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back to article Microsoft takes on GitHub with cloudy Team Foundation Service

Microsoft has announced general availability of Team Foundation Service (TFS), its new, cloud-based portal for code hosting and software development project management, along with a free subscription plan for small teams. In some ways, TFS competes with other web-based code sharing portals, such as GitHub and Google Code, but …

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FAIL

>Perhaps the most powerful feature of TFS as compared to competing code management services, however, is its cloud-based build service, which can take uploaded source code and automatically generate executables, ready for users or testers to download from Microsoft's servers.

That is not that useful for real development shops as I haven't worked at one where the code was not the most valuable part of the company and as such uploading it to another potential competitor (but only if you are very successful I guess) is probably not a feature that will be exploited any time soon for many.

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I could see this being useful for open source projects if not for the fact that M$ spent the better part of a decade making them mortal enemies. Its better today but that Microsoft lock in fear means this is probably dead in the water for that purpose as well.

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MIc
Headmaster

Builds are important

In any agile shop Continuous Integration is going to critical to maintaining a healthy codebase. So the build it self is very critical. To do CI you need to build on every check-in and run all unit tests so you can reject the check in on any test failure. Effectively making broken builds a thing of the past. This reduces a huge amount of churn and expense. Any seasoned dev will know that the later you find a bug in the process the more expensive it gets.

If you're still doing old-style water-fall this won't be as important as you're probably still suffering through broken builds and regression test passes.

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Anonymous Coward

remember

There is more Foss for windows than any other platform. Reflecting on that, it seems like a pretty good move for MS.

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Facepalm

@asdf: handing over source code

Seems you're contradicting yourself: you correctly emphasize the importance of source code security (and not handing it over to third parties on a whim) but only complain about the build service?

What do you think TFS does? If it doesn't get your source code, that white-looking summary screen will be even whiter!

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Actually MS has been very supportive of free open source... They've provided codeplex... One look at that and you'll see FOSS is alive and well on windows. My company provides 2 open source projects on windows. MS has provided excellent support for PHP on windows too... Though we stick to dotnet

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Happy

protecting source access is as important to MS as it is to us

time was when financial accounts were considered too confidential for computer systems, then a decade later it was considered too confidential for shared (switched) cable, then a decade later too confidential for outsourced data-centres and contract DBA.. today we know better.. We know how to match confidentiality with controls and Chinese walls.

I've loaded my companies source code into the tfspreview.com, and have less worries than I had with my SVN hosted with Webfusion. MS pays all the cost of Chinese walls to stop me suing them for stealing my code.

I'm impressed with TFS and like the combination of all continuous integration components together.. And may even use the continuous deployment with VM too test-case management

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"dotnet" A recipe for a bloated and buggy program. My heart sinks when I find something needs one of the dotnet frameworks.

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Yeah, they do now because fighting open source is a battle they lost. They're not dumb, they try to remain relevant even if it means being contradictory,

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Re: Builds are important

@Mlc: Not sure who are lecturing as I never said anything about not doing Continuous Integration. I just don't believe in farming out the jewels of the company to the cloud whereas pointed out in another article today the US government has decided you don't own the files in the cloud (only the info inside the files).

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Re: protecting source access is as important to MS as it is to us

@Stephen Channell

Unfortunately M$ has proven time and again if code is valuable enough they will steal it and deal with the consequences later with lawyers delaying things for years (see J++, Lotus 123, etc). Granted this doesn't apply to %99 of companies but farming your jewels to the cloud even with legal protection (think you can win against the MS legal department) seems like a bad idea.

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Anonymous Coward

Poor bastards

"developers will want to use Microsoft Visual Studio"

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Megaphone

Re: Poor bastards

There are many worse things...

In the early days of Symbian we used MSVC6 (ie Visual Studio from 1998) with some whacky build rules to slave the oddball Symbian build chain. It was fast, productive, and pleasant; people quickly hacked up datatype viewers for custom types when debugging on the Windows-based emulator.

But it was produced by a competitor and they weren't going to do us any future favours, So for "strategic reasons" we switched to Metrowerks CodeWarrior, owned by a shareholder (Motorola). It was slower, clumsier, notably far less stable, had silly eternally-unfixed bugs like periodically the debugger plugin would leave a handle open on the binary, forcing exit & relaunch to be able to link a new build. And even after years it still couldn't display a couple of the fundamental descriptor (string-like) classes correctly; memory hex dumps were the way to go.

But then CW was recognised as a dead-end (and its owner was keen to shed the Symbian support since the lucrative developer base never materialised) so we switched to a customisation of Eclipse. And across several years this got steadily better, adding mostly-working on-device debugging, fixing some of the more glaring editor issues (though symbol lookup remained erratic to the end, and it marked every template used as a source error after the first hundred or so). But it remained a big strange mess, a stew where things were added but never removed (the difference between an editor window, a text editor window, and a C/C++ editor window? who knows, but when assigning shortcut keys you needed to pick the right one) and just never reached the sheer liveability of the twelve-year-old VC6.

Moral (if there is one): tools matter, and while VS ain't no Emacs it's very far from hell

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codeplex?

"In some ways, TFS competes with other web-based code sharing portals, such as GitHub and Google Code"

From what I could see, the difference with this service is that it's free private source control, rather than public (for open source projects). Microsoft has provided free source control for open source projects a la Google Code and Github via Codeplex for years.

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Anonymous Coward

All this feature noise is great

But if it is slow as frozen snot, it doesn't really matter, now does it? Based on this article, I decided to check out Azure again to see what had changed... ooohhh, pretty, pretty .. let's crank up a virtual machine?

What a piece of crap ... I don't have a half hour to wait for it to start, especially when most competitors start up in moments. Also, the control panel doesn't automatically update, so there were times when the status evidently changed but the screen didn't. Oh, wait, that's right. I'm using Windows 8 and my enhanced browsing experience now includes shit that doesn't work right.

Microsoft is totally teed up for epic failure across a large number of fronts and does not have the capability to address them all. Queue the cheesy rappers,dancing girls and raging Chinese grandmothers. Maybe people won't notice.

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