Team Foundation Services Officially Available

The collaboration tool had been in preview mode for a year.

Microsoft announced this morning at its Build conference that the cloud-based version of its popular collaboration software, Team Foundation Server (TFS), is officially available. It includes a free version that supports development teams of up to five people.

Called Team Foundation Services, the new platform is hosted on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud service. S. Somasegar, Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Developer Division, described in his blog posting what TFS is all about:

"It provides modern application lifecycle support for modern app development, including agile project planning and management tools, version control, build automation, and the continuous deployment automation needed to effectively and efficiently manage software development projects."

Team Foundation Services has been in preview since last year's Build conference, when it was first announced. Since then, it's been beefed up, and is ready, Somasegar said, for "full production use."

The free plan includes an unlimited number of projects, agile planning tools, version control, work item tracking and feedback management. In addition, most MSDN subscribers will have use of Team Foundation Services as part of their subscription. The company said that more pricing information is coming in 2013.

Jason Zander, corporate vice president of Windows Azure Development, got applause from the attendees at Build during the Day 2 keynote when he mentioned free support for the small teams of five or fewer.

He also got applause when discussing Team Foundation Services' Cloud Build Service, which relies on Azure rather than the local machine.  "The build [of the application] happens in the cloud. No more build machines to configure for this. It's just click and go," Zander said during a demo of the product.

Team Foundation Services is being updated about every three weeks, Somasegar mentioned, enabling Microsoft to react quickly to user feedback.

Microsoft touts the cross-platform nature of Team Foundation Services, allowing development in most popular languages including C#, C++, Java, HTML and JavaScript. Team Foundation Services integrates with many IDEs as well, such as Visual Studio, Xcode (Apple) and Eclipse (Java). The apps built can target almost any OS, including Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iOS, Android, MacOS and Linux.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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