Compelling TFS Features to Upgrade from 2005 to 2008

The following is an excerpt from “The Tempo”, Northwest Cadence’s monthly newsletter.  This article was written by Jeff Levinson.

Compelling TFS Features to Upgrade from 2005 to 2008

The 2008 release of Team System provided several compelling features and upgrades over the 2005 release.  Most of these were in the Visual Studio client editions.  In fact, many people feel that Team Foundation Server itself did not see substantial improvements.  I disagree.

I’d like to take just a few minutes to bullet point a few of the many improvements at the Team Foundation Server tier of the 2008 release.  Some of these come from the October Power Tools release, which I consider a “must have” download!

·        Team Build

o   Multi-threaded builds

o   Built in continuous integration and scheduled builds

o   Dramatically simplified build creation

o   “Toaster” notifications

·        Version control improvements

o   Windows Shell integration – perform version control operations directly from Windows Explorer!

o   Destroy – permanently destroy version controlled files

o   Drag and Drop from the Windows Explorer to the Source Control Explorer

o   Search for specific files in version control

o   Annotate – this shows who authored every line of code in a file, plus the date the line was added or modified and a direct link to the changeset containing the modification

o   Merge improvements – big improvements in usability plus some long awaited improvements in baseless merge support (i.e., identical files no longer trigger a “merge”)

o   Single click navigation between Version Control Explorer and Windows Explorer

·        SharePoint 2007 support, including easily using an enterprise SharePoint portal implementation.

·        Alert subscription UI to simplify the creation of advanced email alerts

·        Work Item Web Access – a web based interface to TFS work items allowing people without Client Access Licenses (CALs) for TFS to create, track and update work items.

·        Team Member view – information about the development team at a glance from within the Team Explorer.  Find out who has what checked out, and what team members are working on.

·        Instant Messenger integration – rapidly communicate with members of your team

·        Team Foundation Server Manager – an improved tool for managing Team Foundation Server

·        SQL Server 2008 support – rebuild indexes online, improved Reporting Services and Analysis Services, and a whole slew of relational database improvements

·        Plus much, much more, including offline experience improvements, performance and scalability improvements, and Power Shell integration

If you haven’t upgraded to Team Foundation Server 2008, I encourage you to strongly consider it!  If the above list doesn’t convince you, remember that you’ll need to upgrade to TFS 2008 to get to TFS 2010, even if only for a few minutes.  So do it now, and get the benefits now.

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