Piloting TFS Beta 3

A few weeks ago, Microsoft released the third beta of Team Foundation Server (TFS).  If you are not familiar with it, TFS is an integrated suite of enterprise software development tools, including source code management, work item tracking, build automation, and detailed project reporting.  At its core, TFS is a SQL Server 2005 repository with an application server component and new client software that integrates with Visual Studio 2005.

Having spent my fair share of time fighting VSS and a dozen or more bug tracking systems, I was very excited to see TFS when I first heard about it.  So, when the TFS team asked for us to dogfood the product as they work to finalize it, I was thrilled to help.

But, like you, patterns & practices has a significant investment in its existing tools and practices.  And, like you, we have many active projects, all with their own deadlines.  So, in order to balance our need to meet our commitments with our desire to see what TFS can do to improve our processes, we chose to pilot TFS in our lab against a few of our key development scenarios before implementing it broadly.  This gives us the opportunity to provide feedback to the product group while insulating our project teams from major infrastructure changes so close to the Whidbey launch.

Over the next several weeks, I will be running the pilot project.  We have already built the servers (twice) and ported our work items to TFS from an internal Microsoft tool.  At the moment, I'm working on migrating our source code to TFS from another internal Microsoft tool.  Obviously, the converters I'm using are not a part of the shipping product.  But, they were written by the same team that is writing the VSS converter among others.  Check out Akash Maheshwari’s blog for more information about that.

For the time being, I just wanted to let you know what I’ve been up to for the last few weeks.  Over the next month or so, expect some posts around my experiences with TFS in these areas:

  • Installation
  • Work item migration
  • Source code migration
  • Build management
  • Continuous integration
  • Iteration planning
  • Reporting

And, please feel free to tell me what’s important to you!  I’m happy to run down any TFS related questions.