Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Team Foundation Server forces teams toward open source solutions

Source control is the lowest common denominator with software development. All (...ok...most) software development teams have a system in place to manage the version of their software source code.
Within the Microsoft eco-system there are 2 options provided by Microsoft:
  • Microsoft Source Safe
  • Microsoft Team Foundation Server
SourceSafe has a bad reputation so within the last couple years, teams that develop on the Microsoft stack have been forced to limp along with Source Safe or upgrade to Team Foundation Server.
I don't want any one to get the impression that I don't like TFS; because I do. I like the integrated lifecycle, powerful reporting, task and project management tools. I like these things when they are needed. However, most mid-market software development shops don't need (or can't afford) all those tools.
But what if you want the tools? Have you ever tried to determine the pricing for a Team Systems rollout? Can somebody tell me how much it will cost to roll out TFS for a development team of 10 developers? I've tried to do the pricing, but can't navigate the licensing.
So what should you do if you need a source control tool?
a.) Spend a couple days putting together a proposal to submit to your boss, who will submit it to her boss which will ultimately be rejected for "Budgeting Reasons".
b.) Do you stick with Source Safe? Not because you want to or think it's the best solution but because it's the only other alternative from Microsoft?
c.) Or do you install a Subversion Repository (free + time) on an existing server (free), install TortoiseSVN (free + time) on the developer workstations and hold a day of training with the development staff (time)?

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