During the last months I went back and forth demoing Team Foundation Service, and several questions came up. Despite there’s a FAQ page out there, it seems people don’t read corporate pages , so I decided of putting them all together in this page.
Am I tied to Windows Live for my users? Can I use Office365 or corporate accounts?
The answer is not yet. The Team Foundation Service authentication relies on Windows Azure ACS, so it’s technically possible to federate users or use corporate accounts but at this time (October 2012) it is not an enabled scenario, and you still have to rely on Windows Live for authentication. Nothing prevents you to make your corporate accounts Windows Live IDs, just signing up with the Use an existing account option.
Are upgrades managed by Microsoft? Which version of Team Foundation Server do I get signing up on tfspreview.com?
The Microsoft’s approach on this is pretty clear. The hosted version is going to be always the most recent version on the market, as Brian Harry pointed out on his blog. The Team Foundation Service team works on a three weeks-long sprint, and delivers straight to the service, so you won’t have to wait for Service Packs or Cumulative Updates. Moreover, tfspreview is not subjected to the Patch Tuesday, as critical patches are applied daily if needed.
What about my data? I don’t trust Microsoft to be the hoster of my source code!
Despite you won’t be attracted by Microsoft’s policies and behavior, they are never going to read your data. It’s clearly written in the EULA you accept when you sign up for the service, they can just move your data for backup and high availability purposes, but they are not able to see what’s inside their databases. It’s a legal agreement, and because of this it’s not meant to be interpreted. It’s as it, period.
What about my data? I want to be able to move away from Team Foundation Service whenever I want!
Again, your data is your data. But remember tfspreview is…a preview and so not feature-complete at the moment. Maybe the top priority now for Microsoft is to enable you to easily export your data. Meanwhile, you can always sync it to your on-premise instance of Team Foundation Service via the Integration Platform.
How expensive is the service going to be? How much is it going to cost?
In the Pricing page of tfspreview.com it’s clearly stated that there’s going to be a free level of service. We still don’t know what does that mean (in terms of features), but it’s a fact.
These are just the five most common questions I got during these months. For a more complete set of answers, I suggest to go to tfspreview.com you’re going to find all you need there.