So as you may all be aware Microsoft has released a preview of Team Foundation Server in the cloud for everyone to try. What a great idea, it makes perfect sense to me; I had been investigating a hosted TFS solution a while ago but had been deterred by the cost, but know with Microsoft hosting it along with the other Azure Services this could be a viable option. So if you have not got an account, then head over to http://tfspreview.com and use the following code: TfsDecUpdate, if this does not work then you will have to wait for the next update, I would assume in January.
Once you have created your account you should end up with a page that looks similar to this:
Once you have the site up and running, you are then able to create a TFS project just as you would if you were using the on premise TFS.
As you can see at the moment there are three templates available for the project for my demo I am going to use the first one.
Once you have completed the form the creation process will begin.
This may take some time, once done you will see a confirmation screen, if you get an errors at this point, the screen will close out but the process will continue. Once completed you will then be left with the project listed on the left.
The name of the project is hyperlinked directly to the project site so once clicked on it will load as shown below.
So as you can see it has some similarities with the TFS web tool that you can use if you have an on premise installation. A very cool feature though is the ability to add members to the projects. To do this click the "Manage Members" link on the right.
The original account you used for setup will be listed. You can then select the "Add" menu item where you can either add a user or a TFS group.
For my demo I am going to use "Add User", which presents a people picker that is wired to the windows live platform.
You do not have the ability to search the window live directory, but you can search within the current users you have allocated to the TFS site. I simply added my MSN email that was not added and clicked okay.
The picker will validate the account and allow it to be added, which will then redirect you to the summary page of all members.
When you go back to the home page now you should see the other account(s) listed in the member's control.
So now we have our project created, members added what else could we do? Well we can create product backlog items, tasks, bugs, impediments and test cases. This is done using the links on the site, so as an example to add a task, click the following button.
And then complete the form as needed.
Once you have TFS items in the system you can allocate them to users and use them in exactly the same way as TFS on premise.
The user interface is fantastic, so I can click the "Work" link and view my product backlog and sprints, boards and work items that are associated to me.
You are also able to access the source from the main navigation.
You also have the ability to view the builds you have scheduled and completed builds.
Now to work with it locally from Visual Studio you will need to download the add-in, which will enable you to connect it as if you were using on premise TFS.
You access the required download if it is needed using the following page:
All in all so far it works really well, will post some more in a future post, enjoy J