Change is in the air: TFS Admin & Ops

Team Foundation Server v1.0 has shipped. As is apparently tradition with Microsoft (and doubtless many other companies), product ship has triggered a “reorg” which could be reasonably compared to Musical Chairs, a pot-luck dinner, and perhaps even the Boston Tea Party (you had to be there… ). Some people leave the org, a few join, and there's plenty of movement within the product unit as well.


The QA team’s shuffle was almost entirely “self-organized”, within reasonable constraints (there still has to be the right mix of leaders and followers, enough but not too many people for each feature area, etc.).


I chose to join a project that has coalesced from what was, for most of the v1 product cycle, a “virtual” team spread across the major product feature units. This new team is (almost) exclusively dedicated to improving the experience when administering and operating Team Foundation Servers, hence the catchy working name: Admin & Ops.


There are several qualities that one would associate with a product being “enterprise-ready”:

  • It can be monitored and managed easily and remotely (e.g. from an admin’s desk, rather than box itself; multiple servers can be managed as a group)
  • It has a “good” backup story
  • It easily scales upwards and downwards as the needs of the enterprise change
  • It plays well with any other enterprise components on which it depends
  • and so on (there are probably others - this is my personal take on the subject)

Our v1 product meets some these areas quite well; in other areas, there is room for improvement.  We’re already talking to various Enterprise customers (internally and externally) about their needs, but I’m very interested to hear from anyone in the field who monitors or maintains a Team Foundation Server:


  • When it comes to managing TFS, what (for you) are “the good, the bad, and the ugly” aspects?
  • Is there one feature or tool or capability that would make your job a lot easier?
  • Are there specific features (like a MOM pack) that would substantially improve your “TFS integration story” within your enterprise, or is the ability to do something more important than HOW those abilities are surfaced? Another way to ask this question:
  • If we were considering an admin web portal or a standalone thick client, would you have a strong preference for one of those possibilities?

My ego and my clothes are flame-retardant, so don’t hesitate to be brutally honest if there are things you don’t like or “can’t imagine how M$ shipped without this!


Adam Singer is also along for the ride on “AO QA”. Everyone else in QA is in either on another project, not blogging, or (gasp) doesn’t work for Microsoft yet! Did I mention that we’re hiring?


It's a kind of magic...