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TFS2015 Released with New Build System and Greater Git Support

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Last month TFS2015 was promised to be near official release, and today Microsoft is making TFS2015 officially available.  Microsoft’s Brian Harry has provided details surrounding the launch, which includes TFS 2015 Trial and TFS 2015 Express. 

One of the new features provided in TFS2015 for on-premises installations to have the ability to use REST APIs to work with TFS directly.  For example, clients can create and query work items, get the most recent changesets, get the top commits in a Git-based repository, or otherwise manipulate TFS programmatically.  Microsoft has an overview of these APIs which are consistent whether the TFS server is local or hosted on Visual Studio Online (VSO).

Another benefit of TFS2015 is the arrival of the new build system, Build V.Next.  One aspect of this system is that beyond supporting Windows-based build agents, Mac OS X and Linux are supported.  This is provided through a Node.js-based, open source build agent that runs natively on Linux and OS X. This supports build definitions created using the new Team Build that ships with TFS 2015 and VSO. The agent that runs on the OS X / Linux box communicates with TFS over HTTP or HTTPS.

Git support has also been improved.  One of the more interesting and useful features is the ability to set Branch Policy.  This means different branches can have rules enforced by the TFS server that specify the system’s behavior when dealing with pull requests.  One benefit of this approach is the ability to have TFS build the proposed pull request before committing it to the branch.  This allows only successful builds to be included—ones that break the build are not admitted.

Of course the long-standing request to support Team Project Rename has been implemented and is part of this release.

TFS2015 is available for download on the Visual Studio site or through your MSDN subscription page should you have one.  Harry has previously issued guidance on the licensing TFS and VSO will use.  A single purchased client access license will provide each user with access to use Visual Studio Online and on-premises TFS.  Complete details are in the full release notes.

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