Refreshing TFS Beta3

When we announced our plans for Beta3 of TFS, we also announced our intention to provide support for VSTS once it’s released and generally available. We’ve come to call this the “TFS Beta3 refresh”. While the release was necessitated by the need to update our shared components to be in sync with VSTS, we’ve taken this opportunity to also fix a few areas to make Beta3 better. 

We’ve learned through our forums that while Beta3 has a much improved setup experience, that there are some additional improvements, especially in our system health checks, that will improve the likelihood that users will have a successful installation experience. This includes ensuring that SharePoint is installed correctly which has been one of our key issues recently. Your feedback has been super helpful here and we appreciate the extra effort some have gone through to help us diagnose issues. 

In addition, we’re making some changes to MSF for CMMI in order to make sure that customers can use this methodology template and associated work item types in their day-to-day work. Beyond that, we’ve found and fixed a few “dogfood” blocking bugs which we’ve fixed for ourselves that we’ll include in this release as well. Overall, the Beta3 system has been remarkably stable and has required fewer fixes for our heavy usage than previous releases. 

Upgrading an existing Beta3 server will be a matter of uninstalling the server and reinstalling the refresh release. The data (projects, work items, source code) will remain in place and be available once the refresh is successfully installed. We’ve undergone a similar reinstallation procedure here with our own servers and we were only offline for under 3 hours. As such, I would encourage you to get started using Beta3 now and plan to upgrade to the refresh when it’s available. 

We’ll make this refresh release available very soon after the VSTS release is available for download on MSDN. Stay tuned and we’ll be sure to let you know when things are ready for you to take them for a spin.