Everything you want to know about Visual Studio ALM and Farming
Brian Harry is a Microsoft Technical Fellow working as the Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server. Learn more about Brian.
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I am thrilled to announce that the much anticipated TFS SP1 Beta is available. You can get access to down load it by visiting the Microsoft Connect Site. Remember, it is a Beta so some caution is advised.
It's been a long road but there's some great stuff in it. Back in June, I included a high level summary of what is in it which I'll restate here. One important thing to note is that this SP doesn't just contain bug fixes. It includes a hand full of new feature that I think people will be really happy to see too. Here's the major new features:
Version Control, WorkItem Tracking and Datawarehouse performance/scale improvements - the majority of these have come from our continued internal deployment. You can read one of my earlier blog posts for more detail on what kinds of things we've hit and addressed. We're now seeing great results on our internal servers with these fixes.
"Extranet support" - We implemented an ISAPI filter that will allow the intranet to use NTLM and integrated auth while the extra net uses basic auth. This enables TFS to be more easily deployed in environments where people on the internet need to be able to access TFS without having VPN.
WIT Custom Control support - This is a cool new feature. It is a mechanism by which people can design work item forms that host custom controls. The data behind the controls can either be persisted in WIT fields or elsewhere. I'm hoping people go crazy with it and build some awesome custom controls.
Support for Office 2007 (Project and Excel - no Sharepoint 2007 support yet) and the new WAP project support - These were all things that were pretty far from shipping when we shipped so it was not possible to work out all the kinks (bugs on both sides). Now that they are much closer and more stable we've been able to make them work well. Please don't try to install TFS with Sharepoint 2007 at this point - we know it will not work. We are working on Sharepoint 2007 support for Orcas - it will not be in SP1.
Detailed Merge History - We realized after we shipped V1 that we had not exposed all of the information from the server necessary to build all of the sophisticated change tracking tools we use internally that track the flow of changes through branches. The server "summarized" merge history information too much and we could only approximate the information. SP1 includes a new web service method and object model API that allows access to the detailed information. The new API is called QueryMergesWithDetails on the SourceControl object.
Separating the SQL Analysis Services Server - Over time we've received a lot of feedback from people about supporting more flexible deployment topologies - Sharepoint on separate servers, SQL Named instances, Reporting services on separate servers and more. SP1 has one small step in that direction by including the change necessary to support TFS using SQL Analysis Server installed on a separate machine. A few of you noticed that some of our servers are configured that way in the dogfood deployment diagram I posted a while back. Now you can do it yourself.
Overall we fixed 85 issues (including the features listed above). This includes all of the fixes that we have delivered to customers as QFEs through the customer support team. The breakdown of issues is roughly as follows...
I just can't tell you how glad I am to have this available now. My hat goes off to all of the people on our team who have worked so hard over the past several months to get us here. Over the next couple of days, we'll be releasing documentation on how to take advantage of some of the new features. I'll post as soon as I get a link to it. After a period of Beta testing, we'll go through our final testing and sign-off process and release it for real! Please let us know if you find any issues with this.