Today, we released the Alpha version of the TFS Integration Platform on CodePlex.  For all of the details, including the docs and source code, check out the project page: http://tfsintegration.codeplex.com

If you check out the project page, you’ll soon realize that this project has replaced the former TFS Migration and Synchronization Toolkit that was hosted on CodePlex.  We’ve actually reused the same project page, but have updated the URL and project information to reflect the changes that have been made.  Visiting the previous project URL (http://migrationsynctoolkit.codeplex.com) will redirect to the current project page.

The TFS Integration Platform is different from its predecessor project in many ways.  First, we listened to the feedback that the community had on the old project and used that to shape the new project.  Here are a few things we’ve changed this time around:

  • Improved quality and robustness.  This is a major area of improvement for this project, and one big change for us is that we’re actually dogfooding this platform in production.  We had a need to synchronize two servers internally (see Brian Harry’s blog post on the subject), and we’ve used this platform to build that synchronization tool.  The net result is that quality and robustness are a top priority for our team, as we have hundreds of people relying on our tools each day.
  • Increased transparency to the community.  In the past, we just dropped a few releases on the community, and didn’t follow up with the needs of the community.  This time around, we’re starting with an alpha release, which was built with insight from MVPs, and we plan to have very frequent updates of the code base on CodePlex (ideally multiple times per week).  The goal here is to shrink the feedback loop so that we can end up with the right platform.
  • Better documentation.  Along with the improvements to the code, we’ve worked hard with the VSTS Rangers to create detailed docs to help developers make sense of the platform.  Willy from the ranger’s team has been blogging about this effort for some time, so check out his blog post that summarizes everything that they’ve done to date.
  • Better serviceability.  In the past, we had nothing that resembled a binary release, let alone one that was serviceable.  This time around, we’re making an MSI available to install the platform binaries to make servicing of tools built on the platform much easier.

Another change that we’ve consciously made was to rebrand the project to the TFS Integration Platform.  We felt that the description “toolkit” wasn’t accurate compared to what other “toolkits” consisted of, and that our functionality was more in line with what a “platform” offers.  Changing from “migration and synchronization” to simply “integration” was about simplifying the message about the purpose, and helping to disambiguate from upgrade scenarios which are often confused with migration.  Overall, we hope this name change results in a clearer focus for this project.

So, if you’ve looked at the Migration Toolkit in the past, or have a need to integrate another system with TFS, check out the CodePlex homepage for the project and stay tuned for more updates!