While digesting my lunch it was time to digest some TFS Build information. While much of my time is spent wearing my developer’s hat I am still a jack of all trades and automated builds are an important aspect of any project.  Because of this I was looking forward to finding out what new features are available in the latest release of Team Foundation Server.

The first feature that caught my attention is the TFS Admin Client.  After being used to dealing with NAnt in the past it is nice to see a build a configuration GUI that is so flexible and well thought out.  The bonus is that it the tools that are incorporated in Visual Studio 2012 are just as feature rich.  Life is good.

Since automated builds are the hub of your development process in a continuous integration shop I was really interested in the process related options. The biggest value add that I noticed was merge gated check-ins.  Merge or batch gated check-ins are an interesting concept.  If the build breaks with all the changes then TFS will run separate builds for each of the check-ins.  This ability to identify the actual offending check-in can save a lot of time and gray hair.

The safari of TFS Build that was this session was packed with attractions.  How do you set it up builds, what are the different flavors of builds, how does the system report how the build went?  I would suggest anyone who is responsible for build automation spend some serious time with TFS 2012 and VS2012.