Soon, we will be announcing the availability of our VS/TFS 11 Beta. This is a major new release for us that includes big enhancements for developer, project managers, testers and Analysts. Over the next month or two, I’ll write a series of posts to demonstrate some of those improvements. Today I want to let you know about a new way to get TFS.

In TFS 11, we are introducing a new download of TFS, called Team Foundation Server Express, that includes core developer features:

  • Source Code Control
  • Work Item Tracking
  • Build Automation
  • and more…

The best news is that it’s FREE for individuals and teams of up to 5 users. TFS Express and the Team Foundation Service provide two easy ways for you to get started with Team Foundation Server quickly. Team Foundation Service is great for teams that want to share their TFS data in the cloud wherever you are and with whomever you want. TFS Express is a great way to get started with TFS if you really want to install and host your own server.

The Express edition is essentially the same TFS as you get when you install the TFS Basic wizard except that the install is trimmed down and streamlined to make it incredibly fast and easy. In addition to the normal TFS Basic install limitations (no Sharepoint integration, no reporting), TFS Express:

  1. Is limited to no more than 5 named users.
  2. Only supports SQL Server Express Edition (which we’ll install for you, if you don’t have it)
  3. Can only be installed on a single server (no multi-server configurations)
  4. Excludes the TFS Proxy and the new Preemptive analytics add-on.

Of course, your team might grow or you might want more capability. You can add more users by simply buying Client Access Licenses (CALs) for the additional users – users #6 and beyond. And if you want more of the standard TFS features, you can upgrade to a full TFS license without losing any data.

In addition to the new TFS Express download, we have also enabled TFS integration in our Visual Studio Express products – giving developers a great end-to-end development experience. The Visual Studio Express client integration will work with any Team Foundation Server – including both TFS Express and the Team Foundation Service.

When we release our TFS 11 Beta here shortly, I’ll post a download link to the TFS Express installer. Installing it is a snap. No more downloading and mounting an ISO image. You can install TFS Express by just clicking the link, running the web installer and you’re up and running in no time.

Please check it out and pass it on to a friend. I’m eager to hear what you think!

Brian