Visual Studio Team System 2008 Licensing Whitepaper

The Visual Studio Team System 2008 Licensing Whitepaper is now published. This paper is in the same format of the very popular 2005 licensing whitepaper but now reflects the licensing changes which have been made for 2008. The spirit of these documents is to answer common licensing questions about Visual Studio Team System, and most of the verbiage centers around Team Foundation Server.

Overall the licensing for 2005 and 2008 is very similar, with a few exceptions. These exceptions are generally less restrictive than in 2005 and should come as a welcome surprise to those who have faced these challenges in the past. I encourage you to read the licensing whitepaper to read more, but here is a summary of the biggest change:

"File-a-bug scenario" - Many customers would like to allow end-users of an internal application to file bugs or enhancement requests directly against Team Foundation Server to be addressed by the development team. But in the 2005 licensing, this scenario would have required every user to be properly licensed with a CAL for Team Foundation Server. If your application was consumed by many users this could become quite expensive. But now with Team Foundation Server 2008 we allow a user to achieve this scenario without requiring a CAL. There are still restrictions on what a user can and can't do, but generally speaking the "file-a-bug scenario" which many customers have asked for can now be achieved without a CAL. See the licensing whitepaper for more details. In addition, the new "Work Item Web Access" feature of Team Foundation Server will make it easy to extend a Web client to those users for the purpose of achieving this scenario. Work Item Web Access is essentially a stripped down version of Team System Web Access which only provides the capabilities enabled by the new "File-a-bug scenario." Hence you can grant your end-users access to this interface without needing to closely monitor how they use the system.

I hope that the licensing whitepaper is useful and helps to dispel many of the questions surrounding Visual Studio Team System licensing. As always, we welcome your feedback on how we can continue to make it better.