At long last, Microsoft has released Team Foundation Server 2015. This version of Microsoft’s ALM collaboration platform packs a breadth of new features and capabilities, from a build system overhaul, the new Team Project Rename feature and Continuous Delivery capabilities in the Azure build pipeline, to Git and extensibility improvements, and revamped agile project management.
Brian Harry, Microsoft’s Developer Division corporate vice president in charge of Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Online, announced the release in a blog post.
Gartner analyst Thomas Murphy said he thinks Microsoft has put together a strong release, shoring up the platform’s shortcomings in agile and signifying TFS as one of the major pivot points for enterprise IT organizations.
“This release provides solid boosts to both agile functionality as well as a strong stake in the ground around support for a very broad set of technologies, not just platforms like Android or Linux, but also integration with many popular open-source and commercial components of modern DevOps tool chains,” said Murphy. “It is also significant because the market around cloud development is rapidly evolving with the rapid adoption of Docker, for instance, and competition from Eclipse Che,” an open-source cloud development environment.
Murphy said the TFS 2015 release enables better use of connected technologies such as Git, and it increases the productivity of both developers and managers through agile tools.
“Many of the improvements, it must be noted, have come out to users of [Visual Studio] Online, but the majority of large enterprises still rely on on-premise tooling, so it will be a great step forward for them,” said Murphy. “There are times where I have had calls about TFS where the client is asking about options because of deficiencies in TFS, and I have been working mostly with the online version and am thinking, ‘Wait, it does that already.’ And have to remember that, well, it does on the cloud but not in the on-prem version. Now everything comes back together.”
Forrester analyst Kurt Bittner said Microsoft’s TFS 2015 release represents an important milestone in the company’s shift toward Continuous Delivery and DevOps.
“They’ve made significant progress in improving the capability and usability of the agile project management capabilities,” he said. “The improvements in the build technology expand their support for cross-platform development, and the expanded extensibility and improved Git support capabilities demonstrate their commitment to making TFS an open and extensible platform. The simplifications in licensing are also welcome improvements.”