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Team Foundation Server 15 RC2 Deemed Production-Ready

Microsoft's Visual Studio team says that even though it's a release candidate, it can be used for developing production-ready apps, which the company has dogfooded it internally. Also: Pricing for Release Management available, now that it's a part of TFS '15' RC2.

Microsoft's Visual Studio team says that even though the current version of Team Foundation Server '15' is considered a release candidate (the second one, in fact), that version can be used for in production environments -- it has been using it internally for some time.

TFS 15 RC2 follows a recent release of the initial RC in early August, which featured a number of new cosmetic and internal changes: UI changes on the Web side and a slew of improvements to Agile planning capabilities, Git, Build, and Release Management, to name a few. RC2 improves upon those, so it's sort of a fit-and-finish release in that regard. Details of those features are covered in a blog from Microsoft's Brian Harry here. "You will be able to upgrade from RC2 to RTM (that should be a very fast upgrade, since there will be very few changes between RC2 and RTM)," writes Buck Hodges, a Microsoft Director of Engineering, in a blog.

There is a bit of complexity involved for those who plan on upgrading to RC2 from TFS 2015, and involves a signficant amount of downtime before any of the services can be used. For those who plan to take on the challenge and are faced with a large database, the company recommends using the TfsPreUpgrade tool to minimize downtime. The general guidelines for upgrading are here.

On a related note, Release Management is now a part of TFS 15 RC2, and as such, it no longer runs in trial mode. The change means that Release Management now has no per-user charge for definition authors using it via a TFS CAL. Release Management can also still be used for free when used for a single release pipeline. However, additional concurrent release pipelines, according to a blog post from the Release Management Team, are metered at $15 per concurrency per month.

This pricing info is preliminary, and the team plans to release a more comprehensive pricing guide at the RTM release of TFS 15.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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