Buck Hodges

Visual Studio Online, Team Foundation Server, MSDN

October, 2009

  • Buck Hodges

    What features are in TFS Basic 2010?


    Earlier, I wrote a post explaining where to find TFS Basic.  Someone asked a set of questions about TFS Basic, and I thought I’d post the answers here.

    What features are in TFS Basic 2010?

    Brian’s post describes a bit of the feature differences and also shows the installation process. It’s really much easier to talk about features not in Basic, as Basic is just TFS configured using a set of defaults to make the installation experience very simple. Basic does not configure SharePoint or SQL Reporting Services (RS), and because of the lack of RS there’s no warehouse. That’s it. Otherwise, it’s the same feature set as standard TFS. If you decide at some point later that you want to use those features, you can choose to configure them via the Team Foundation Administration Console (note that to use SQL Reporting Services, you must use full SQL Server and not Express).

    You get additional features in TFS Basic of being able to use SQL Server Express 2008 rather than regular SQL Server 2008, though you are free to point Basic at an existing SQL server (default is to install SQL Server Express or reuse it if it is already installed), and you get the feature of being able to install on a client OS (Win7 or Vista).

    Is TFS Basic limited to 5 users?  How can I add more?

    No, TFS Basic is not limited to 5 users. You can have as many users as you like, so long as users 6 through N have TFS CALs, which are either purchased or ones included due to the user having an MSDN subscription. See my post with licensing comments from Doug Seven for more info. If you want to have more than 5 users, you may want to put TFS Basic on a Windows Server OS because the client OSes are limited to about 10 simultaneous connections, after which point connections are either queued (some buffer) or refused.

    Is the new Excel reporting feature available (right click on a work item query and choose to create a report in Excel)?

    You will not be able to use the Excel reports feature built into the product for TFS Basic since there is no warehouse.

    Is web access available in TFS Basic?

    TFS Basic does indeed include web access. There’s unfortunately no shortcut to get to web access via the right click menu in Team Explorer, which has been suggested. You can always find web access at http://yourserver:8080/tfs/web.

  • Buck Hodges

    TFS 2010 server licensing: It's included in MSDN subscriptions


    [UPDATE 2/10/2010]  You can now get the official Visual Studio 2010 Licensing whitepaper, which also covers TFS, Lab, and IntelliTrace. That is the best resource for understanding the licensing.

    Another big piece of news with the release of VS and TFS 2010 betas yesterday is the changes to TFS licensing for 2010 that make it even more affordable.  Here are the comments from Doug Seven, our licensing guru in marketing, on Soma's beta 2 announcement post.

    Team Foundation Server 2010 will be included in the MSDN subscription that comes with Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium, Ultimate, and Test Elements. This copy of Team Foundation Server in licensed for unlimited development and test use (as is all MSDN software) and licensed for one production deployment. These MSDN subscriptions also include one CAL.

    Team Foundation Server has three installation choices - Basic, Advanced and Custom.  You will be able to install this either on your client machine (very similar to client side SCM such as VSS) or on a server machine just like TFS 2008.

    Team Foundation Server will also be available in retail for around $500 USD and will include a license term allowing up to five (5) named users without CALs to use Team Foundation Server. To grow to more than five users, you will need to have CALs for additional users beyond five users. This enables small teams of five or fewer to get up and running on Team Foundation Server for as little as $500 USD.

    Of course having Visual Studio 2010 with MSDN means you can get Team Foundation Server up and running at no additional cost.

    You can also hear more in an interview with Doug Seven conducted by three MVPS: The Ultimate Announcement Show.

    I'm not a licensing expert, so I can't answer detailed questions about licensing.  I did want to make sure everyone sees this.  It's a really exciting change.

    [UPDATE 10/20/09]  I wanted to add a clarification from Doug around the CALs and SQL.  There is a licensing whitepaper in the works that should be out soon.

    Retail TFS does not come with 5-CALs. It has a EULA exception allowing up to 5 users without CALs. The primary difference is that CALs can be used to access multiple TFS instances. A EULA exception cannot. In other words, buying two TFS retail licenses does NOT give me rights for 10-users on one instance of TFS. It gives me rights to two instances with 5-users each. To add more than 5 users, you must have CALs for all additional users.

    TFS also still includes a SQL Server license for use with TFS.  In other words, you can't use the SQL license included with TFS to do anything other than to support TFS.

  • Buck Hodges

    Where is TFS Basic?


    TFS Basic is not a separate download.  It’s just a choice in the TFS configuration wizard.  So to get TFS Basic, you download the regular Team Foundation Server installation, either 32-bit or 64-bit (yes, TFS now supports 64-bit Windows natively), and then run setup.exe.  After the MSI (installation phase that more or less just copies files to your disk) is done, you’ll see the following dialog.  Choose Basic, and finish your TFS setup in record time!


  • Buck Hodges

    Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 2 is now available!


    With Soma's announcement today, Visual Studio and TFS 2010 Beta 2 are now available for download for MSDN subscribers.  The most exciting part of the TFS 2010 Beta 2 release is the debut of TFS Basic.  Brian Harry describes TFS Basic in detail in a post called TFS 2010 for SourceSafe Users.  Don't think about it as just for SourceSafe customers though.  Beta 2 is a "go-live" release, and I recommend checking out Brian Keller's post to Get read to "go live' with Team Foundation Server Beta 2.

    TFS Basic will install on Windows 7 and Windows Vista.  Prior to Basic, you were required to have a Windows Server OS to install TFS.  So if you want TFS on your laptop, you can do it now.  Basic will automatically install the pre-requisites of IIS, ASP.NET, and SQL Server Express for you.  Just pop in the disk (virtually speaking) and go.  It's that easy.

    Also, TFS 2010 (not just Basic) will now install on a domain controller. This was a request we heard fairly often from users, and we were able to add support in 2010.

    TFS Basic is the same product as regular TFS except that you can use SQL Express, and you don't configure SharePoint or SQL Reporting Services.  It has all of the same version control, build, and bug tracking features.

    Another great change we made in 2010 is in the configuration and administration of the server.  The vast majority of administrative tasks can now be done through the TFS Admin Console GUI.  Brian wrote quite a bit about this in the post, TFS 2010 Admin, Operations, & Setup Improvements.

    Team System Web Access is now part of the product.  On a server with TFS installed, it is available at http://yourserver:8080/tfs.

    You can upgrade from either TFS 2005 or TFS 2008 to TFS 2010.  The TFS 2005 users do not need to upgrade to TFS 2008 first.  Do follow the upgrade guide, though, because TFS 2005 users will need to upgrade from SQL 2005 to SQL 2008 and upgrade to SharePoint 3.0.

    A 2010 version of the TFS 2008 Power Tools is not yet available.  We are planning to release an update to them, but we aren't yet able to share the timeframe.  Stay tuned.

    Visit the MSDN forum Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 2 to post questions and get answers from the product team, MVPs, and the community.

    Update [10/19/2006]   We have released a patch (download) for Team Explorer 2008 to handle some compatibility issues when using it with a 2010 server.  You can read about those issues in a blog post covering the full compatibility story for 2005 and 2008 clients with a 2010 server.  We plan to release a similar patch for Team Explorer 2005 around the time of TFS 2010 RTM.

    For anyone just getting started with TFS 2010, I highly recommend reading Brian's post that covers the key concepts for TFS 2010.

    If you are not doing a simple installation, you'll want to follow the TFS Installation Guide.  Be sure to follow the instructions on the download page to "unblock" the CHM file.

    Finally, be sure to take a look through the TFS 2010 Beta 2 Readme, as there are known issues you'll need to know about (after all, it's a beta for a reason).

    If you had Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 installed, you'll want to read this before installing VS 2010 Beta 2.

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