Free access to Visual Studio Online

Stakeholder calls Microsoft employees in a company who are responsible for a process. Since 2013, over 1.6 million users have been using the online version of the development environment.

Microsoft Announces License Adjustment for the Visual Studio Online Cloud Development Environment . Now, users who only occasionally access the Cloud IDE can do so at no extra cost. In the base version of Visual Studio Online, up to 5 users are free anyway .

With this offer, Microsoft addresses employees such as department heads or so-called process owners, who are responsible for the functional side of a development. Microsoft speaks of stakeholders. Even if these stakeholders do not necessarily write code, they can be critical to the success of a project. And according to these stakeholders, Microsoft now also calls the new license option.

As can be seen from a Microsoft page , stakeholders should above all be able to check the project status and provide feedback. You can track priorities, bring in suggestions and ideas, and ensure business alignment.

Brian Harry, Product Unit Manager for the Team Foundation Server, announced this new option a few weeks ago on a blog .

“We have often come up with the question, what am I doing with all the stakeholders in my company? In the test phase, this stakeholder function would initially be free. Then Microsoft charged $ 20 per user per month. It turned out, however, that many users canceled these accounts, which in turn had a negative impact on the projects. Microsoft had also experimented with other pricing models, about $ 5 or $ 2 per user. But it has been shown that companies allocate more users to projects by a factor of 3, if this is possible at no cost. So in order to be able to integrate Visual Studio Online as widely as possible into the company processes, Microsoft decided to make this option possible for free.

Now Microsoft has decided to reissue this license. Users can now read, write and create all work items. You can create, play and save work item queries, view project and team pages, access the backlog, and receive alerts from team items. Since Wednesday, existing Microsoft Visual Studio Online customers can add as many stakeholders as they want.

However, Microsoft also has some limitations: Stakeholders can not access code, builds, or test hubs. Team rooms and administration functions are also reserved for paid users.

Visual Studio Online is a central software development repository that can be accessed by distributed teams. The online solution also supports the on-premise version of Visual Studio. In addition to developer tools, the solution also provides monitoring and management capabilities as well as a test environment.

As Harry explains in his post, Microsoft will also adapt the Team Foundation Server to the stakeholder license. Currently, Microsoft offers a comparable option through the so-called Work Item Web Access, the TFS CAL Exemptions. Harry promises to adapt it to the possibilities of the stakeholder option in the online version, which will greatly enhance functionality in the Team Foundation Server without CAL. Harry hopes to deliver this option with the Uptade 4 of Team Foundation Server 2013.

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