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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We're about a week past the closing of the devBiz (makers of TeamPlain Web Access for VSTS) acquisition and it's been a busy week. There's been a lot of interest and questions and people are really excited. Clearly there have been a lot of comments on my blog and on the devBiz forums. I wanted to give you an update on some of the issues that have been raised and what we are doing.
As you know the V1 Web Access product is now available for download from the DevBiz website. Before the acquisition, there was also a V2 release candidate on the site but it was removed. We've gotten feedback that people like it and want it put back. Well, we like it too and that is what we are planning on rebranding and running through the Microsoft release process that I described in my last post for release as a Power Tool. However, we won't make you wait that long. devBiz will repost the V2 release candidate in the next few days. It is pre-release so use caution and support will be provided through the devBiz forums. We're still moving ahead with the Power Tool work and will update you on that in a month or so.
We've gotten feedback from some customers who just recently purchased TeamPlain and are now unhappy that it is included in their TFS server/CAL license after the acquisition. While I'm positive we can't make everyone happy, we have decided to provide refunds (through the devBiz corporation) to anyone who purchased TeamPlain in the 30 days preceding 3/26/2007. This offer will be in place until 5/31/2007 (giving people 2 months to take advantage of it). I'm sure there will be some who purchased it before 2/24/2007 who will feel this is not good enough and I'm sorry for that. We have to draw a line somewhere and after much deliberation, this is the call we made. We understand that the change in licensing came as a surprise and look forward to providing a great product to happy customers for many years ahead. If anyone would like to discuss the issue in more depth, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be announcing the details of how to request a refund in the next week or so.
Another set of feedback we've gotten revolves around the devBiz components products - devMail, devDns and others. We have removed these products from the market and are unsure what our future plans for them are. I've seen requests that we open source them among other things. We are considering many options ranging from including them in other products to making the source available in some form - either to existing customers, publicly or otherwise. We want to make sure that customers feel that they have a good path forward. We hope to reach a conclusion on a plan in the next few weeks on this issue as well.
Lastly, we've gotten a bunch of questions from existing customers who want to know how to convert their license to an unlimited user license (it used to be limited by a license key). The following blog post includes information on how you can do that.
The vast majority of feedback I have heard on the acquisition has been overwhelmingly positive. We are thrilled with the addition of VSTS Web Access to our product and customers seem equally excited. As always we are trying to listen to customer concerns and respond to address them as best we can. Thank you for supporting our product and working with us as we work through the details of integrating devBiz and its products into Microsoft. As we have more information, I'll deliver it promptly.