Friday, February 21, 2014

VSO EAP++ (Visual Studio Online Early Adopter Program Extended)

Brian Harry’s blog - VS Online early adopter program extended to May 7, 2014

I know this is the second time I am doing this but I believe it is the last.  For a refresher for those who don’t remember what the early adopter program is, let me explain.  We released the public preview of VS Online in November.  At that time, we introduced our business terms, in a preview form – including free access for up to 5 users.  You can read more about your options for purchasing VS Online on the Visual Studio Online overview page.  We had promised the throngs of people who jumped onto the service early (before we had announced pricing) that we’d ensure a smooth transition for them into the paying service.  Part of that transition is an “early adopter program” that enables them to continue to use the service for free for a period while they evaluate the change.  Part of our plan has been to provide the ability for customers to migrate their data from the service and to an on-premises TFS with very high fidelity should they choose to do so.  Our original expectation was that, this would have been available in the ~January timeframe.

However, readers of my blog will know that we had some post launch reliability issues and, as I described in this post, we’ve had to do quite a bit of work to evolve the service to continue to provide a great customer experience.  Since providing a great service is more important than collecting money (OK, both have to happen eventually, it’s just a question of which happens first, we chose to delay the work on the data migration capability until we had the service in good shape again.  In order to honor our promise of an orderly transition for our early adopters, we’ve extended the early adopter program (free, roughly unlimited use).  Those customers that created accounts before December 13, 2013 will have the expiration date of their “early adopter (free) status” extended to May 7, 2014.  At that time, the early adopter program will end and everyone will transition to “standard terms”.  Between now and then, we will enable the data export experience.  Stay tuned for a precise date but it’s several weeks away as of this writing.


At this point, we know we have some large schema changes coming this summer as we enable process customization and other important features people are waiting for.  We are not going to be able maintain the the “downgrade” code path through those changes.  I don’t like it and I’m sure I’ll get my share of comments reinforcing this but I believe it’s a call we need to make.  To manage through this, we have decided to scope the capability, for now, to aiding people through the transition and will consider doing more later.  I’m not making any promises but will certainly listen to feedback over the next year.


Stay tuned over the next few months because we are going to have quite a bit of service related news.  As soon as TFS 2013 Update 2 and the migration capability are available, I will let you know.  I’m telling you now so that you have time to get ready for it in the event you want to use it.


Good to see the team doing what looks to be the right thing, acknowledging the issues and not rushing to turn on the billing...

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