Why Team Foundation Server is useless for Java

By | June 29, 2011

In the company I’m currently working for we are using the Team Foundation Server as a version control system. No for developers of C# or any other Microsoft related programming language this is probably fine. However being a Java developer TFS is less then perfect. In fact it is a near nightmare.

We are using various IDE’s for editing our Java projects, meanly because different developers like different IDE’s. Personally I’m using Netbeans, which has perfect Subversion, Git, CVS and Perforce support. Some other developers use IntelliJ from Netbrains. Which is sorta expensive and the version we are using has no support for TFS at all.

So when I want to edit a simple file I first locate it in my IDE, which takes me about 5 seconds. Then I need to look up its location on disk, followed by opening the completely useless Team Exporer. Then I again need to look up the file in TE, followed by a check-out. The whole process to the point that the file is checked out and ready to go takes probably about 1 minute, each and every time.

On an average day I probably waste up to an hour checking out files, and commiting them back into the version control system.

To ease the burden a bit I’ve tried the SvnBridge tool to link my IDE’s Subversion system with TFS, but this tool has many flaws. Just a few of which are:

  • No longer appears to be developed
  • A merge in TE causes all updates to fail, you need to do a clean checkout again
  • Random update failures due to commits of other developers

So for now I’m stuck. Really, really, really stuck.

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