TFS Review

Not just a source code repository, but a real and complete ALM solution

What is most valuable?

Complete integration with VS IDE and Office tools: This give us a possibility of high-level automation, thus minimizing human error.

How has it helped my organization?

The TFS is not just a source code repository, but a real and complete ALM solution. Among other things, we use it as a ticketing tool. It is a building mechanism, which is really polished and easy to use.

What needs improvement?

TFS on-premise does not support integration with SharePoint Online. If you integrate it with the SharePoint on-premise upgrade, it can be quite challenging.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this product more than 11 years, started with TFS 2005.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Fortunately, we did not have any stability problems. In some versions, we sometimes noticed missed alerts on some work items, but nothing else. Eventually those bugs were fixed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are using a single server deployment with more than 150 projects and never had any issues. Of course, some pre- and post-installation optimization has to be done like SQL Server, etc.

How is customer service and technical support?

Since we never had any real issues, we did not need technical support. For advice how to “squeeze” as much as possible from TFS and how to optimize it, there are numerous forums, blogs, etc. The community contribution is very valuable.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Previously, we used VSS, which was nothing but a repository, so TFS was the logical step up. Since we develop almost exclusively on MS stack, TFS as a comprehensive ALM solution fitted perfectly.

How was the initial setup?

We started with TFS 2005 beta and the setup was quite complex, especially because of all the requirements which had to be met. If you used integrated the SharePoint Services upgrade, it was a small nightmare. Along the way, the setup has become less complex and is now quite simplified .

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We use a Visual Studio subscription for every team member and the TFS licenses are included. If running TFS on-premise is expensive, maybe you could consider moving to the Cloud and use the Visual Studio Team Services.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were using VSS, and partially SVN, but both of the tools were just repository. We needed the ALM solution, which integrated into VS IDE, and TFS was the logical choice.

What other advice do I have?

If you are on MS stack, I can only recommend TFS since it’s much more than just a source code repository. High level of out of box automation, integration with Visual Studio, and other tools will make your life much easier.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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