March 12, 2012 5:11 PM
by Ed Blankenship
Effective for Team Foundation Server 2010 users and assumingly going forward for Team Foundation Server 11, users who view read-only data for reporting purposes no longer need a TFS Client Access License (CAL). More information about the announcement from Brian Harry is available here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bharry/archive/2012/03/08/even-better-access-to-team-foundation-server.aspx
The definition of “reporting data” is not defined completely but the spirit of the licensing change is to address a challenge the Microsoft MVPs and other customer channels have brought up: occasional stakeholders who are looking at reporting data should not be required to be licensed fully with a TFS CAL as other team members who contribute regularly to a software release. They traditionally want to view progress or see potential issues.
Reporting data is exposed in several different places in Team Foundation Server:
You may need other types of CALs depending on the particular scenario but thankfully you won’t need a TFS CAL. Also, if these users are “writing” or “updating” information back to TFS, then that wouldn’t be considered viewing reporting data. You’ll likely need a TFS CAL for those scenarios. Remember though that users have always been able to create new bugs & feature requests without needing a TFS 2010 CAL as well using Work Item Only View. This is a great improvement with this new addition to the CAL exclusions for TFS.
This licensing change is retroactive and in addition to the announcement that the Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere client for Eclipse-based IDEs is now free!
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Ed Blankenship is a Product Manager at Microsoft for Visual Studio Online. I am an author of a few books, former Microsoft MVP of the Year, and former ALM consultant. I hold Office Hours each week if you are interested in chatting.
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