I was trying to integrate a Java project with TFS, using Eclipse and Teamprise. Teamprise is a
I was trying to integrate a Java project with TFS, using Eclipse and Teamprise. Teamprise is a suite of client applications that includes an Eclipse plug-in for accessing Team Foundation Server.
In general, the plug-in works remarkably well (in fact, I think it works better than Visual Studio with Team Explorer!). It is really stable (thanks to Eclipse) and several options are easier to access than in Visual Studio.
Integration with the source repository is complete and limited only by TFS (you can still use the Team Synchronizing perspective or you can use the new ‘Pending Changes’ view). Some particularly interesting characteristics are the shelving feature, check-in policies, and the ability to associate changesets with specific tasks, bugs or any other work item type, providing a higher level of traceability. You can develop and deploy your own policies, although you have to install them in all clients.
Using reports and documents is exactly like in Visual Studio. The latest version (3.2) includes improvements to the way of connecting the project with TFS and supports the Maven 2 framework (previously it only supported Ant). You can define, launch or queue Java builds from within Teamprise using Ant or Maven – you can also install any framework on the build server such as JUnit, Checkstyle, Javadoc, etc.
It’s difficult to find labels in the code, you can’t look for labels by date (that’s actually a TFS limitation) or search a label for a specific folder or sub tree.
One of the most interesting components of TFS is the data warehouse. It seems to still need to incorporate some concepts such as build information and test coverage, among others – in general, the build reports are too brief for developers. It would be interesting if Teamprise could interpret files in TRX format to display test results (at the time you have to produce your own report using JUnit).
By the way, you can’t create a team project, set security properties, configure alerts, etc. You still need Visual Studio Team Explorer or command-line tools for those features.
The main challenge for Teamprise is to keep up with the state of the art and to be able to evolve in two different ways at the same time: on the one hand, by adding features from the Java world and improving its integration with Eclipse and, on the other hand, by including new characteristics of the constantly improving TFS. So far I think they are doing a good job. In addition, it seems that TFS 2010 is bringing a lot of new and exciting features: will Teamprise be able to keep the pace?
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