Team Explorer Everywhere is now Free…and more!!!

imageOk, so some big news has come out of Microsoft.  The folks on the Visual Studio team have reviewed their licensing and have made more stuff free (as in  “free beer”).

1. As of today, Team Explorer Everywhere (TEE) is now a free add-on for Eclipse.  TEE is a java-based plugin to the Eclipse IDE that allows team members to access TFS from non-Microsoft OSes, think Linux or Mac OS.

This means that you can now download and use the existing TEE 2010 or the new TEE “11” without having to purchase the product.  You still have to purchase a TFS Client Access License (CAL), but that’s all.  This brings TEE in line with the Team Explorer plugin for Visual Studio.  This makes it easier for teams to adopt TFS even though they may have applications that span technologies. So the testers can use Microsoft Test Manager to file bugs against an iPad application and the devs can use TEE and Eclipse to review the bug and check out code on a Mac. They can then use xCode to make a fix and use TEE to checkin those changes with a link to the Bug.  All of the data flows back to TFS for easy, consolidated reporting across the whole application stack.

2. You no longer have to purchase a CAL for viewing reports in TFS.  This was a real pain for many companies that had stakeholders that would occasionally want to view TFS reports to check progress or issues. Most customers didn’t see purchasing CALs for these stakeholders as being cost-effective. 

3. Starting with System Center 2012, you can connect your Ops team to your Dev team for better collaboration around issues.  Operations Manager 2012 will have the ability to escalate tickets and the associated diagnostic info to dev by connecting to the TFS server.  The license has now been changed to allow Operations Manager 2012 users to integrate with TFS without requiring a TFS CAL.

You can read the official announcement and additional details on Brian Harry’s blog.