In my many comings and goings around the Gulf, I get the chance to talk to a vast number of development teams. Amongst other topics I discuss, a recurring one is Application Lifecycle Management and how Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server is the cornerstone for a solid ALM implementation. This is true regardless of the team being focused purely on .NET, or on a mix of .NET with Java and Oracle – as is the case far more often than not.


I will address the merits of ALM and Team Foundation Server in depth in future posts. For those of you sold on the concept already, hesitating to deploy TFS for whatever reason, I’ve compiled a simple and dirty list that should get you going now.  


Ten reasons to deploy Team Foundation Server:


1.       It’s free (*)

2.       A PhD is no longer required. My daughter can install it

3.       It’s not just a version control system, man. It will unleash a whole lot of awesomeness onto your unsuspecting team: Automated functional testing; lab management; work item tracking; release management; reporting and dashboards, etc.

4.       It can be deployed in your data center on a run of the mill blade or a VM, acquired from a hosting company (check out Phase 2; Praktik; SaaS Made Easy; TFS4You; TeamDevCentral; Discount ASP.NET; ASPHostCentral; and even CodePlex for open source projects) or run as a service on Azure (**)

5.       Cool partners build products on top of it, for those times when you need to give your team a little extra umpf

6.       It integrates nicely with EPM, bringing together your dev. team with the PMO –sweet!

7.       It will make your life implementing CMMI much easier. It will also make your life implementing SCRUM much easier. It will bake you an omelet (?).

8.       It will bring together your Java, Oracle and .NET teams. Ultimately, you all contribute to the same applications that support the business –one business. Regardless of your framework, coding language and IDE of choice, you should be able to follow the same processes

9.       There are plenty of consultancy firms that specialize in TFS, in case you need help figuring out some of the more advanced stuff or you don’t have time to do it yourself: TestHouse, Safat, ITWorx, Infusion, Lighthouse, etc. If you’re one such organization and I did not mention you, please do contact me –commenting below is probably the easiest way.

10.   There is more training coming your way. TechEd Middle East is just around the corner, and it comes packed with TFS content. I’m also organizing a very special SCRUM workshop for March (by invitation only, so please write me if you’d like to know more – comments section, please). And there is more – stay tuned!



(*) It’s included in the price of Visual Studio 2010 + MSDN. This was not the case with the 2008 version - a standalone server license had to be purchased in any event back then.  

(**) Still a little bit of a hack right now…