Release Management announcements at //Build 2015

Vijay Machiraju

Today Brian announced the Release Candidates of Visual Studio 2015 and Team Foundation Server 2015. He also showed a preview of what is coming in Release Management – the web interface, the dashboards, and tasks for deploying to Windows and Linux platforms, among others. These features are not yet available to you in 2015 RC. In this blog, I will clarify the timelines and answer some commonly asked questions.

What has been announced for Release Management at //Build 2015?

  1. A web interface integrated into Team Web Access for TFS and into for all release management functions.

  2. A simpler authoring experience for Release Definitions as a composition of environments and tasks.

  3. Summary of releases view that shows the last release deployed into each environment and its status.

  4. Integration with Chef and Docker as deployment technologies.

  5. Support for deploying to on-premise machines from VSO RM service.

You can watch a demo of some of these features here:

I am a VSO customer using RM service in VSO. When can I expect to see the above features in my account?

In Summer 2015. The new release management features demonstrated at //Build are still in alpha, and will be first made available to a small number of internal customers for validation. Once that is done, we will make these features available broadly for other accounts in RM service. If you are using Release Management client to connect to VSO, on one fine day in Summer 2015, it will stop connecting to VSO with an error saying that you should start using the web interface instead. That is when you can shift over to using the Release hub in web interface.

I am a VSO customer using RM service in VSO. Will all my current data be available through the web interface?

Yes. Your data will be intact and will be upgraded to support the new model of release definitions and releases in the web interface.

I am a customer of on-premise Release Management 2013 server (or one of its updates). When can I expect to see the above features?

In TFS 2015 Update 1. In other words, the web interface and other features talked about here are not going to be available to you in 2015 RC nor in 2015 RTM. When you install TFS 2015 Update 1, you will directly see the Release hub in the Team Web Access. The features that are being demonstrated here do not require a separate Release Management server or Release Management client. They are completely integrated into TFS server and web interface.

Is there anything from Release Management in 2015 RC and RTM?

Yes. We are shipping another revision of Release Management server, client, and agent in 2015 RC and RTM. You can download these from here. These products have some incremental bug fixes on top of the corresponding products from 2013 Update 4.

Is there a Release Management 2013 Update 5?

No. We are not shipping Release Management 2013 Update 5. Instead, it is recommended that you move to 2015 RC.

When TFS 2015 Update 1 is released, how should I think about moving from the current Release Management server and client to TFS server and web interface for managing releases?

You will have multiple options:

  • If you are a new on-premise release management customer at that point of time, who has not used Release Management server from 2013 or 2015, you can directly start using TFS server and web interface for creating and managing releases.

  • If you have been using Release Management server from 2013 or 2015, you can migrate the data into TFS server and start using the web interface. We will provide guidance on how to do this migration. This will involve manual steps.

  • You can stay with Release Management 2013 or 2015 server and client for some more time, since we will continue to support those products fully for backwards-compatibility. 



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