Starbucks-fueled Developer

Monday, January 23, 2006

VSTS Experience: Part 1

My team is trying out Team Foundation Server (TFS) for our "new" development environment. I have to say that I was initially extremely psyched about getting to stand up Beta 3 Refresh on a machine, but after about 2 hours of use, the excitement left rather quickly.

The setup went smooth. Not a single hitch. My only thought on the installation process is that it would be nice if TFS came pre-packaged with Windows SharePoint Services and just installed and configured it as one of its dependencies. But I guess that's why they pay us the big bucks right? Overall, I think I had the machine up and running in about half a day, including OS installation, downloading the SQL 2k5 ISO, etc., which isn't all that bad given the complexity of the application.

After installing Visual Studio 2005 Team System for Software Developers, which was also surprisingly quick, even from a USB DVD drive, I started creating a sample project. Sadly, this failed about 75% through the process. I'm not sure where in the process the failure occured as I have a Team Project site that I can hit off the TFS server, but it's completely empty. I'm guessing the database processes failed because none of the site's webparts are returning any data. However, my second "test" project was created without a hitch.

My main disappointment came when I discovered that it does not appear that you can use TFS Version Control (TFS VC), which I was so incredibly excited for, without a Team Project existing. In essence, my hope was that my team would be able to start utilizing a better SCC system by just creating/adding our code to TFS VC. It appears, though, that only "Team Projects", that is, those created thru a Team System VS Edition with SharePoint and other SQL Server-assisted repositories, can utilize TFS VC. With that said, I'm not sure how the VSS Migration tool is going to work, though I have not embarked on that treturous journey. I'm not expecting it to be pretty, either, given the amount of junk we have in our 19GB VSS repository.

While I haven't explored MSF "Agile" yet, I have done a good bit of reading regarding the whole process and how it still seems to be overly heavy. I've been trying to promote Agile methodologies by working them in here and there on various projects and I don't believe MSF Agile or VSTS is going to be of any assistance, as it just seems to be unnecessarily "instructional". Sure, it'll be nice to have the various work items integrated and visible in the IDE, developers shouldn't have to "wait" until work items etc. are inputed and assigned for development to happen.

So, all-in-all, the features are nice, but the guidence isn't necessary.


  • If you have any trouble with the VSS converter, make sure to hit the forums as the converter team is pretty active and should be able to help you through any issues. It sounds like it will be a good test of their converter.

    By Anonymous James Manning, at Thursday, January 26, 2006 11:09:00 PM  

  • Hey, if you can give me some info about integrating a multi-project, multi-platform developement team with VSTS, i would be more than greatful.

    We are developing a JAVA program with Oracle as a back-end, VB.Net and SQL srv in another project, VB6, Java and PostgreSQL in another...As you can see, we are very multi platform ;)


    Phil, DBA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, December 04, 2006 11:00:00 PM  

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