If you’re a developer who has been trying to get your organization on the TFS band wagon and the stumbling block has always been cost/budgetary constraints, nirvana is almost here. With the soon to be released Visual Studio (VS) / Team Foundation Server (TFS) 11 Beta, an Express edition of the latter will now be available and best of all – it’s free! Of course there are a few limitations, namely the backend will use SQL Server Express as opposed to its bigger brother, SQL Server and out of the box there’s a cap of 5 team members or less although this can be adjusted higher with the purchase of additional client access licenses (CALs). Head on over to Brian Harry’s blog for a full listing of the features that TFS Express does and does not include.

Not only is TFS Express free but it also provides teams access to Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) which is a huge benefit. Sure, to leverage all of the strengths of Scrum, MSF for Agile, etc. TFS (standalone or the upcoming service) should be utilized but having TFS Express as the bridge, a stepping stone if you will, that fully encompasses ALM best practices will surely lead to improved application quality.

I’m still a big advocate for the Team Foundation Service as it brings collaboration in its truest sense to the masses. Add in the fact that there’s no infrastructure needed and it truly is a service that every IT Administrator should be implementing to help their development teams be more productive.

With 2/29 fast approaching, the release of Windows 8 CTP and Visual Studio/TFS 11 Beta means that I (and hopefully you as well) will be knee deep in “geekdom.”