Now that the 2008 wave of developer products has shipped I've seen a ton of questions about downloading and installing them.  In this post I'm going to tackle answers to all of the questions I've seen around VSTS/TFS.

1) Hey you guys say you shipped TFS but where do I get it?

This is the most common and, unfortunately, most complicated question.  There's a multi-part answer to that question depending on that exactly "it" is.

TFS 2008 Trial Edition - If you haven't purchased TFS 2008 yet or you want to try it out on a new server, you can download and install the TFS 2008 Trial Edition.  It can later be in-place updated to Standard Edition or Workgroup Edition.  You can download Trial Edition here: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/products/aa700831.aspx

TFS 2008 Workgroup Edition - If you have purchase a Team System client product with MSDN, you also get a license for TFS Workgroup Edition.  You'll recall Workgroup Edition is a full version of TFS but is limited to 5 users and does not require CALs.  Workgroup Edition is available on MSDN subscriber downloads now.  I'm told you can get it from here: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/default.aspx

In one of those weird twists of fate, I can't validate it myself.  Being a Microsoft employee, I don't have MSDN - I get everything from internal servers :)

TFS 2008 Standard Edition - I'm sad to say this is not going to be as simple as I wish it were - Your answer actually depends on how you buy TFS.

  • Retail, also known as Full Packaged Product (FPP) – The retail SKU has been released and is available now. If you purchase TFS through a retail reseller, you can order it now, install it and you will have the properly license product ID that you need.
  • Microsoft Volume licensing - The short of it is that the 2008 products will not go on the Microsoft price lists until January 2008.  This means there is no way to actually buy them in volume licensing until then.  However, MSDN subscribers can download 2008 products licensed under MSDN today through the MSDN subscriber download (as in the case of Workgroup Edition above).  The issue is that TFS Standard Edition is not included with any MSDN subscription - it is licensed separately.  Because of this, there is no way to get a TFS 2008 Product ID (PID) or the TFS 2008 Standard Edition download through volume licensing until January - when it is on the price list and you can actually buy it. In January, you should be able to download TFS and the corresponding PID from the MLVS site.
  • Other – The story is basically the same as for Volume Licensing. In January, you will be able to call customer support and request your TFS 2008 Standard Edition Product ID.

So what are your options if you get TFS through volume licensing or software assurance. One option is certainly to wait until January to upgrade. Some of you may have already upgraded to a TFS 2008 pre-release or have other reasons for really wanting to upgrade to TFS 2008 Standard Edition before the end of the year. If that is your situation, I recommend you install TFS 2008 Trial Edition (link is above). We’ve tested it and confirmed that it can be used to upgrade TFS 2005 or TFS 2008 Beta 2 or RC. The TFS 2008 Trial Edition will expire after 90 days (note that this is different than TFS 2005 where the Trial period was 180 days). That gives you 90 days to acquire your proper TFS 2008 Standard Edition PID. Once you get it, you can run repair from Add/Remove Programs, enter the new PID and you’ll be set.

VSTS Client SKUs – This is a little less complicated because the vast majority of VSTS Client SKUs are sold with MSDN subscriptions and the SKUs are available on the MSDN subscriber download site now. And Full Packaged Product is available through resellers now.

TFS CALs – Some customers purchased a TFS CAL and use the Team Explorer stand alone, with VS Pro or with some other product. CAL users will need new TFS 2008 CALs – CALs are tied to a specific version of TFS. If you bought your CALs on Software Assurance (SA), then you are covered, if not, you will need to wait until January and buy new CALs. If you bought a VSTS client SKU, you will find Team Explorer on the client SKU media. If you just bought a CAL you can download Team Explorer 2008 from microsoft.com at: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=0ED12659-3D41-4420-BBB0-A46E51BFCA86&displaylang=en. Or, if you are downloading Workgroup Edition or Trial Edition anyway, you will find it in the download.

2) If I’m using TFS 2005 today, should I upgrade to SP1 before upgrading to TFS 2008?

No, that is unnecessary. Regardless of whether you upgrade to SP1, the result of installing TFS 2008 will be the same – a full properly installed copy of TFS 2008.

3) Do I need to install a separate TFS installation and move my databases from TFS 2005 to the new TFS 2008 server?

No. You can install TFS 2008 directly over top of your TFS 2005 server. All your data will be preserved.

4) How do I uninstall VS/VSTS 2008 Betas?

I’ve seen a fair amount of consternation over this since it’s not a simple one step operation. Scott Guthrie wrote a post about this: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/11/20/steps-to-uninstall-vs-2008-beta2-before-installing-the-vs-2008-final-release.aspx and one of our MVPs put together a script for it: http://blogs.infosupport.com/marcelv/archive/2007/11/21/Upgrading-Visual-studio-Team-System-Beta-to-RTM-uninstall-scripts.aspx

5) Do I need new CALs to go along with TFS 2008?

Yes. You will need a TFS 2008 CAL. Of course, if you buy a VSTS 2008 client product (Development, Architecture, Testing or Database Editions), it comes with the CAL. One of the fine points about CALs is that they work with the corresponding TFS version and all previous ones. So, if you buy a TFS 2008 CAL, you can use it with either TFS 2008 or TFS 2005. However a TFS 2005 CAL can only be used with TFS 2005. And, of course, if you bought your CALs with Software Assurance (SA) and are still within your SA period, you get the CAL upgrade at no additional charge.

6) I don't like this new Akamai download manager you are using for MSDN, what's up with it?

The truth is, I don't know.  I've seen some complaints about it (and therefore some things you should look out for).  Jeff Beehler has taken the action item to go talk to the release team about the concerns and see if anything can be done about it.  Read this post from Richard for some of the issues he has hit: http://richardsbraindump.blogspot.com/2007/11/problems-with-new-msdn-download-manager.html

7) When will Microsoft Certified Partners get their 2008 product upgrades?

They should arrive in your January 2008 Partner box.

As I see more questions roll in, I’ll periodically post a set of updates to make sure people’s questions are answered. Please comment on this post with any additional questions and I’ll answer them promptly.

Brian