I’ve read quite a bit on this product and have seen webcasts, etc – but I’ve never used it myself. At work and personally, I’ve just used the Professional edition of Visual Studio. With VS2008 being released, they have a 90-day demo install of it available. So over the long weekend, I thought I’d plug away and try getting it installed and try it out. This is sort of recap of my experience. Also, I’m a fan demystifying things, so this is also my take on the practical side of getting this set up and using it. There is a lot of marketing blah-blah and super-technical docs – and I like to just cut to the chase and give the bottom line of what all this really means!
I’ll break this into a couple of blog posts. This first one will talk about what TFS is how to set it up.
What is it?
There has been lots written on this by many people, but here’s my simple take on it. TFS is a MSF-compliant back-end for your software development lifecycle. Just a side-note on MSF, I got this book and it blew me away – and here’s more info. So TFS is: source control, document repository, bug tracker, metrics reporting tool, significant tool in project reporting, etc. Physically, it’s a SQL database, a SharePoint site, a Windows service as a task scheduler, and finally web services for serving up content to Visual Studio. There may be more, but that’s my take on what I’ve seen. Here it is by layer, if this helps:
- Server-side: "Team Server" is SQL, SharePoint, web services, SourceSafe
- Client-side: "Team Suite" is Visual Studio Team Suite and Team Explorer
- Team System is the overall name for the client and server (I believe?)
One other note, Team Suite is basically Visual Studio Professional with some addition add-ins. So without even being connected a back-end, you get things like code metrics, integrated FxCop (static code analysis) and unit tests.
How to set it up?
So let’s say you want to set this up. What do you need? Well first, I made a point to not read documentation, because I like to see how intuitive a product is. The interesting part, to me, is I still haven’t read any documentation other than the installer chm, because I was trying to research the hardware/software requirements. So everything I will describe, I simply found by looking around. I will say off the bat, I am still completely blown away at how powerful this tool is and amazed at how easy and pain-free it was to set up! It’s a huge testament to Microsoft that a product this big was pretty easy to install!
Earlier in the year, I consolidated all my server hardware into one server. I now have one physical box, 2 virtual servers on it that host DNS, WINS, DHCP, SQL, IIS, file share, etc – and I have my 4TB array hooked up to that. It goes without saying that if you are going to need SQL and Sharepoint, you need to have a fairly decent box. A least a couple GB of RAM, dual-core CPU’s and ideally a couple of them! I have 2-processor Xeon dual-core (64-bit) with 8GB of RAM. And I gave my TFS virtual server 2GB of RAM. What I’ve describe here ran fine – but then again, I’m only 1 user at my house and haven’t load-tested any of this! 🙂 Specifically from the docs, they recommend: 2.2GHz processor or greater and 1GB of RAM or greater – that’s for less than 20 users.
Here’s what you need for OS and software. I only have SQL 2005 Developer and you need a real version of that, so I downloaded this 180-day trial.
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Datacenter Edition
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Enterprise Edition
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Standard Edition
Windows Server 2003 R2, Datacenter Edition
Windows Server 2003 R2, Enterprise Edition
Windows Server 2003 R2, Standard Edition
Windows Server 20081
Other software or config:
SQL Server 2005 or 2008 / Standard or Enterprise Edition (including Reporting Services)
IIS 6.0 or 7.0 with ASP.NET options enabled
WSS 2.0 or 3.0
Obviously, you’d want to check with the documentation for more specifics, but this is just to give you a general idea – this is basically what you need. What’s really cool is there are downloadable timebomb versions of the OS and SQL, so if you have the hardware, the software is all completely available (well, until it expires!).
More on the client side in the next post including some screen shots…