Team Foundation Service is open to the public (and free!)

SNAGHTML80a046dThe Visual Studio Team has hit another major milestone in the evolution of Team Foundation Server.  Back at the BUILD conference last year they announce a hosted TFS offering called Team Foundation Service.  This hosted solution brings TFS based Work Item Tracking, Version Control and Automated Build through a browser and is connectable from Visual Studio just like an on-premises deployment of Team Foundation Server.  Use of the service was limited to those few that were able to get their hands on an Invitation Code.  This was done primarily to allow for a slow ramp-up in users of the service to help find and remedy scalability problems.

“Since we announced the Team Foundation Service Preview at the BUILD conference last year, we’ve limited the onboarding of new customers by requiring invitation codes to create accounts.  The main reason for this has been to control the growth of the service to make sure it didn’t run away from us and end up with a bad user experience.  In this time period, we’ve continued to work on our infrastructure, performance, scale, monitoring, management and, of course, some cool new features like cloud build. ”   – Brian Harry

Today, Brian Harry announced that there is no longer the need for an Invitation Code.  The Service is now open to the Public.  This means that they are confident in the service’s ability to handle the load as well as their ability to monitor activity and upgrade the service with little disruption to the global user community.

They are still offering the service without charge and while they get the final pieces in place to offer a complete commercial service.

“The service will remain in “preview” for a while longer while we work through additional features like data portability, commercial terms, etc but the terms of service support production use, the service is reliable and we expect to carry all of your data forward into production. ”  – Brian Harry

Brian has an excellent walk-through on how to get access to the service and begin playing with the service, the cloud-hosted build servers and the new Azure continuous deployment features.

Brian’s complete post can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bharry/archive/2012/06/11/team-foundation-service-preview-is-public.aspx