Over the past few months, I’ve been working with a local Microsoft Gold Partner called WDG, on plans for a new hosted service around Team Foundation Server! In addition to this, I’ve been working with Intel and Shuttle on the Dev’garten concept, around getting online and offline resources available for developers to get their feet wet around our latest software from us onto the latest and greatest hardware platforms from them.

Well, with great excitement I can finally announce both have been given the green light, and we will be officially launching Dev’garten at the CITC in Melbourne during early February, 2006.

So what is Dev’garten past some new shiny machines?

The Dev’garten concept is about making available to Victoria.NET members (initially, however, plans for Dev’gartens for other .NET clusters in Australia are in the pipeline) the latest Intel hardware for use with our latest development tools and platform products. Why? Because, there is no better proof than the pudding! If you want to start writing web services, or creating multi-threaded apps, or plan ASP.NET on a web farm, then the only way to really get a grasp on it is to play around on the right hardware and software platform.

The other part of Dev’garten is the online resources. To start with, WDG have kindly provided a beta service of their hosted Team Foundation Server environment for Dev’garten members. As most people know, Team Foundation Server (TFS) is Microsoft’s latest offering to development teams to support integrated management and collaboration across the SDLC. While being very powerful for teams, TFS is not trivial to plan and install, so WDG have built a custom, managed environment where customers who have Visual Studio Team System editions can provision a dedicated, secure and isolated TFS environment in the “cloud”, and connect to it securely and seamlessly from anywhere via the web and SSL. Whether your a large company providing software services, or a small ISV looking to ramp up your software process management, a managed, hosted TFS service is going to be gold! And to help Dev’garten members experience TFS, WDG have generously provided limited resources within this environment for Dev'garten members to create and manage projects via TFS.

At launch, we will be releasing the new Dev’garten portal (we have www.devgarten.com coming soon), which will enable people to submit requests for bookings (initially due to the very limited resources offline and online, availability will be restricted to first come, first served for slots). These bookings will be 1–2 hours slots where members can request time in the Dev’garten lab, or request up to 3 weeks access to a project space within WDG’s managed TFS environment.

The goal is that the demand for the Dev’garten concept will be overwhelming, so as to warrant more resources being provided to it. I’m pretty confident that as the concept grows and evolves, this will certainly be the case. So again, stay tuned, give me your feedback, and I look forward to seeing you in the sand pit :)