Git-tf Combines Git With Multi-Platform TFS Support

by Jeff Martin on Aug 14, 2012 |

Microsoft's Brian Harry, Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server (TFS), announced a new tool for TFS, Git-tf. Git-tf allows developers to interoperate with TFS while using familiar Git commands to manage their development cycle. Note that Git-tf is a complement to the existing Git toolset- it does not replace it.

Brian Keller, a technical evangelist for Visual Studio, and Matt Mitrik, a TFS Program Manager in the version control area, have provided a demonstration of the new tool. Git-tf installs locally on a client and facilitates interoperability with a remote TFS repository. On the client side, the developer can utilize the typical Git commands to make commits, branches, etc. as part of their usual workflow. Once satisfied with their progress, a developer can commit their changes to the TFS server via Git-tf. The commands Git-tf currently supports include clone, configure, checkin, fetch, and pull. (Shelve is available in beta form, and not suitable for production code at this time.)

Developers may be already familiar with local workplaces which allow a developer to edit files and work offline without an immediate connection to their TFS server. The drawback is that there is no local repository-- there is not any local history. One of the advantages of Git is that it provides a local repository with full history. This is helpful as they are able to take advantage of the benefits of version control even if they do not have an active network to the server (such as people working remotely who may not always have a reliable connection.)

Note that Git-tf requires the presence of a Team Foundation Server (2008/2010/2012) in order to function correctly. This differs from Git-based tools like Git Source Control Provider and Git Extensions which are intended to allow developers to interact with traditional Git repositories (non-TFS based.)

Git-tf is available for download at Microsoft's Download Center and the full Java source code is available under the MIT License at CodePlexMitrik states that it is Microsoft's desire to be part of the overall Git community and he is looking forward to user feedback and contributions.

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