Team system vs Professional, Source Safe vs Team Foundation

Is it possible to "effectively" use the team foundation without purchasing the team system versions of visual studio?
So use team foundation for project management and communication whilst using the professional version of visual studio if you don't see the benefit of the TEam system.  

As for the team editions themselves, unless your doing full enterprise development, I don't really see how the architect is any use to you?
I have to admit things like the code profiler were very nice in the team system for software developers, but the tester edition, other than the test cases, does it really do anything else?

Finally is there some part of the team system software that isn't present in the professional edition in regards to the source control and use of team foundation
btw I am aware that the team editions come with a CAL for TF whereas the professional doesn't.

I really would love to hear from someone who uses the team system, as I haven't yet spoken to anyone who uses it in a proper environment.
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dldegnerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
While not an absolute authority on that, I am fairly certain that TF functionality remains constant regardless of Visual Studio version.  It adds a component called team explorer to the VS, which gives you source code, document, and project handling features.  I vaguely recall that it might not work with the freebie version of VS.  It is highly extensible, uses XML templating, and has done a good job for us so far, but then we are just really getting started with it.  You will have to have 1 copy of professional, simply because the projects are created in the VS ide.  After that, you could use the sharepoint portal and/ or excel to do all document and task updates.  My recommendation to you is to download the 180 day trial version and give it a spin.


We have just begun the implementation of Team Foundation Server in our environment, so I do not purport to have all the answers.
Having said that, I do have some insight that might help you.
1) Team foundation server is a stand alone product.  You may buy the server and client access licenses seperately from Visual Studio.
You load the client on each PC that is to have access to the TFS.  After you configure the client, a menu item is automatically added to Visual Studio Professional and Excel.  It may add itself to other software as well, but I am not sure what.
2)  TFS adds alot of project automation for you.  Assuming you have a Windows 2003 server running somewhere, it will auto build a sharepoint portal for each project you add.  Highly customizable project templates will also be auto created when you build a new project.
This documentation is independent of what team edition you may or may not be using.
3) TFS requires a SQL 2005 server.  The freebie version will not work.  
4)  TFS gives you a new approach to source safe.  It stores the code as an object in SQL 2005.  Including versioning, etc.  It is *much* better than source safe.  Some of the better (drool) aspects include the ability to merger changes from multiple users to the same proc.  no more stomping on each others changes without warning :)  
5)  Re the team editions - I'm still learning which is better for what.  You should know that the code profiler is available to both developer and tester editions.  The architect edition includes a really nice reverse engineering feature for things such as class documentation.  Probably not necessary in a small environ, but if you think there is a chance of growth for you organization in the future, it is better to be prepared...!  There is also a new edition coming out for database development.  Haven't played with that one yet.

whether you go team editions or not, I think it is very wise to look at TFS.  It is a truly impressive product thus far.
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spinalogicAuthor Commented:
I'll give you partial dldegner, thats exactly what I was wanting to hear.  Database designer I believe is a beefed version of business intelligence, but I may be wrong.

If no one else has an insight, I'll give you all the points.

Sorry lakshman, but I really needed the TF information, not an alternative.

PS: We currently use CVS, which does smart merging of code, so that we already have. I can imagine the code that TF does would be smart in respect to the .net languages though.  Reverse engineering features? I had a play with architect, and all I really saw was the application and system designer, and they weren't all that fantastic. Was there some more there?
Architect does have the app and system designers you mention.  They are about on par with other designers, which is to say about two generations from becoming truly useful...  Microsoft has done some pretty neat things with them though.  If you have built your code, you can reverse engineer the class diagrams and database diagrams into the Visio for Architect frame.  Once this is done, the class and source code views automatically keep in sync - eg if you change the diagram, the source code is updated, and vice versa.  Database diagrams do not auto update, but can be triggered to update on request, including a preview of the SQL code involved.  Nice when you don't want the table to drop all it's data just so you can add a new field... :)
Having said all that, Architect is definitely designed for focusing on the documentation and infrastructure side of things.  And as with all things .NET, is geared primarily for object modelling.  I still haven't found a simple way to use it to document application of business rules to classes, etc.  It's probably in there, but I'm still pretty new to this stuff, and it isn't obvious.  
If you are looking at becoming the next Google or Yahoo, it has the ability to determine if your next great app will run on existing infrastructure.  Assuming you took the time to develop the infrastructure diagrams.  I haven't gotten that far personally.  
Overall, Architect is decent.  It really depends on your needs.  One word of warning to those who are debating on which version to buy - Architect does not have the code profiler - that is limited to Developer and Tester.  Of course, you could drop $10,000 and get the whole package :)  

spinalogicAuthor Commented:
10000 US is 20000 Aus. Which is currently about 6months wages at my current position. :'(

My biggest issue is the team features, I was hoping to find if there was something that the team system with TF does that professional with tf doesn't in regard to the TF existing or Not.  ie extra TF functionality in Team system.
Thanks for the points and the grade!
Hope things work out for you.
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