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Microsoft's Team Foundation Server is a suite of development, test and collaboration tools that provide a full application lifecycle management solution. Microsoft TFS helps organizations communicate and collaborate more effectively throughout the process of designing, building, testing and deploying software.
This suite of tools includes requirements and project management, automated builds, lab management, testing, source code management, and release management capabilities. Microsoft TFS integrates with Visual Studio to provide support for test planning, exploratory, manual and user acceptance testing, as well as performance and load testing. Functional automation is provided through integration with Selenium.
Collaboration features from TFS offer lots of value in Agile and DevOps environments. Team Rooms allow groups to easily set up threaded discussions for developers, testers and other team members and the ability to send out announcements.
Microsoft TFS offers functional components including version control, tools for Agile teams and continuous integration (CI) and delivery tools. Version control is centralized and allows for collaboration with pull requests and code reviews and defining and managing permissions. TFS supports Agile methodologies with the ability to capture, prioritize and track backlogs as well as customizable Kanban boards and dashboards for easy reporting. CI builds are compiled and tested automatically while continuous delivery deploys code that passes testing.
The current version is Microsoft TFS 2015 Update 1. New features include dashboards, Git and Team Foundation Version control in the same project, query on Kanban columns, tasks as a checklist, card coloring and more. Organizations of all sizes and industries can use Microsoft TFS and Visual Studio.
How is Microsoft TFS priced and licensed?
TFS and Visual Studio 2015 have three purchasing options: Visual Studio subscription, volume licensing or retail purchase. Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN, Visual Studio Professional with MSDN, Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN, MSDN Platforms and all Visual Studio cloud subscribers can download and deploy one instance of TFS 2015. TFS is offered through various Microsoft Volume Licensing programs or Team Foundation TFS to that same instance of the software.
Pricing is based on the number of users:
- First five users: free
- Users six through 10: $6 each
- Users 11 through 100: $8 each
- Users 101 through 1000: $4 each
- Users 1001 and above: $2 each
The products are offered in both on-premises and cloud-based options. Microsoft TFS 2015 is sold as an on-premises product directly through Microsoft. TFS 2015's cloud-based counterpart, Visual Studio Online (VS Online) is available free to teams of up to five users. Support options include online documentation, community forums and online chats as well as customized support packages.
Microsoft offers a set of comprehensive solutions that support not only the waterfall software development lifecycle through application lifecycle management, but also DevOps lifecycle. TFS and the cloud-based Visual Studio Team Services offer flexible options as far as being exclusively on-premises, exclusively in the cloud or interconnecting the two for a hybrid solution.
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