What is Team Foundation Server and Why Would I Use It?

I get this question a lot.  People often wonder what Team Foundation Server (TFS) is and why would you use it?  I read a blog post earlier today from Jason Zander who has the best explanation of TFS that I know.  Also, he hits the nail on the head about the “well, can’t I just integrate all these other systems together?”  I love the analogy he uses (emphasis added:)

First let’s talk about “why TFS?”  The goal of Team Foundation Server is to create a central repository with a set of tools that make it really easy to collaborate between roles.  You could try to stitch together multiple disparate systems as follows:


In this case each system has its own storage, own set of identity for assets, own commands and tools.  Getting this going is like trying to hook up a set of custom stereo components:  you can pull it off but it’s going to be a lot of work and you are missing out on some stuff.

What I’d rather have is a system which can integrate these items together and then enable my default work flow through the system:


Even better, with TFS 2010 you get the opportunity to add even more pieces to the ALM puzzle under one roof:


A good Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) system has all of these systems integrated together and linked to provide you as much transparency, traceability, and metrics available about the relationships between the artifacts in those systems.  TFS is the best system available today that has all of that built together.


Ed Blankenship

Posted in TFS | VSTS

Wednesday, 21 October 2009 21:50:41 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
That really does sum it up well. Having an integrated system would be great. Too bad it's so expensive.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 21:57:33 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
Hi there!

That's the thing, it's not expensive anymore for TFS 2010. If you have an MSDN Premium subscription, you get a full license to TFS. TFS licenses are going to be really cheap now too if you don't have an MSDN subscription (I'm not sure if pricing has been announced just yet.) CALs are included with every MSDN Premium subscription as well.

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Ed B.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 22:04:29 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
Oh, good to know! I'll have to look into that. Thanks.
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