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Price Drop and Extension Marketplace for VS Online

When Team Foundation Server was first envisioned a decade ago, it was meant to be an all-encompassing solution for application lifecycle management including source control, bug and feature tracking, build management, and testing.

Since then Microsoft has come to realize that most companies prefer to mix and match the tools that best suit their needs. The first change that reflected this new understanding came about 18 months ago with their “REST, OAuth and Service Hooks work to better enable integrating TFS and VSO with other tooling”.

Significant Price Cuts for Visual Studio Online

Now Microsoft has adjusted their pricing model for Visual Studio Online, the hosted version of TFS, to make it more practical in mixed environments. First up is the baseline pricing model, which will now follow this scale. (All prices in USD per month.)

  • First 5 users: FREE
  • Users 6 through 10: $6 each
  • Users 11 through 100: $8 each
  • Users 101 through 1000: $4 each
  • Users 1001 and above: $2 each

Build Agents

All VS Online accounts include “240 minutes per month free of cloud build and deployment time”. This has been increased from the 60 minutes a month, making it enough for casual projects that have reasonably short build times. If you need more than that there a number of options.

If you want a Microsoft hosted build agent, one can be had for 40/month. This includes unlimited build times, but each job can run no more than 6 hours.

Alternately, you can host the build agent yourself. Each account is allowed one private build agent. Additional private build agents can be had for 15/each. This is just the licensing price, you still have to pay for the hardware to run it on.

VS Online Extensibility

TFS has always been extensible to some degree, but that extensibility has been increased dramatically in recent years. Will Smythe writes,

As of today, there are nearly 30 places in our web experience that Extensions can contribute new capabilities into. And in the very near future, members of our partner program will be able to contribute to other areas within Visual Studio Online including:

  • Tasks for our new cross-platform build system
  • Dashboard widgets
  • Service hook services

VS Online Marketplace

In order to make it easier to find 3rd party extension, Microsoft is creating a new TFS and VS Online marketplace. A preview of the marketplace is expected to be launched this fall for VS Online, with a version for TFS 2015 coming something after that. “The initial launch will have limited capabilities for commerce but will grow over time.”

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