while preventing access to a GUI desktop
  • Customizable check-in policies - the default policy will halt any check-ins until the recently failed build is fixed
  • Support for multi-threaded builds with the new MSBuild
  • Stop & Delete a build from within Visual Studio

Brian Harry, a VSTS Product Group Manager at Microsoft, has posted an extensive final list of all new features in TFS 2008:

At this point TFS 2008 is basically done! We've got a few bugs left to fix and we are still taking feedback from Beta 2 but we're focusing on quality, stability and ensuring TFS works in a wide array of configurations at this point. As such, I expect this to be my final feature list post for TFS 2008.

Brian also announces the first official release of Team System Web Access Power Tool, which is free of charge for all licensed TFS customers. The tool is based on TeamPlain from DevBiz, which has been acquired by Microsoft:

When Microsoft first acquired DevBiz, we provided v1.0 of TeamPlain for download. Based on customer demand, we uploaded a preview of TeamPlain 2.0. Neither were supported by Microsoft customer support but both were available for download by all Team Foundation Server licensed users. With our release today of the Team System Web Access Power Tool, several things have changed. This new version is based on the TeamPlain 2.0 code base but a great deal of work has gone into it since March. Although, it is still not yet an officially released Microsoft product it has taken some great strides.

Anthony Borton provides some installation tips and the patterns && practices group released the "TFS Guide", which is a great collection of guidelines and best practices for small to large code bases.

Although the new release of TFS fixes many of the problems and shortcomings of the first release, one issue remains: the license costs. Many developers and companies refrain from using TFS because of small development budgets. CruiseControl.NET and Subversion (SVN) have proven to be serious and well established alternatives to the continuous integration and source control features of TFS.

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