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License Changes Mean More TFS 2015 Feature Flexibility

Changes in licensing allows anyone with the basic CAL to get access to features that were available only to premium subscribers.

Team Foundation Server 2015 wasn't released with the rest of the products earlier this week, but there have been a few developments on TFS as it makes its way to being feature complete. Earlier this week, Microsoft's Brian Harry blogged about some of the licensing changes that affect the types of services that will be made available.

For one, there have been changes to specific Agile Project Management features -- agile planning, chart authoring, team rooms, and the Web-based test experience from within the test hub -- that allow for those features to be used with a basic TFS CAL. "Many features that were only available if you purchased VS Premium with MSDN, VS Ultimate with MSDN or Test Professional with MSDN are now available in the TFS CAL," writes Harry.

The Visual Studio Test Professional Subscription licensing has also been tweaked, in which VS Online user can now use Test Professional for $60 per month. Harry wrote that user feedback showed some popularity for allowing users to get at Test Professionals "full set of testing capabilities, including lab management, rich data collectors." At some point, Harry wrote, the changes will filter down so users can take advantage of those testing features using on-premises TFS 2015.

Two non-licensing changes might also have some impact on TFS users. One is the integration of Team Explorer UI into the suite, which means it can no longer be used stand-alone. It has the potential to impact "non-developer users who want to use our Office integration capabilities," he wrote. "As such, in the TFS 2015 Update 1 timeframe, we will create a new installer that has just the Office integration and related components (without the Team Explorer VS shell). Until then, I'd recommend non-developers continue to use Team Explorer 2013."

The other new change is storyboarding, which will be added to TFS 2015 at Update 1; meanwhile, that feature is now available in Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition.

There are a number of other changes affecting TFS 2015 and VS 2015 that Harry details in his blog here.

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