VS Online To Add Stakeholder License

Visual Studio Online adds two new features: a free "Stakeholder" license that allows limited accessibility, and access to the Test Hub for those on Visual Studio Online Advanced.

Microsoft is implementing a few changes to Visual Studio Online. One involves how it's licensed and the other involves testing.

The first change is licensing of Visual Studio Online that allows teams to allow an unlimited number of team members to gain Visual Studio Online access who don't need fully unfettered access, but still want to participate in providing feedback and suggestions.

As Brian Harry, product unit manager for Microsoft Team Foundation, notes in his blog, these particular "stakeholders" are ones who might on occasion be asked to peek into a project for testing or feedback. Microsoft has been making the transition from early adopter program to general availability over the last few months, and Harry's blog indicates he's been hearing from customers who have been adding stakeholders to their accounts but are now being shut out from the development process.

After surveying customers, Harry said the team created a free Stakeholder license that limits the scope of capabilities (which are listed in his blog). For those using Team Foundation Server (TFS), he said the team is "evolving the current 'Work Item Web Access' TFS CAL exemption (currently known as 'Limited' users in TFS) to match the 'Stakeholder' capabilities."

The second change is access to the Test hub for those same stakeholders who are on the Visual Studio Online Advanced plan. Harry said this was another feature based on feedback they got as the early adopter program ended. He wrote: "We got ample feedback that there were a class of users who really only need access to the Web-based Test functionality and don't need all that's in VS Test Professional."

Harry said those changes will be implemented in the next few weeks, but didn't specify a date.

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