Microsoft's suite of developer tools will now support Git, the distributed version-control system (DVCS) maintained by the open source community.
This news broke in an announcement made by Brian Harry, technical fellow, Team Foundation Server, from the keynote stage of Microsoft's ALM Summit conference in Redmond this past week.
This means that, for the first time, developers can now choose either a distributed version-control system or a centralized version control when they use Microsoft's ALM solutions, providing more flexibility to work in the manner that suits them best.
As part of the updates, Microsoft worked with the open source community and has actively contributed to the open source library libgit2. Today, Microsoft has a number of full-time engineers actively working on and contributing to the libgit2 project.
Team Foundation Service — Microsoft's cloud-hosted ALM solution — will support Git. Developers can use TFService as a full Git server with standard Git implementation, allowing development teams to choose the source control workflow that best suits the way they work.
According to Microsoft, Visual Studio 2012 is now able to connect to any Git host, including TFS, CodePlex, GitHub, and Stash, using an extension available today as Update 2 preview. Git support will be fully integrated into all editions of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server in a future release.
Microsoft's Harry blogged on this news, saying that although this comes as "kind of an abrupt" announcement, it has been a long time in the making, as his team started talking about having DVCS support for TFS a year or more ago. "I even mentioned at the end of this post over a year ago that DVCS was in our future," he said.
"After a few months of investigation (in the middle of working on TFS 2012), we concluded that adding Git support was the right approach. There were certainly plenty of people who wanted to "build a better DVCS system" or integrate DVCS workflows into the existing implementation. There were others who were concerned about open source and lack of "control" issues. But, the more we looked at it, the more it looked like the right thing to do."
"GIT has now established itself as the leading distributed version-control platform, although it has not had the best Windows support given its Linux roots," said Al Hilwa, program director for applications development software at IDC. "So it is both surprising and delightful to see Microsoft support GIT as a first-class repository. This is a great evolution of the Team Foundation Service and the whole Microsoft developer ecosystem, which now finds itself interoperating with the world of open source and other ecosystems. I have been watching the demos at the conference and there is a lot to be impressed with in the way Microsoft has done this integration, folding GIT as a first-class technology in the environment."