I missed this little announcement about ‘TFS Basic’ a few weeks back, but luckily Adam Cogan alerted me to it during one of our recent walks (can you tell where we stopped for lunch :-) ). The news came from Brian Harry originally, but you could be forgiven for missing it since his blog post was extensive (that’s a good thing!) and covered a history of SourceSafe before mentioning TFS Basic details.
TFS Basic is aimed at the small development teams that use SourceSafe (or worse – nothing) and need a better solutions for source control, bug tracking and automated builds. It’s part of the upcoming TFS 2010 release (ie it’s not released yet – look out for Beta 2 in the coming months) and Brian’s post has all the details about ease of installation etc. Note also, that TFS Basic is just a label at this stage (I’m not sure what the final name will be) and of course there is no pricing information yet.
The reason I mention this announcement is because it shows that the trend towards better software development methodologies is being promoted to all levels of an organisation now. TFS was initially an enterprise play (at least its price tag said as much) and small teams had to suffice with SourceSafe or get their heads around the TFS Workgroup edition. But that is all changing (as Brian mentions):
To make sure we could handle the broadest range, we started by targeting enterprise customers and development teams with more involved development processes. The pinnacle of that has been the Microsoft Developer Division experience that I’ve talked so much about where we have over 3,500 regular users and terabytes upon terabytes of data. However, it has been our intention from the beginning to build a toolset that is attractive to teams of all sizes and all levels of process.
And this is happening not only in the Microsoft space. Atlassian for example and have been making their toolset much more integrated and affordable for the smaller shops (check out their Starter offering here) over the past 12 months.
It’s a promising trend. With large numbers of senior enterprise workers starting their own consultancies (either by choice or forced by economic downsizing), the need for proper software development tools in the small business sector is greater than ever. Tool vendors are catching on and providing better solutions at affordable prices.