In Brian Harry’s blog (Vice President for Cloud Developer Services) Microsoft has announced the release of the final version of Team Foundation Server 2015. The Application lifecycle Management (ALM) software provide support for development teams through the full development cycle. The upgrade delivers several new features but has concentrated on improvements to DevOps and agile software development.
There are three other documents/links associated with the release:
- A set of release notes that includes all of the new features and changes that have been included
- A knowledge base article that covers the bug fixes with the final version.
- A video by Ewald Hofman, TFS Program manager showing what’(s new for Agile Project Management in TFS 2015.
Harry goes on to highlight several of the key features that have been upgraded within the software with the current release.
Small Teams benefit for TFS2015 basic license
For teams of developers of five or less they will be pleased that a number of features have been included in the basic license. These include:
- Web-based test execution
- Agile portfolio management
- Work item chart authoring
- Team Rooms
Kanban boards improved.
There have been significant changes in the support of Kanban boards. It is now possibly add and edits directly onto the board, reorder the board, filter data across the board and split columns on the board. Dividing it into “doing” and “done”. These changes amongst others improve the support of Agile project management immeasurably and teams may finally be rid of post it notes.
TFS 2015 Build System overhaul
Much of the Buildvnext system has been rewritten, this is following user feedback and enables users to build on a multitude of platforms. The platforms listed in the blog include: Android, CMake, CMD Script, Jake, MSBuild, Visual Stuio build, VS Test, XCode Build, Powershell, Process runner and Shell Script with bash. This has also led into improvements on continuous delivery, TFS 2015 allows tasks to be chosen that “will provision Azure infrastructure for your application, deploy the app, run high volume test automation with a new distributed test execution capability, run load tests, run functional tests on 3rd party device clouds, and more.”
There are improvements to GitHub integration and the extensibility of TFS2015 is much improved with a long list of third party applications that can be worked with. Finally, one of the simplest to describe and most voted for change was delivered; the ability to rename Team Projects, with 6156 it was the #1 UserVoice item for the last 10 years.
This is a significant improvement for the Microsoft ALM product. As Forrester analyst Kurt Bittner commenting on the release in a recent SDTimes article stated, “They’ve made significant progress in improving the capability and usability of the agile project management capabilities,”
“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.”