Don’t install Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition!!!

Got your attention? Why would someone like me who has been trying to promote the use of TFS turn around and tell you not to install the workgroup edition? Maybe I should rephrase that – don’t install the workgroup edition if you intend scale up your team to more than five users between now and some time in May (probably longer).

The reason is that the workgroup edition is limited to five users (which is fair enough) and in order to go higher than that you need to upgrade to the full version. No worries says I, its not that expensive and its definately worth the asking price. Who do we give the cash to?

Well – it turns out that we can’t actually get our hands on a TFS license until some time in May – that is a long time to live with a limit of five users, what if we wanted to you know – do work?

The next obvious question is – can I cross over to the trial edition so I can get rid of the user limit and then buy the license when its actually available. Nope – can’t do that, we’ll have to un-install the system and re-install it.

It strikes me as a little bit unfair to those people that have been early adopters and supporters of this product that went out and installed workgroup edition with the view to upgrade have effectively painted themselves into a corner and can’t get out without a lot of rework.

Come on guys – in real terms, how long would it take you to make this a supported scenario?

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12 thoughts on “Don’t install Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition!!!

  1. Dylan

    I’m awaiting a response from Jeff Beehler on this one, though indications are that we are out of luck.

    What is especially galling for us early adopters is that many of us have extensive projects already created in Betas and RCs that we painstakingly migrated from version to version with the excellent step-by-step documentation provided by Microsoft.

    However, they don’t seem to have considered the basic scenario where a customer with an extensive project installs the workgroup edition thinking that they are doing the right thing by not using ‘demoware’.

    Suddenly we are limited in ways that the beta version weren’t, and now apparently stuck until further notice.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. Martin Woodward

    To be fair, I for one was pretty clear that the Workgroup Edition only supported 5 users and so went straight to the trial edition after getting assurances that the upgrade from Trial to Full would be easy (hopefully a matter of going to add/remove programs the typing in your real key in the field at the bottom of the form). Also all the announcements I saw about RTM said that you should go for Trial if you wanted unlimited users and just wanted to install the software early.

    Have you tried entering the Trial edition PID into your workgroup edition (via Add/Remove programs). I don’t have workgroup edition installed here so cannot check if that bottom option of enter product key is available in workgroup edition.

    Is uninstalling TFS Workgroup edition and then installing TFS Trial edition a big deal? I would suspect that your TFS instance would just be back up and running without any changes needed as the schema are still in place in the database, however I have never tried this so I don’t know for sure – you might want to try it on a VPC first 🙂

    Having said all this – if they didn’t think about this then I can see why. You can see them making Workgroup -> Full and Trial -> Full a painless process, but Workgroup -> Trial -> Full?

    While I am not a big fan of Microsoft’s recent naming conventions (you’d think they got bonused on the length of the product names recently), and I really don’t like the “Workgroup Edition” name due to the confusion with running in workgroup mode (which you can do with Workgroup, Trial or Full versions). However the name “Trial Edition” was pretty clear to me.

  3. Dylan

    I haven’t tried using the Trial edition PID. However, entering the key doesn’t work. You get a helpful message telling you that you can’t enter a trial edition key.

  4. Mitch Denny

    Hi Anthony,

    I agree to a certain extent, BUT, and here is the big BUT, you assume that everyone read the exact same TFS release notices you did. The ones I read BEFORE I installed Workgroup Edition didn’t say we wouldn’t be able to upgrade.

    So here is the problem I face – what is the least risky way for me to remove this limitation WITHOUT discarding everything that I have put in to date.

    I think MS are under estimating how common this scenario is, and now they know about it – what are they doing about it????

  5. Peter Christopher

    I am frustrated with this exact scenario. I read all of the same documentation and press releases. It wasn’t clear that you couldn’t purchase a full license until after May 1st. We’ve been early adopters since Beta 1 and have gone through all of the VERY painful installs and upgrades. It was natural for us to quickly upgrade to the RTM, especially given some of the bugs we wanted to go away (like branching code!) I put in the request for a quote to our VL reseller the same day we upgraded to the RTM. Now they have turned their backs on us when we want to give them money for this product, at least until May 1st. If I would have know, I would have gone to the Trial edition….

  6. Pingback: Adron's Technology & Software Development : Team Foundation Server Workgroup?

  7. Michael

    I’ve got the exact same issue, we installed workgroup edition to test it out because we had MSDN Universal. Now, we want to scale up a bit (only 7 users or so) and we can’t go directly to TFS Full edition within the near future (purchasing time limitiations).

    😦

  8. Voutmaster

    I am sure all this was relevant during the early adoption stages, but for those who are reading this blog in 2007, there is an easy way to upgrade to the full edition. Go to “Add or Remove Programs”, find the install entry for TFS, click the Change/Remove button and you will see an option for “Upgrade to Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server”. All you need is a valid product key. Obtaining that is a story for another time

  9. Tintas

    @Voutmaster :
    Dear Voutmaster! You think it’s working? I went to add/remove programs, tried to change the TFS Worgroup Edition entering the right TFS key. Effect???? NONE! I’m still unable to add more users to the licensed users list. And the funniest thing is that the option of “Upgrade to TFS” checkbox is not visible anymore…
    Goddamn Microsoft…Why are things so complicated???

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