Getting Started with Visual Studio Online

Visual Studio Online is Microsoft’s new cloud based application lifecycle management service.  It is what used to be called Team Foundation Service rebranded and redesigned to compliment Visual Studio and Azure.

There are several pricing options for Visual Studio Online from FREE to $60 / month / user.  There are also several MSDN offerings that provide access to Visual Studio Online as part of the subscription price. 

Right now, Microsoft has some promotional pricing for the new service and will provide you a 90 day trial to try out the service.

Creating a Visual Studio Online Environment

Creating a new Visual Studio Online environment is easy – you just register with your email address and provide a unique URL for your environment.

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To enable the Professional or Advanced versions, you manage the licenses through your Azure Portal and assign them to your Visual Studio Online environment.  Azure also provides the ability to provision build and testing environments for continuous integration and load testing scenarios.

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You receive an allocation of free resources per month and then you pay as you use more of them.  You can view your resource usage through the Azure portal.

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Creating a New Project

Creating a project in Visual Studio Online is easy.  Just provide a name, description and pick the Process Template that you wish to use to manage your project.

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You can also decide whether to store your source code in Team Foundation Version Control or Git. 

Once you have created the project, you are provided with a workspace for the project that includes:

  • Code repository
  • Product backlog
  • Build management
  • Test management

You are also provided a “team room” which provides a live chat room for interacting with your team members.

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