Team Foundation Server 2015 CTP 1 First Impressions

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TFS 2015 CTP 1 was made available giving us our first chance to try out TFS 2015.  If this list of features looks familiar, you have probably already read and seen these on Visual Studio Online.  Even though the features are available today in Visual Studio Online, most of my customers are using TFS, so this is great to see the updates being on-premises.  In this post I will share some of my first impressions with TFS 2015 CTP 1. I will run through the install process, highlight some of the new features, and talk about what is still to come.  Keep in mind this is just the first CTP, so a lot may change by the RTM.

Installation and Configuration processes are very familiar to TFS 2013 with some slight tweaks.  For example the Standard Single Server and Advanced options have been combined and is now called Full Server.  There wasn’t an option to install SharePoint Foundation and there are some changes with the build service.  I think the install and configuration process was very smooth with some good tweaks.

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Creating a new Team Project was very much the same process as before.  I used Visual Studio 2015 CTP 6, also released yesterday to create the project.  I noticed that the process template is still 2013.4.  Not sure if these will be updated or not.

I took a quick tour around the new features in TFS 2015 using the release notes.  Below is the full list of changes and updates.

SKU changes:

Feature updates:

Let’s take a look at couple below.

Edit on Kanban Board – The Kanban board is one of the features I often heard from customers that they want it to be more flexible and functional. While CTP 1 doesn’t contain the latest Kanban improvements on Visual Studio Online, the most requested features are still on the features timeline for TFS 2015.

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Basic License Expanded – This is huge for many of my customers. Today, Scrum Masters that want the portfolio backlog tools and web chart authoring need an MSDN license.  This to me (always verify with Microsoft) means that most of these users will now only need a TFS CAL.

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Overall, my first impression was very positive.  The entire process was very clean and stable.  Obviously we can’t install this in production yet but it shows promise that TFS 2015 will be another impressive release.

There are also still lot of features as Brian Harry noted so don’t get too too hung up on the current list of new features.   He mentions more Git and Agile project management improvements and the new Build.vNext engine.  Stay tuned and we will follow the road to TFS 2015 RTM together.  Microsoft isn’t going to stop when TFS 2015 hits RTM.  As Brian Harry mentions, this will simply begin a new wave of updates.

While I just highlighted a few features, I encourage you to take a look at the release notes to read about all of the features and remember the quickest and easiest way to try out these new features is to create your free account on Visual Studio Online.

More to explore