As more and more developer scenarios extend from the desktop to the cloud, we announced last year a new collection of hosted developer services as part of Visual Studio Online.  These services represent an exciting opportunity to bring the power of the cloud to every development project.  With over 1.5 million users, Visual Studio Online is seeing great adoption and usage across enterprises, small businesses, and individual users alike.

Visual Studio Online

Visual Studio Online includes developer services across the full range of the application lifecycle.

  • Unlimited cloud-hosted, private source code repositories using Git or TFVC
  • Agile project management with sprint backlogs, Kanban boards, and work item tracking
  • Cloud-hosted build, either on-demand or as part of an automated continuous integration strategy
  • Application Insights (in preview) for understanding an application’s operation, usage, and performance across both clients and servers

Teams can easily get started with Visual Studio Online, which is free for up to 5 users. And of course, unlimited MSDN subscribers can join for free as well.  And Visual Studio Online connects to Visual Studio, Eclipse, Xcode, and other Git clients to support development for a wide variety of platforms and languages.

We’ve been committed to continuously improving the breadth and depth of capabilities across the Visual Studio Online services.  In the last 6 months, we’ve added new capabilities including Java build support, rich integration with 3rd party services via REST APIs and service hooks, Active Directory support for enterprise users and project welcome pages

And with today’s update, we’ve made another important improvement – enabling an unlimited number of stakeholders across your organization to easily work with your Visual Studio Online projects.

New Stakeholder License

I truly believe that today, every company is a software company, and software projects are a key enabler of business success throughout an organization.

As this trend continues, we recognize that there are many users within the organization who are stakeholders in a development project, but not core members of the project.  Whether it’s management who periodically wants to see the status of a project, business leads defining user stories for a project, or occasional contributors reporting bugs during development. 

We want it to be friction-free for all users across the organization to contribute to any software development projects they have a business interest in.

Starting today, any number of users in an account can be assigned a stakeholder license at no charge.  Stakeholders have access to the project home page and most of the “work” related functionality. This includes the ability to view the backlog, add and edit items, run work item queries and more.

 

The stakeholder license enables a much broader set of users within the organization to participate in your projects.  You can learn more about the stakeholder license here.

Conclusion

The stakeholder license is another key step to enabling everyone in the organization to participate in software development projects through access to Visual Studio Online services.  If you haven’t tried out Visual Studio Online yet, I encourage you to sign up and take a look today.

Namaste!