Friday, October 30, 2009

Brain Harry, Source Safe, and TFS; an impressive story of success – Part 1/2

The story of success of the Great Brian Harry is an inspiring story for me, surely, the story of success of the miracle that is called Bill Gates is the most inspiring one at my career.

What Makes Brian’s story is more compelling now is the fact that it is more recent. The two stories have 20 years gap between them. this like a full edge into the Geology science. This means that Brian’s story seems closer and more applicable now because it depends on regular Idea and a doable application Which is Sources Safe(which was the first GUI source control tool for Microsoft development to be used), while Bill’s story was depending on a full new technology (applications over Microprocessors). I invite you the here a fast track of this story as has been narrated by Brian himself. This is the First part , I will write the second part to concentrate on the Technical Part of TFS 2010 vs.. Source safe.

I hope to enjoy both parts :)

We started building SourceSafe in January 1992 in the vacated dining room of the house belonging to one of my partners.  Within a couple of short years SourceSafe went from concept to major success and was acquired by Microsoft in 1994, soon after which it became the most widely used version control system in the world.  The thing that was truly novel about SourceSafe in the early 1990s was that it was really easy to learn and use.  People tried it and just liked it.  It wasn’t the most powerful system around but it had what people needed and was a refreshing break from complicated command line oriented interfaces.

However SourceSafe was designed and built in the early 90’s and a lot has changed since then.  Technologies are different – the internet really didn’t exist in a meaningful way (web browsers were in early experimentation), databases were still complicated products primarily used for enterprise mission critical data, etc; and development is a lot different – projects were much smaller and less sophisticated then.  The emergence of Visual Basic in the early 90’s really changed the landscape of development and brought a lot of people into the field who would have never previously considered it and made custom software a much bigger part of people’s lives.

Other trends have developed and gained a great deal of momentum.  Frustration with traditional ways of executing software projects, the Agile set of development methodologies have become VERY popular, bringing with them a new set of practices - unit testing, continuous integration, TDD, and more.

Right around the beginning of 2003 – almost 11 years after beginning the SourceSafe journey, I and a few other people embarked to create Team Foundation Server.  The goal was to create a development team collaboration product that would meet the needs of virtually any development team for the next couple of decades.  It is based on modern technologies – SQL Server, ASP.NET, Web Services, .NET, etc.  And it takes a comprehensive view of the software development lifecycle, with the intent of ultimately addressing all phases and all participants.

To make sure we could handle the broadest range, we started by targeting enterprise customers and development teams with more involved development processes.  The pinnacle of that has been the Microsoft Developer Division experience that I’ve talked so much about where we have over 3,500 regular users and Terra bytes upon Terrabytes of data.  However, it has been our intention from the beginning to build a toolset that is attractive to teams of all sizes and all levels of process.

For smaller teams, the most common complaints about TFS 2005 were that it was expensive, difficult to install, difficult to manage and required onerous pre-reqs.  We made good progress on the setup experience in TFS 2008, although most of that was oriented towards enterprise customers who needed more installation flexibility.

Friday, October 23, 2009

TFS 2010 Beta2 Available now

Microsoft has just announced the availability of Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 2 along with the Ultimate, Premium and Professional editions of Visual Studio 2010.

Download Links:

Related Resources

These are some fast questions that have been answered by Hakan Eskici about the new release:

Where is Web Access?

Web Access is integrated into Team Foundation Server and gets installed by default when you install Team Foundation Server.

On a default configuration, Web Access is available at:

Where is Work Item Only View (previously known as WIWA)?

WIOV now shares the same URL with full Web Access:

There is a new permission to control access to full Web Access features. Anyone in the “Work Item Only View Users” group will have that permission denied, therefore they will see the Work Item Only View. Others will see full Web Access.

How can I install Web Access separately on its own server?

The recommended way is to install a “Application Tier Only” instance of TFS by pointing it to the same TFS database and using that instance just for Web Access. For example:

  • Server1: End users connect to this server from Team Explorer (Web Access is available but not used)
  • Server2: Web Access users connect to this server from a Web browser (TFS Application Tier is available but not used)